This March London’s Tate Modern will host a programme of Shuji Terayama films, Who can say that we should not live like dogs?. Curated by Thomas Dylan Eaton, there will be showings of Terayama’s most famous films, including Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Pastoral Hide and Seek, and the classic Throw Away Your Books, Let’s Hit the Streets.
In recent years, with books published in English by Steven C. Ridgely and Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei, among others. Though academic interest in the post-2000 generation has been more limited so far, Angura remains highly attractive, perhaps precise because it is quite “European” in its experimentation and influences. Terayama also featured in the BFI’s “Shinjuku Diaries” programme of films last summer.
It’s a slight pity there do not seem to be any talk events scheduled and the emphasis is on screenings of film works. Terayama was a polymath and the films were just one way he expressed himself, alongside poetry, books and of course theatre, including the Shigaigeki “city theatre” of Knock and so on.
“This love of dropping out is not going to be possible in every era,” said Terayama. That was in 1967 and it certainly rings true for the post-Bubble generation of prolonged economic uncertainty and cultural malaise.
You can also read the curator’s essay on Emperor Tomato Ketchup online here.