One of the most awaited event of the seventh edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival is without any doubt the masterclass of Takahashi Hiroshi, master of Japanese horror movies. Takahashi, besides being co-worker of the University of Waseda, is the screenwriter of the historical trilogy The Ring (Ringu). The audience will have the pleasure to assist to an unmissable two-hour masterclass and to the showing of his last work, Kyū shihaisha no Kyaroru (2012). Inspired by the Lovecraft-esque song “Carol of the Old Ones”, it is a meta-cinematographic mystery and a parody of cinematographic school, capturing the essence of cinematographic creation.
Takahashi Hiroshi was born in 1959 in Chiba and graduated in 1985 in Russian literature at the University of Waseda, one of the most prestigious of the country. Always interested in cinema, during his studies he took part in the cinema club of the University. In 1984 he realized the 8mm-short film The Night has one thousand eyes while in 1990 he appeared for the first time as a playwright in a TV series directed by Morisaki Azuma. Some years later he wrote the script of Don’t Look Up (1996), which marked the beginning of the fellowship with the director Nakata Hideo. In 2004, his debut writing and directing the horror Sodom the Killer, and The Sylvian Experiments in 2010.
The saga of The Ring is a cult movie which revolutionized horror cinema of the new millennium. Even if it is deeply linked to the Japanese tradition of restless spirits it has been able to cross the cultural borders to become a global success. Takahashi perfectly combines traditional elements with the obsession of technology typical of our days. Ringu gave a new representation of the relationship between spirits and living.
In a society dependent on electronics, the choice of associating the curse with the video tape created a real modern topos. After the movie release this new dimension of the grim begins to be part of our collective imagination. Who does not know about the spirit of Sadako, the girl with long black hair and a white dress that comes out of the television?
Special thanks to: Waseda University of Tokyo and Venice International University (VIU).