Labyrinth Tales: The Short Films Of Shuji Terayama


The controversial and experimental films of the Japanese provocateur.

Japanese filmmaker, playwright, poet and artist Shuji Terayama is probably best known for his novel, play and film Throw Away Your Books, Run Into The Streets, a call for rebellion and revolution against conformity and the sterility of conventional education. But Terayama’s career was an extensive and impressive one, somewhat underrated in the West – his work ranges from impressive feature films (including the erotic classic Fruits of Passion) to numerous plays, short stories and photographic works. As a leading figure in the Japanese New Wave, his experimental short films are especially interesting and provocative, where strange sexuality, bodily functions and extreme ideas are explored.

Featured here – in chronological order – are several of his shorts. Prepare to be dazzled, challenged and possibly outraged.

The Cage / Ori (1964)

The War of Jan-Ken Pon / Janken Sensō (1971)

Rolla (1974)

Butterfly Dress Pledge / Chōfuku-ki (1974)

Cinema Guide for Young People / Seishōnen no Tame no Eiga Nyūmon (1974)

The Labyrinth Tale / Meikyū-tan (1975)

Les Chants de Maldoror / Marudororu no Uta (1977)

The Eraser / Keshigomu (1977)

The Reading Machine / Shokenki (1977)

Grass Labyrinth / Kusa-meikyū (1983)

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