Close Up

19 - 20 September 2019: The Liberated Film Club Presents Maiko Endo


In the first of a new series, The Liberated Film Club welcomes the Tokyo based filmmaker Maiko Endo to present her two feature films, Kuichisan and Technology. Director Maiko Endo and cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Kuichisan, Good Time) will be present to speak about both films.

Declared by its cinematographer Sean Price Williams as his favourite film to have worked on, this UK premiere of director Maiko Endo's Kuichisan in a 35mm presentation comes to Close-Up via the Liberated Film Club. We are delighted to welcome the director Maiko Endo and Sean Price Williams who will be present to speak about the film.

Maiko Endo, 2011, 76 min, 35mm

"The densely constructed, fascinatingly mysterious Kuichisan, relying as it does on music, feeling and private meanings, is a tough movie to talk about, and that automatically makes it interesting in a film world in which so many films can be reduced to their log lines."- Filmmaker Magazine

“Endo packs together richly textured 16-millimeter images (shot by Sean Price Williams), freely switching between color and black and white. Themes of displacement, or ritual or spiritual search, play second fiddle to the force of the photography, around which swirl experimental jams, a folk tale told in voice-over and talismanic bits of dialogue.” – New York Times

Based in the forgotten, cross-cultured town of Koza, in Okinawa, Japan, this film follows a 10-year-old boy who looks like a monk and drifts amidst his own beliefs. As he searches for an outlet for his spirituality, he encounters the magical force of Nature and the history behind the creation of a place that is not quite American yet not Japanese. The boy, who seems to live on the outskirts of an already outsider society, likes to get a cola float and watch the American soldiers get their tacos at the tacos stand. People around the town prepare for summertime festivals, welcoming ancestors and ghosts. A gang of abandoned children, barefoot and homeless, wreaks havoc amid the ruins of the once prosperous city. As reality seems to melt and drift, the boy sips his cola float and waits for the end of the world.

Following the UK premiere of Maiko Endo's Kuichisan, we are delighted to host the UK premiere of her most recent film, Technology. Endo will be present for the screening, in conversation with Sean Price Williams.

Maiko Endo, 2013, 73 min

She – a child from moon – is kidnapped by a divine, invisible light. She is taken to the land of the kidnapper, Earth. She drifts; her translucent, alien appearance draws the eyes of the people of the land, the people do not know from where she has come, but her smell intrigues them. The people of Earth search for a rare, sacred plant, originally used as an offering to their gods and consumed by participants in ritual sacrifices. But the land of Earth no longer sustains the plant and the trading of it has become a dangerous game. The film follows the journey of She and Loverboy – a dealer of the sacred flower’s seeds. Led by the invisible force of the kidnapper, she is soon caught in a delusion of their strangely automatic, lonely honeymoon. She looks at the moon, and, not knowing from where she has come, dreams of her home. She wonders if this new life on Earth is exile – or escape.

Maiko Endo was born in Finland and grew up in Tokyo. A violinist by training, Endo has composed music for films and artistic installations. She directed her debut film Kuichisan and it won the best world documentary at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in 2012. Currently she lives in Tokyo working on her next feature – planning to be shot in Tokyo, 2020.

Sean Price Williams is a New York-based cinematographer, known for producing some of the most colourful and thrilling images in independent cinema today. He shoots both film and digital across categories of narrative, documentary, and experimental cinema. Some of Sean’s notable recent credits include Her Smell, Marjorie Prime, and Good Time.

The Liberated Film Club is curated by Winstanley Schtinter. Schtinter has been described as an artist by the Daily Mail and as an exorcist by the Daily Star. According to the writer and filmmaker Iain Sinclair he is "the last avant-garde provocateur". On October 31st in 2019 he will present his most ambitious work yet: The Festival of Great Britain (and Northern Ireland) at The White Hotel in Manchester.