A Persistent Vision: The Films of Tatsu Aoki, 1981-1997 | Chicago Reader

A Persistent Vision: The Films of Tatsu Aoki, 1981-1997

The first in a series of four programs collecting short films by Chicago independent Tatsu Aoki, this is by turns serious and charming, and occasionally both. In the whimsical Dreamworks (1983), a narrator recites a parody of Freud that analyzes the dreams of cats against abstract images that seem to represent those dreams and shots from a cat's point of view, moving about a room close to the floor. Rapturous (1984) superimposes reversed and inverted images of lights in an underground garage, resulting in a mildly hypnotic kaleidoscope. Two shorter films explore the paradoxes inherent in image making, a major theme in Aoki's later work. In AnDee's Painting (1984) a painter works on a reddish portrait from a bluish slide projection, adding blue to his canvas. The very short Number Film: Number 2: Sewing (1982), in which close-ups of sewing are intercut with countdown leader, is especially compelling: the intercut strands couldn't look more different, but the repetitiveness of the countdown begins to parallel the act of sewing, producing a neat comparison between two processes. Also on the program: Number Film: Part One: Yoga Exercise (1982); Daily Chronicle (1984); Timing Tape Twice (1984).

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