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11 AM & 6:30 PM - $7

This (too) short program of Japanese experimental films serves as an overview of an infinitely rich and complex history. You will discover the work of several generations of filmmakers, from 1960s pioneers like TOSHIO MATSUMOTO and TAKAHIKO IIMURA to a giant of the ’80s in TAKASHI ITO, and established contemporary masters like TOMONARI NISHIKAWA and MAKINO TAKASHI, who emerged in the 2000s.

Karl Lemieux, short films curator

films japonais


16mm, 9 minutes, 1981

TAKASHI ITO's Spacy, a Japanese avant-garde cinema masterpiece, celebrates the ecstasy of auto-machines going beyond the logic and sensation of Man (Norio Nishiiima, 1996). The film is built on extremely complex frame-by-frame animation using a set of photographs of a gymnasium that have been rephotographed in order to produce endless cyclic movements somewhat reminiscent of the works of illustrator M.C. Escher.
Ai (Love)
16mm, 10 minutes, 1962-1963

Musique de Yoko Ono

TAKAHIKO IIMURA is seen as one of the pioneers of Japanese experimental and independent cinema. IIMURA's Ai (Love) stands out for its beauty and originality. It is a cine-poem stripped from the usual pseudo-surrealistic imagery. The closest comparisons would be Brakhage's Loving or Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures... A poetic and sensual exploration of the body... fluid, direct, beautiful. (Jonas Mekas, Film Culture, 1966.)
Market Street
16mm, 5 minutes, 2005

TOMONARI NISHIKAWA ranks among the most talentend filmmakers of his generation. He splits his time between Japan and the USA. All the images in Market Street were taken on its namesake street in San Francisco, a century after A Trip Down Market Street filmed in 1906, a few days prior to the earthquake and fire that would devastate the city. The visual narrative in NISHIKAWA's film is carefully composed, frame-by-frame, by capturing disparate elements in the street. Quality cinematography, precise framing, and a frantic pace make this short film striking on all counts.
On Generation and Corruption
Vidéo, 26 minutes, 2017

Musique de Jim O'Rourke

MAKINO TAKASHI's On Generation and Corruption is an abstract work that finds its drive in the clash between light and darkness. Entirely composed of superimposed images of Tokyo's landscape and water sites, the film takes its rhythm from the cycles of repetition that are the pillars of life and civilization. As light emerges from the chaos, Jim O'Rourke's ambient drone sets the tone for what is to come. (International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2017.)
For My Crushed Right Eye
16mm, 13 minutes, 1968

TOSHIO MATSUMOTO is a pioneer in Japanese avant-garde documentary film, experimental cinema, multimedia, and video art. He passed away in 2017. For My Crushed Right Eye is an expanded cinema work for three 16mm projectors realized in the aftermath of Expo 67 in Montreal, which MATSUMOTO visited - and it clearly had an influence on him. This, a genuine mosaic, was one of the very first multi-projection experiments made in Japan!


11 AM & 6:30 PM - $7 

This diverse program of experimental short films from Quebec features five recent films and videos by directors who maintain a special relationship with Musique Actuelle. The program consists in a work by PIERRE HÉBERT, a true monument of Québécois avant-garde cinema who has been active since the 1960s, plus works by four of the most fascinating Montreal-based directors of the last ten years: SABRINA RATTÉ, PIERRE-LUC VAILLANCOURT, GUILLAUME VALLÉE, and the essential ALEXANDRE LAROSE.

Karl Lemieux, short films curator
films quebecois


Vidéo, 5 minutes, 2017
Musique de Jon Claude Bieschke

PIERRE-LUC VAILLANCOURT is an emblematic figure of Montreal's underground, co-founder with Pierre Rannou of the ICPCE (Institute for the Coordination and Propagation of Exploratory Cinema). After producing several films in Super-8, VAILLANCOURT smoothly turned to video, notably with Ruins Rider for which Étant Donnés' Marc Hurtado composed original music. Hypnagogia, his latest film, is an excellent example of his recent video-based work.
Built-in Views
Vidéo, 9 minutes 16 secondes, 2016

Musique de Roger Tellier-Craig

The indispensable video artist SABRINA RATTÉ is known, among other things, for her films and performances in collaboration with Roger Tellier-Craig (Fly Pan Am, Et Sans, GY!BE) under the alias Le Révélateur. Her work, a blend of analogue video and digital video, consists in genuine architectural journeys to the frontiers of geometrical abstraction and science fiction.
Self-talk with nothingness
Vidéo, 4 minutes 15 secondes, 2017
Musique d'Alain Lefebvre

For about a decade, the highly prolific GUILLAUME VALLÉE has been churning out striking films, videos, and performances in collaboration with many artists from Montreal's experimental music scene. His magnificent work Self-talk with nothingness was produced during an artist residency at Fresnoy, France.
Scratch (triptyque-3)
Vidéo, 9 minutes 55 secondes, 2016

Musique de Malcolm Goldstein

PIERRE HÉBERT is a true monument of Quebec avant-garde cinema. He started making experimental animation films in the early 1960s. HÉBERT developed unique emulsion scratching techniques that allow him to improvise live with Musique Actuelle musicians from Quebec and the USA. Around 2000, he renewed his artistic practice and developed digital tools with which he produced an impressive series of videos and performances. In 2003, he was at FIMAV with Bob Ostertag to present their performance Between Science and Garbage. The Scratch project is all at once an installation, a series of web-based works, performances and a film in triptych form. Scratch sees HÉBERT return to emulsion scratching after a 15-year hiatus.
Saint Bathans Repetitions
35mm, 19 minutes 22 secondes, 2017

After presenting three short films in 2017, ALEXANDRE LAROSE is back in the line-up this year with his highly anticipated Saint Bathans Repetitions, a gorgeous personal work where he continues his experiments with the notion of overprinting while presenting a profile of his father. This film was conceived and produced during an artist residency in New Zeland.