The eighth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival will host as special guest the Japanese movie and theatre director Shūtarō Oku. He will present a 10-minute trailer, which is a selection of his stage videos realized for the nō plays from 2000 to 2018. His complete short movie La la la don (2017, 10’) will also be screened, together with the preview of his new film, Nigorie (2018). This last movie, in particular, was shot between the city of Tōkyō and Venice and the last scenes were taken right before the beginning of the 8th edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival.
Shūtarō Oku was born in Tokyo in 1975. He studied Japanese Literature at Waseda University, growing up in a literate environment as the son of an expert in Junichirō Tanizaki and the nephew of a Buddhist encyclopaedias compiler. He begun making films starring personalities from the music and theatre world such as Kankurō Kudō, Matsuo Suzuki, Sadao Abe and Shidō Nakamura, last of whom whom he met during university. His debut as a filmmaker was in 2000 with Kai-on, followed in 2004 by Aka sen, starring kabuki actor Shidō Nakamura. 2006 is the year of one of his best movie, Cain’s Descendant, presented at Berlin Festival. Between his well-known feature films there are USB (2009) and Typhoon Family (2014); his last work is Asura Girl (2017), based on Production I.G. and Clamp’s anime Blood-C. He is currently working on his 13th film, Blood-Club Dolls (2018). Oku’s cinema focuses mainly on outcasts, outlaws and prostitutes, whom he portrays in their dramatic environment through a mix of radical social critique and nonsensical humour.
Along with his career in films, Oku has become well-known in theatre, having worked on more than a thousand stage videos, as stage visual planner, for kabuki, nō but also for musical and contemporary theatre. He also collaborated as artistic director for Takarazuka Revue plays. As theatrical director, he directed the 3D theatrical adaptation of Ghost In The Shell (2015) and the recent The Legend of Heroes (2017). He was one of the first people who use 3D visual effects for the theatre. His idiosyncratic style, which blurs the edge between Japanese traditional imagery and hyper-technological aesthetics, makes him an outstanding personality among the contemporary Japanese film and theatre scenes.
His works as film director are Kai-on (2000, 74’), The Labor Cop (2002, 91’), Japanese Naked Tribe (2003, 72’), Aka sen (2004, 90’), Cain’s Descendant (2006, 90’), which was presented at The Berlin International Film Festival, Death of Domomata (2007, 90’), USB (2009, 90’), Typhoon Family (2014, 81’), Seiza (2014, 93’), Asura Girl (2017, 89’) and he is currently working on Blood-Club Dolls (2018). He is well-known as stage visual planner for Takarazuka revue like 1789-Les Amants de la Bastille (2015), The Rose of Versailles. For Kabuki: Genso shin kūkai (2017) and Japanese Fables (2018). He also worked on musicals as Mozart (2002 – 2016), Elisabeth (2004 – 2017) or Lady Bess (2014, 2017) and on Modern Japanese Theatre with The Bee (2014), Egg. Nō: Kumano (2017), Funa benkei (2017). As theatre director, he worked on Persona series (2011~2016, 2D/3D), Blood-C: The Last Mind (2015, 2D), Ghost in the Shell: Ghost is Alive (2015, 3D), Terror in Resonance (2016, 3D) and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (2017, 3D).