Stormy Images: Elemental Kinetics in the Recent Films of Takashi Makino (2018–2021)

In: Studies in World Cinema
Kaya Turan Doctoral Student, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA

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This article examines the movements of the elements (water, air, fire, and earth) in the recent (2018–2021) films of Japanese experimental filmmaker Takashi Makino. It proposes that Makino’s unique style of filmmaking – which consists of layering thousands of moving images of the natural world on top of each other – expresses and encompasses elemental tensions between form and formlessness, clarity and obscurity, and identity and transformation. Taking the storm as an ecological force which foregrounds elemental kinetics, Makino’s films are analyzed in their capacity to disclose natural motion. This allows for a renewed conception of the elemental, understood as process and flow rather than individual units. An elemental politics of the storm emerges, which calls for the fostering of productive and complex movement rather than the stasis of conservation.

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