Takashi Ito: Haunting the Space

“Film is capable of presenting an unrealistic world as a vivid reality and creating a strange space peculiar to media. My major intention is to change the ordinary every day life scenes and draw the audience into a vortex of supernatural illusion be exercising the magic of films” – Takashi Ito, Image Forum, October 1984

Takashi Ito graduated from the Art and Technology Department of Kyushu Institute of Design to become one of Japan’s leading experimental filmmakers. He emerged with his debut SPACY. A short which takes place in a single location: a gym. It collapses our notions of space and time and builds them back up again. It’s the way he disorients you is what keeps the viewer on their toes. By building patterns of movement and changing them. Going from recti-linear motion to circular to parabola. Ito’s preoccupation with texture and using motion, showcases his avant garde tendencies. These types of experiments because it’s akin to capturing a disruption of memory on film.

He would go on to make two shorts by the names of Ghost (1984) and Grim (1985). The use of bulb shutters and time lapse photography. The projections of people’s mouths and hands and images that seem to have had an influence on the film Jacob’s Ladder. Ito’s use of strobes in industrial spaces. It’s a playground littered with phantom images and light ghosts. The use of light is obfuscated and stop motion spasms

These are aesthetics and visuals that should be influencing young horror filmmakers just as much as films like Psycho and Halloween. It shows that horror can be achieved in new, exciting ways that are not built from the traditional jump scare.

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