Betacam Tape 01
Gateball

Betacam tape 01 gateball
[ 15' 45'' ]

This group who is playing “gateball” is a team of tangerines pickers.
Gateball has become a popular game amongst elderlies. Japanese people deeply love to feel belongingness. Sharing something with others gives them a strong sense of security.
For an elderly who has quitted his job, being involved in a team sport is a (good) occasion for recovering his group identity.

M.Antonioni, E.Antonioni

Betacam Tape 01
Geisha

Betacam tape 01 geisha
[ 09' 12'' ]

In this street in Kyoto, there is a geisha school.
Geisha means artist, and in the past her duty was to sing and dance, while entertaining the teahouses’ guests.
Every day for seven years, these students go to school and, mentored under different tutors, learn how to rouge, how to coif, how to wear the traditional gown and how to gracefully dance.
As the actors of “Noh” theatres, geishas paint their faces white in a gesture that aims at purifying the visage from any expressiveness and phlegm. Their idea of femininity has its roots in one of the most ancient Japanese tradition: the women’s complete dedication to men.
Geishas’ art consisted in making men feel like gods.
Nowadays, geishas are a very well-paid tourist attraction.

Betacam Tape 01
Tokyo Night Stalking 夜は東京のストーカー

Betacam tape 01 tokyo night stalking
[ 09' 53'' ]

Betacam Tape 02
Glass,Metal, Tokyoites.

Betacam tape 02 glass metal tokyoites
[ 00' 49'' ]

Betacam Tape 02
Tokyo Streets, Taxi Streaming

Betacam tape 02 tokyo streets taxi television
[ 15' 34'' ]

Personal technologies does not seem to have any clear boundaries, even on common means of transport media is always present. A taxi ride becomes the pretext for a research on static noise as recorded on a portable television monitor broadcasting talkshows.

Betacam Tape 03
Harajuku

Betacam tape 03 harajuku
[ 27' 09'' ]

Harajuku

This place is called Harajuku and is a space reserved for youngsters.
When traffic is blocked on Sundays, youths inundate the area.
Outside, the social control on the new generation is painstaking: students have to wear a uniform, office workers a common piece of clothing, with a white shirt, and the skirts’ length of female pupils is accurately checked.
Here, on the other hand, everything is permitted.
Harajuku is the youngsters’ paradise.

M.Antonioni, E.Antonioni

Betacam Tape 03
Harajuku pt.II

Betacam tape 03 harajuku ii
[ 08' 32'' ]

Betacam Tape 03
Masses

Betacam tape 01 masses
[ 01' 01'' ]

Crowds rendering in a busy junction in Tokyo.

Betacam Tape 03
Neutral Metropolis

Betacam tape 03 neutral metropolis
[ 01' 23'' ]

Seen from the window of a car, Tokyo becomes an array of grey, concrete buildings. Far from compulsion and exuberance the city becomes a pale showcase of neutral office buildings. A small glimpse into a performance-proof großstadt.

Betacam Tape 03
Shopping

Betacam tape 03 shopping
[ 17' 10'' ]

Betacam Tape 03
Youth

Betacam tape 03 youth
[ 04' 16'' ]

Capturing the faces of the young generation of citizens of Tokyo.

Betacam tape 04
Hotel Room

Betacam tape 04 hotel room
[ 02' 43'' ]

Stalking at the urban features of Tokyo. Lounging in the Kenzo Tange's Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Michelangelo and Enrica Antonioni depict the room as the perfect concealment for a distant look at building roofs, windows and the interiors. Television is always on.

Betacam Tape 05
Human

Betacam tape 05 human
[ 00' 23'' ]

A constant interest for Michelangelo Antonioni was the research on how, in the near future, filmmakers would be able to narrate stories. When, due to technological innovations, words, emotions and general social interactions will be drastically transformed, there will be the need to learn how Cinema could capture humans again.

Betacam Tape 05
Informal Pachinko

Pachinko informal
[ 02' 19'' ]

The director Michelangelo Antonioni shooting and coordinating amid addicted pachinko players.

