Shinsuke Ogawa

Shinsuke Ogawa – Nippon-koku Furuyashiki-mura aka A Japanese Village (1982)

Synopsis:
This is Ogawa Productions’ first major film from their Yamagata period. They had already started photography on Magino Village-A Tale but they were drawn to this village deep in the high country above Magino when a particularly cold bout of weather threatened crops. Inevitably, their attention strayed from the impact of weather and geography on the harvest to the “life history” of Furuyashiki Village. On the one hand, Ogawa returns to his roots by playing with the conventions of the science film. At the same time, he discovers a local, peripheral space in which to think about the nation and the state of village Japan. From this “distant perspective” in the very heart of the Japanese mountains, Ogawa discovers a village still dealing with the trauma of global warfare and struggling for survival as their children flee for the cities. Read More »

Shinsuke Ogawa – 1000-nen kizami no hidokei AKA Magino Village: A Tale (1987)

The movie compiles footage taken by Ogawa Production for a period of more than ten years after the collective moved to Magino village. Unique to this film are fictional reenactments of the history of the village in the sections titled “The Tale of Horikiri Goddess” and “The Origins of Itsutsudomoe Shrine”. Ogawa combines all the techniques that were developed in his previous films to simultaneously express multiple layers of time–the temporality of rice growing and of human life, personal life histories, the history of the village, the time of the Gods, and new time created through theatrical reenactment–bring them into a unified whole. The faces of the Magino villagers appear in numerous roles–sometimes as individuals, sometimes as people who carry the history of the village in their memories, sometimes as storytellers reciting myths, and even as members of the crowd in the fictional sequences–transcending time and space. Read More »