Programme 2018

Commensal

Director: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel

documentary

Section: The New Medium III: Multi-screen Cinema

Country: USA, Japan | Year: 2017

Language(s): Japanese | Time: 32 mins

Synopsis

One screen reflects on the discomfiting act of cannibalism through the prism of Issei Sagawa, and his mysterious relationship with his brother, Jun Sagawa. The other plays back 8mm home movies of the brothers as children, growing up in Japan. In 1981, Issei Sagawa, then a 32-year old student at the Sorbonne in Paris, was arrested after being found emptying two suitcases containing the remains of his Dutch classmate, Renée Hartevelt, into a lake. Charged with rape, murder and cannibalism, and declared legally insane, Issei Sagawa returned to Japan, and has been a free man since. 

Director's Bio

Verena Paravel (b. 1971) and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (b. 1966) collaborate as visual anthropologists in the Sensory Ethnography Lab, which they founded at Harvard University. Most of Paravel and Castaing-Taylor's collaborations use film, video, and installation, rather than the written word. Their work conjugates art's negative capability with an ethnographic, scientific attachment to the flux of life. Their work has shown at Documenta 14, Venice Biennale, MoMA, British Museum, Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Whitney Museum of American Art, Berlin Kunsthalle, Whitechapel Gallery, and ICA, London. Their films and videos have screened at Berlin, Locarno, New York, Toronto, Venice and other film festivals.