Betacam Tape 05
Pachinko Mild

Betacam tape 05 pachinko mild
[ 18' 25'' ]

PACHINKO
On the strength of the public attendance at all hours, one would say that Pachinko is today’s biggest Japanese passion.
The Pachinko is a one-armed bandit, a sort of vertical pinball machine.
The Pachinko rooms are packed with a wide range of people. It is both a collective and a loner game. Everyone plays by himself, without looking at the hand-in-hand neighbours.
It is said that Pachinko’s turnover exceeds the combined major Japanese department stores’ revenue.
The environment resembles the one of a large laboratory; players seem to be working on an assembly line.
The sense of the scenery is an intense, absorbed endeavour.
The art of this game differentiates from the one of our pinball machines. Once he tosses the little ball, the Western player tries to gradually improve its crossing, while it is the opening flash to determine the Japanese player’s whole game; if this is precise, the little ball will free a deluge of other marbles, and one will either restart or swap his win with a quite modest reward.

M.Antonioni, E.Antonioni

Betacam Tape 05
Pachinko Raw

Betacam tape 05 pachinko raw
[ 05' 06'' ]

An extended take inside a pachinko game center.

Betacam Tape 05
Tsukuba

Betacam tape 05 tsukuba
[ 10' 37'' ]

Betacam Tape 05
United States of Sony

Betacam tape 05 united states of sony
[ 07' 41'' ]

A never-before-seen footage taken inside the Sony factory. During their visit to the multinational company, the production areas were shot aseptically. A space illuminated by neon lights, and populated by specialized workers dressed in neutral work uniforms who conduct their jobs with surgical precision, surrounded by screens and electronic instruments, instantly transformed into an aesthetic strain of models and tools.
The architecture, completely devoid of recongnizable elements, organized according to rigid work schedules and illuminated bright as day in contemporary offices dominated by television screens, may well represent a portion of the social and political future Antonioni intended to document. How is it possible, in fact, to create a film in a moment in which production and technological development are drastically reducing interpersonal relationships? How is it possible to express the need to translate a synthetic and non-human sensation onto film?

Betacam Tape 06
Capsule Hotel Surveillance

Betacam tape 06 capsule hotel surveillance
[ 05' 11'' ]

Recording Sleep-Awake pattern inside a capsule hotel. Michelangelo Antonioni interpreter plays the guest inside the small industrially produced sleeping pod. Surveillance cameras, loafers and tv lights substitute traditional hotel room design tendencies of mimicking (mocking) relax environments.

Betacam Tape 06
Gameplay

Betacam tape 06 gameplay
[ 00' 52'' ]

Young students, during their leisure time off school, playing video games.

Betacam Tape 06
VCR purchase

Vcr purchase
[ 00' 36'' ]

Betacam Tape 06
Video Restaurant

Betacam tape 06 video restaurant
[ 01' 51'' ]

Food Streaming on a game-geared restaurant table.

Betacam Tape 07
Akira Kurosawa

Betacam tape 07 akira kurosawa
[ 02' 30'' ]

Michelangelo Antonioni visit Akira Kurosawa. The legendary directors meet during the shooting of "Ran" as they exchanges ideas over the preliminary cut of the movie.

Betacam Tape 07
Dinner Attire

Betacam 07 : dinner attire
[ 18' 46'' ]

Betacam tape 07
Personal Lenses

Betacam tape 07 personal lenses
[ 00' 43'' ]

A brief moment of "portrait" fun. Mrs. Antonioni engages the crew of betacam operators in a video versus photo camera duel.

Betacam Tape 07
Tea

Betacam 07 : tea
[ 03' 00'' ]

Seven Betacam Tapes
Tokyo

“Tokyo is the core of Japan. A stack of buildings where the most diverse styles coexist in a frenzied balance; the Buddhist Temple or the Shinto Shrine, the Imperial Palace, the futuristic structures and the most sophisticated urban solutions.

In Tokyo, you do not encounter the social truth in the city centre; this essentially does not exist. The city revolves around a ring that is forbidden to everyone: the area encircling the Imperial Palace. Tokyo reality is recognisable at every corner. It is astonishing to highlight how each region is characterised by a peculiar spatial organisation. Japanese people are specialised in creating a little world inside their homes – as in the long-standing “Bonsai” art, where a tiny jar contains an entire landscape with mountain chains, rivers and woods.

