Dreams Of Cinema, Dreams Of Tokyo

Directed and narrated by Yoshishige Yoshida (Eros + Massacre), this thoughtful, provocative essay (1997, 52 min.) considers the work of Gabriel Veyre, a camera operator for the Lumiere brothers who traveled around the world at the end of the 19th century and brought back notable footage of Mexico and Japan. Yoshida’s highly speculative account alternates Veyre footage with contemporary views of similar locations and includes some fictionalized dramatizations. Focusing on the colonialist connotations of filming foreigners, Yoshida notes that Veyre’s relatively unexotic Japanese footage was coolly received in France. Also on the program, Nelly Kaplan’s Abel Gance: Yesterday and Tomorrow (1963, 26 min.) digests the career of the French director (Napoleon), drawing on his recorded interviews and emphasizing his frenetic editing and multiple images. Both films have English voice-overs, a method that works better with Yoshida’s film. (JR)

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