Screenings of A Closed Off Man (March 2022)

As promised, we completed our film A Closed Off Man (籠城) in March 2022 at Komaba. After premiere, we had screenings on the 26th and 27th of March at the auditorium in the Administration Building (学際交流ホール). On March 30th and 31st, we used the Lecture Theater (Room 900) which appears as Ethics Hall (倫理講堂) in the film itself. This hall is known for the speech by Yukio Mishima in 1968. It is also where the teachers and students of the First Higher School listened to Emperor Hirohito’s August 15, 1945 broadcast.

Following each screening there was an approximately one hour Q&A period. We talked mainly about the making of this film, such as arrangements of school songs, voice directing, and the distance between researchers and research objects. There must be totally new topics even for staff.

So many comments, criticisms, and questions have been raised. “It evoked the problem of the Komaba dormitory abolition.” “People spoke too quickly.” “What is the intention of bigender polyphony?” “Why not treat the student movements of the 1960s?” “Isn’t it just a case of identity politics?” “The whole message was not clear.” “The meaning of the work is not persuasive.” “It was a dreamlike experience….”

Wishing to hear immediate reactions coming from each sensibility and its conflicts, I feel the necessity of separating the reception of the work with that of the voices (it might be because I am a serious Blanchot reader). Voices which whisper and echo in this film, like “Record correctly,” cannot be limited to the narrow Qs and As regarding the fluid and fragile identities because they never come from the self-consciousness which believes artlessly in reachable others.

Now we are preparing to make English subtitles. I look forward to developing conversations on multiple topics through A Closed Off Man.

*I would like to thank Takanari Fukuta, Midori Kubota, Masuhisa Nakamura, and Yasuhiro Morinaga who helped us a lot to improve the sound environment of both buildings.

Reported by Hanako Takayama (EAA Project Assistant Professor)