Tokyo has arisen from a complex of ancient urban centres. Nowadays, the city directly identifies with its own inhabitants. Rome without Romans remains Rome, New York without New Yorkers remains New York. Tokyo without Tokyoites just vanishes.

The images you will see are stories of a journey that have been shot following one sole standard: more than places, I have looked at people, today’s Japanese.”

Michelangelo Antonioni, Enrica Antonioni
Introduction notes for “Viaggio in Giappone”
“7 Betacam Tapes” in Venice: Works by Michelangelo and Enrica Antonioni

This original project was born out of the interest raised by a 1985 television interview to Michelangelo Antonioni by Gian Luigi Rondi, during which the director makes reference to a research visit inside the Sony video camera factory. Antonioni returns to a factory after shooting Red Desert (1964), and discovers an entirely renewed and unrecognizable industrial environment. The dual relationship between the production of visual technologies and the industrial spaces that house their production lines represents the culmination of an investigation aimed at exploring the confrontation between the director and technological development.

The material that will be put on display consists of seven betacam cassettes. During their stay at the Grand Prince Hotel Aksaska, designed by Kenzo Tange, Michelangelo and Enrica Antonioni were given a new video camera as a gift: the betacam. This novel electronic format recorded the synthesis between the director’s perception and the social and urban reality of Japan. The capital city Tokyo was not new to cinematographic attention, as testified by films like Tokyo Ga (1985) by Wim Wenders and Sans Soleil (1983), by Chris Marker, and was now being shot through a new source of interest. This is precisely the material, filmed in a spontaneous and informal style, that became the object of a documentary entitled Viaggio in Giappone (Trip to Japan), later changed to Un po’ di Giappone (1990) due to the edits requested by the production company.

Transmission of the seven betacam cassettes is intended as a means for encountering and exploring contemporary life. The work is connected with the experimental research of Michelangelo and Enrica Antonioni and private moments of their lives, and cannot be analyzed in a didactic manner. “Japan 1984 – 7 Betacam Tapes” demonstrates how it is possible to participate in a dialogue with a film director, above and beyond the traditional means to experience film. The seven films will be accompanied by a final editing of Un viaggio in Giappone, along with its shortened version Un po’ di Giappone.

During their journey, the directors’ attention was mostly focused on comparing the free, identifying moments of the new generations with the strict, rigid controls exerted by official realities. The couple films and analyzes subcultures, youthful influences connected with the rockabilly and punk movements, the powerful addictions caused by increasingly repetitive marketing strategies and meeting places characterized by games like pachinko. Their trip is transformed into a moment of vivacious ethnographic research, leaving the filmmakers’ experimental and technological anxieties to the brief, never-before-seen footage taken inside the Sony factory. During their visit to the multinational company, the production areas were shot aseptically. A space illuminated by neon lights, and populated by specialized workers dressed in neutral work uniforms who conduct their jobs with surgical precision, surrounded by screens and electronic instruments, instantly transformed into an aesthetic strain of models and tools.

The architecture, completely devoid of recongnizable elements, organized according to rigid work schedules and illuminated bright as day in contemporary offices dominated by television screens, may well represent a portion of the social and political future Antonioni intended to document. How is it possible, in fact, to create a film in a moment in which production and technological development are drastically reducing interpersonal relationships? How is it possible to express the need to translate a synthetic and non-human sensation onto film?

Marzia Marzorati

Japan 1984
7 Betacam Tapes
Michelangelo Antonioni
Enrica Antonioni

Curated by:
Stefano Francia di Celle
Marzia Marzorati


Graphic Design:
Federico Scudeler

Digital platform:
Display.xxx

Video Project Manager:
Alvin Mojetta

Film acquisition:
Ranuccio Sodi, Showbiz

Production:
Hi! Production

Belligerent Eyes 5k Confinement
is a project by:
Luigi Alberto Cippini
in collaboration with:
Giovanni Fantoni Modena



For any press enquiry please email to press@belligerenteyes.com

To download:
Belligerent Eyes press kit - italian
Belligerent Eyes press kit - english