Strangely Atmospheric: the videos of Shiho Kano

James Benning meets David Lynch?

Earlier this week, I caught a Balagan Film Series event compiling a variety of Japanese experimental films spanning several decades. Among the films shown was Shiho Kano‘s “Rocking Chair” which so intrigued me with it’s evocative sense of mono no aware that I had then look for more of Kano’s work on the Internet. Unhurriedly observational, mundane yet subtly evocative or suggestive, some of Kano’s films, like “Rocking Chair” and “Rosecolored Flower”, seem to have an understated mindfulness or even thoughtfulness imbuing them (or there’s at least the possibility of the viewer finding/feeling that). That calls to mind the work of James Benning, although from what I’ve seen, Kano seems to be focused on interior environments, in contrast to Benning’s landscapes. The odd soundscapes and slightly eerie manipulation of images reminds me of scenes from some of David Lynch’s films.

I find that experimental films are very much hit or miss (mostly the latter for me), but Shiho Kano sets and hits her own targets.

Here’s James Benning’s film Ten Skies.

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