Thursday, September 29, 2005
|7:30 p.m.||Felice . . . Felice . . .|
Peter Delpeut (The Netherlands, 1998)
Introduced by the Artist
Delpeut journeys into late-nineteenth-century Japan for this narrative feature inspired by and built around a collection of hand-tinted photographs taken by Japanese and European photographers, one of whom, the explorer Felice Beato (played by Johan Leysen), Delpeut adopts as his protagonist. Years after having quit Japan, abandoning his wife O-Kiku, "Felice Felice," as she called him, returns to Nagasaki. Why he left, where O-Kiku has gone "in this pitiless country," and indeed who she is or was become questions around which Delpeut creates a love story and a mystery—a mystery of character. By nature and vocation, Felice is a foreigner, an observer; through him Delpeut muses on the waning relevance of still photography, of exploration, of Western machismo. Like the false Mt. Fuji backdrop employed by photographers at the very base of the mountain, Delpeut's is a Japan of image and imagination: to make Felice . . . Felice . . ., he never left his Amsterdam studio.
• Written by Delpeut. Photographed by Walther Vanden Ende. Still photographs by Felice Beato, Hikoma Ueno, Renjo Shimooka, Baron von Stilfried. With Johan Leysen, Toshie Ogura, Rina Yasima, Yoshi Oida. (99 mins, In Japanese and Dutch with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Fortissimo Films)