Chasmic Dance: Films by Daïchi Saïto

Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 8pm

  • Montreal-based avant-garde filmmaker Daïchi Saïto will present a program of his poetic 16mm and Super-8 films, followed by a discussion on his technique and unique approach to the craft of filmmaking. This screening is presented in partnership with the Dryden Theater’s Handmade Cinema³ series.
    Suggested Donation $5
    Artist in attendance


    Blind Alley Augury (Super 8, color, silent*, 3 min., 2006) *18fps
    Mile-End backstreet juxtaposed vision.

    Green Fuse (Super 8, color, silent*, 3 min., 2008) *18fps
    An impromptu visual poem revealing the perceptual transformation of a space seen from different viewpoints.

    Field of View #1 (Super 8, color, silent*, 3 min., 2009) *18fps
    “No farther out / than in – / no nearer here / than there.”
    – Robert Creeley

    Chiasmus (16mm, b&w, sound, 8 min., 2003)
    An exploration into perceptual processes in the act of seeing and listening, Chiasmus takes film as a metaphor for the breathing body, through the intercrossing of the medium and fragmented images of the body in movement. The rhythm and tension created by the interplay between sound and image, and their disjunction and conjunction, aspire to an organic and sensual moment where inside becomes outside, and outside inside.

    Chasmic Dance (16mm, b&w, silent*, 6 min., 2004) *24fps
    A visual metaphor for creative process as a sustained state of flux, whereby the deconstruction and reconfiguration of source material manifest themselves as a series of rapid abstract movements. Alluding to the cosmic dance of Shiva, the film is an expression of primal rhythmic energy, moving dialectically but without sublimation. Regeneration ignites destruction, and transformation invites mutation, through clashes of opposing modes such as video/film, surface/depth, and light/darkness.

    All That Rises (16 mm, color, sound, 7 min., 2007)
    Juxtaposition of seeing and sounding, sky and stone and all that’s in between. A short walk in an alleyway, to hear vision sounding images, blessed with light and darkness. Sound by Malcolm Goldstein.

    Never a Foot Too Far, Even (dual 16mm, color, sound, 14 min., 2012)
    “There then all this time where never till then and so far as he could see in every direction when he raised his head and opened his eyes no danger or hope as the case might be of his ever getting out of it. Was he then now to press on regardless now in one direction and now in another or on the other hand stir no more as the case might be that is as that missing word might be which if to warn such as sad or bad for example then of course in spite of all the one and if the reverse then of course the other that is stir no more. Such and much more such the hubbub in his mind so-called till nothing left from deep within but only ever fainter oh to end. No matter how no matter where. Time and grief and self so-called. Oh all to end.”
    – from Stirrings Still, Samuel Beckett

    Appropriating a brief fragment from an old Kung Fu movie, Never a Foot Too Far, Even is an action movie without action. The film focuses on an obscure figure finding himself in a forest path, caught between perpetual motion and stasis. The painterly images fluctuate in the complex shifting of colour and texture, phasing in and out through a polymetric structure. It is a perceptual journey without destination in the turning sphere of ever-changing image and sound, whose beginning and end move in parallel towards a fleeting point of convergence. Sound by Malcolm Goldstein.

  • Still from All that Rises (2007) by Daïchi Saïto

    Still from Chasmic Dance (2004) by Daïchi Saïto

    Daïchi Saïto and Gordon Nelson at the VSW screening