Thursday, September 18, 2014

Film Capsule: Chris Marker's The Koumiko Mystery (1965)

The Koumiko Mystery (1965)
Directed by Chris Marker

Shot in and around Tokyo during the 1964 Olympic Games, this medium-length feature from the pioneering cinematic essayist subtly shifts from a broad view of the festivities to an intimate examination of a twenty something Japanese woman whose emotional ennui and ethical inquisitiveness reflect a postwar national climate of reappraisal and progression. Alternating between Marker’s observations of and amidst the cultural commotion and the title character’s analytical inquiries on identity and desire, the film casually accumulates a reflexive rhythm of both personal and political portent. Indicative of the director’s cross-continental curiosity, as well as his ever-evolving ability to locate the universal in the highly personal, this portrait of youthful self-reckoning utilizes its inherent ambiguities to propose social and psychological inquiries which reach across national and generational borders. (August 27, 9pm at BAM’s Marker retro, double-featured with Matta) [The L]

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