video, 16:39, 2016
A tired monster sets off on a journey through a not quite abandoned hotel.
Skiland is a vast concrete building in the rural hills of the Japanese island of Shikoku. Built as a grass-skiing resort, it is now a crumbling trout farm and a hotel, most of the time inhabited just by the couple who own it.
I was overwhelmed by its character. Like a tired giant Skiland was resting at the end of a path leading into the woods. If I were a filmmaker, I’d make a moody documentary about it, I thought. After a while I remembered (and each time it is a complete surprise to me) that an artist may be whatever he decides to be. Scientist, philosopher, farmer. Pretending to be a filmmaker is not even such a far stretch.
In the resulting film I joined a documentary look at the heavily layered building with the traditional puppeteering art of bunraku.
dancers: Eri Itoi, Rufus Ward
sound: twilight song Yuyake Koyake, slowed down to 6.3%
hyoshigi player: Nobutaka Kawano
taiko drummer: Migla
producer: Keiko Kudo / KAIR
Shot on location with the kind permission of Hiroyo Jinaka and Hitoshi Jinaka – Skiland, Kamiyama, Tokushima prefecture, Japan