The Films of Daichi Saito
Filmmaker in attendance!
Sponsored by Seattle University Film Studies
Co-presented with EXcinema. Buy Tickets Now >
Before turning to experimental cinema, filmmaker Daïchi Saïto was a student of literature and philosophy in the U.S. and of Hindi and Sanskrit in India, and the influence of these interests can be detected throughout his transfixing body of film work. Saïto’s proclivity for constructing his films out of single frames or clusters of fleeting images, punctuated by black leader, creates an alternation between vision and darkness (and often between sound and silence as well) that suggests both poetic meter and a philosophical contemplation of diametric opposites. And his most recent films, which have found him joining forces with the musicians Malcolm Goldstein and Jason Sharp to create extraordinary inter-layerings of sound and image, achieve a trance-like quality reminiscent of certain forms of Indian music. These collaborations with Goldstein and Sharp in particular are true tours-de-force whose uncannily pulsating rhythms affect the body as much as the eye or ear, and variously suggest the organic mechanisms of breathing, blinking, or the beating of the heart.
Originally from Japan, but resident in Montréal for more than a decade, Saïto has become a force to be reckoned with since turning to avant-garde cinema, not only as a filmmaker but also as a curator, a teacher, an author (his first book, “Moving the Sleeping Images of Things Towards the Light,” was published in 2013), and as the co-founder of Montréal artist collective Double Negative, through which he has helped to trigger a renewed interest in celluloid in the city’s filmmaking community. Saïto himself is deeply committed to working on film, and this not-to-be-missed program will include work in Super-8mm, 16mm (both single and dual projection), and 35mm.
–Jed Rapfogel, Anthology Film Archives
“Whether in the cinema or the gallery, his every work seems to aspire toward a singular plane of expression wherein the unstable material reality of the celluloid image (Saïto works variously in 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm, but always on film) meets Saïto’s intricate conceptual designs, which often advance along musical-mathematical coordinates.” – Jordan Cronk, CINEMA SCOPE
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BLIND ALLEY AUGURY (2006, 3 min, Super-8mm, silent)
GREEN FUSE (2008, 3 min, Super-8mm, silent)
CHIASMUS (2003, 8 min, 16mm, b&w)
CHASMIC DANCE (2004, 6 min, 16mm, b&w, silent)
ALL THAT RISES (2007, 7 min, 16mm. Sound: Malcolm Goldstein)
TREES OF SYNTAX, LEAVES OF AXIS (2009, 10 min, 35mm. Sound: Malcolm Goldstein)
NEVER A FOOT TOO FAR, EVEN (2012, 14 min, 16mm dual projection. Sound: Malcolm Goldstein)
ENGRAM OF RETURNING (2015, 19 min, 35mm. Sound: Jason Sharp)