ONAN (1963)

Director: Takahiko Iimura
Year: 1963
Time: 8 mins
Music: Yasunao Tone
Eye of Sound: Apparently Iimura's first experiment with 16mm film, Onan was also his first work to receive wider international attention. A tale of auto-erotic imprisonment, it elegantly explores the violent relationship  between a young man and the images he brings to life through his unbridled desire. This deranging and unbalanced relationship, ultimately predicated on isolation and an inability to communicate, implies the destruction of these images and eventually results in the delivery of a strange oval form that seems to have been born from, or stand for, his seed.  Knowing not what to do with this form of himself, he hands it over to a young girl who, like Tamar, drops it to the ground. The noise layers that accompanied the young man's self-exertion, created by Yasunao Tone (member of the original Fluxus crew and co-founder of Group Ongaku but mostly known for his later works with CDs), are then suspended and he is left, alone and exhausted, in the open, abandoning us with a silent and poignant commentary on the aporias of the myths of self-sufficiency and sexual liberation.
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