Looking for Basho

Here is a short film recently made by Hailstone, Lawrence (Jiko) Barrow. When you have watched it, if you have a comment or question for Jiko, please post it here through the ‘Leave a Reply’ box. 日本語でもいいです。Enjoy it!


9 Responses to “Looking for Basho”

  1. 慈光さん、難しいテーマだと思うのですが、上手く表現されていると感じました。「やがて死ぬ けしきは見えず 蝉の声」とは、禅の境地でもあるかと思います。じねんのこころで生きることが難しいうつつ世を生きる私にとって、欲すれば遠ざかる然(ZEN=しかり)の刹那をフィルムに垣間見ました。とても良かったですよ!

    ひれ伏せし 橋のたもとに 扇ぎ止む (一興)


    • Stephen’s Eng. translation of comment from Anonymous (Okiharu Maeda) above…

      Although this is a difficult theme, I think you treated it admirably. Basho’s famous haiku, ‘Knowing that it will finally, certainly expire – cicada cries’, is to me the ultimate in Zen sayings. For me to live with a true heart of ‘Jinen’ (the Natural Way) is far from easy, and your film gave me a glimpse of moments of seeking that Way and finding that, although one may deeply desire it, it continues to recede from one’s grasp. Excellent work!
      Inspired by the final scene, I wrote:

      Prostrating myself (before him):
      at the foot of the bridge
      my fanning stops.


  2. Thanks so much Tito for posting this to your site

  3. Beautifully crafted film. Well done, Lawrence and team!

  4. Very interesting piece. Well done.

  5. Kawaguchi Mari Says:

    I enjoyed your film.

  6. John Dougill Says:

    Intriguing and poetic… Great policy choice to go for black and white, voiceless and with classical music. The first half was particularly striking, I felt… Congratulations!
    In the interests of opening up discussion, I’d like to raise one or two points of clarification. Why is there so much mouthing in the video? Given the decision to go for a wordless approach, I felt it would have been enhanced by the effect of silence, rather than the appearance of talking. Secondly, there’s an almost silent comedy effect in the manner in which the modern tourist begs for Basho’s signature: was that an intentional change of mood? And thirdly, if I may, given Okiharu’s wonderful explication above, I wonder why you didn’t subtitle the poem in English for non-Japanese viewers who might have found enlightenment of sorts in the meaning of the verse?

    • Thanks John — due to the time constraints of 4hrs shooting time we had to improvise alot .. I agree better not to have the mouthing
      Original script had sound and subtitles in English but we were also limited to only 4hrs editing time- so it was a little rushed.
      Purposely used the 2nd part to contrast with the earlier B/W part — given more time I could have done better.
      Thanks for your comment — looking forward to making another short , was thinking about LOOKING FOR SHIKI!


  7. Evocative b&w. The music fitted well. The atmosphere was very otherworldly – broken somewhat with the mouthing, however.
    I agree that subtitles of the poem would have enhanced the richness for those of us who did not catch the written poetry.
    For me, the break into colour and interaction with the supplicant
    was jarring. I am wondering what direction could have been taken to
    give the contrast you were seeking, yet keep the evocative quality?
    Congratulatins on this achievement, with the time constraints.

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