Goshogaoka

Photographer and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart is fascinated by the structure and rhythm of daily routine, and the subject of this 1997 film—the practice of a high school girls' basketball team in a small Japanese town—is most appropriate, focusing on a submissive segment of a rule-bound society that's enamored of rituals. (Lockhart's still photographs of team members, on exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, sharply underscore the differences between her two chosen media.) Each of the film's six segments uses the same camera angle to capture the uniformed girls doing a different drill, yet one girl might slow down in her jog or miss the ball while dribbling, minute deviations that add a jolt of individuality. Lockhart's work owes much to the structuralist cinema of Michael Snow and James Benning, which replaces conventional narrative with photographic stasis, but in execution it's like minimalist music, dramatizing the unpredictable shifts and interruptions in a sea of repetition. It might put you to sleep—but then you'd miss all the surprises. 65 min.

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