OKI Hiroyuki / 1989 / 8mm / 180min.
“You’re here, I’m here, therefore a movie”
A FILM OF BUDDY MATSUMAE has two parts. The introductory first part is put together under the title “Buddy Matsumae in anti-Buddy Matsumae;” when he approaches a girl waiting on a train station bridge, she points at the person holding the camera, saying, “Buddy Matsumae,” then he hands her the camera and has her film him, showing his T-shirt with “Matsumae” printed on it, and this cut is repeated, becoming a scene of going back and forth between here and two platforms over, and the introductory segment ends. Is it here that “he” becomes “Buddy Matsumae”? Perhaps it is a kind of naming ritual. The second part develops into A FILM OF BUDDY MATSUMAE. In other words, into a record of the “cinematic activities” of “he” in the town of Matsumae. It does not seem, however, as though he went to Matsumae with the aim of filming “something.” He films the view through the window of a room at an inn, films the TV and other things in the room, goes outside and films the scenery in the town, films himself in the room, masturbates while the camera is rolling, films his own penis, turns the camera to the town at dusk, passes over himself reflected in the mirror, and returns to his ejaculating penis – layering these behaviors that seem somehow like a ritual in the way he films himself, he becomes able to film the back streets where before he could only film places like main streets and the castle park, and at last befriends a middle-school student and is even able to film someone’s face where before he could not film any of the townspeople, and in this way the film’s development plots the psychological transformation of his relationship to the townspeople in images. Finally, he takes the middle-school student he befriended back to his room, and, while filming and having the student film, says, “You’re here, I’m here, there’s a movie;” the film ends having reached this point of conclusion. After the man goes to the town barber and has his hair cut, even his visage is a Matsumae face! The man named “Buddy Matsumae” came to Matsumae, made a connection to Matsumae’s people, and received something shared in that place. By making film an action, real people and objects appear on screen. In the formation of OKI Hiroyuki’s A FILM OF BUDDY MATSUMAE, the relationship between reality and moving images can perhaps be said to be the reverse of that found in other films, such as documentaries where you go somewhere and film something because something has happened in reality and story films where you go somewhere because there is something most suited to the embodiment of some concept and create moving images of it. This is where the sharply provocative nature of the film is to be found.
SUZUKI Shirouyasu (Filmmaker, Poet)
Graduation Exhibition of the 12th class of the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image: Start naked.
(Excerpted from Monthly Image Forum Magazine, June edition, 1989)
Born in Tokyo in 1964, currently resides in Kōchi. Graduated from the architecture department of the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Engineering. After presenting his graduation project, “Buddy Matsumae’s journal,” entered the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image. After presenting his graduation work, A FILM OF BUDDY MATSUMAE, he has explored the causal relationships between film and architecture, and on this the 17th year of his leading Team 〈M・I〉 in the Kochi yosakoi festival he is simultaneously presenting his work at the Aichi Triennale.