Anticipation of the Night/Takahiko Iimura: 60s Experiments
You may ask yourself, “What are these strange rectangular objects I see before me?” when confronted with the VHS-only releases of Stan Brakhage’s Anticipation of the Night and a collection of short films by Japanese experimentalist Takahiko Iimura, but these previously unavailable works are well worth a little outmoded hassle. A lyrical masterwork concerned with the nature of perception, Anticipation (1958) still qualifies as essential viewing (and cannot be found on Criterion’s excellent two-disc Brakhage set). The Iimura cassette offers four films made in the early 1960s, prior to the director’s move to New York, and includes the extreme close-up erotica of Ai (Love) (music by Yoko Ono) and the playfully ironic On Eye Rape.
Arguably David Cronenberg’s most accessible film, this 1986 remake effectively translated the director’s body horror obsessions into a mainstream idiom. This two-disc reissue features a previously unseen alternate ending, a trio of production documentaries (entitled “Larva,” “Pupa,” and “Metamorphosis”), deleted scenes, test footage of makeup and visual effects, and a full-length commentary by Cronenberg.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 18, 2005