October 18, 2023
One night, a man’s car goes off the road. His life flashes before him, as the synopsis of “Iizuna Fair” says, “In the midst of the frenzy night, a man finds himself lost in the crevasse of time.” Dreamlike scenes unfold in filmmaker Sumito Sakakibara’s poignant short film as it pans across the anonymous protagonist’s buried memories, inhibitions, and unkept promises, as he realizes, “he was the phantom.”
In hand-painted frames that merge gradually from one scene to the next, Sakakibara taps into the nuances of nostalgia, human experience, regret, grief, and what it means to truly be alive. Seemingly unrelated scenes unfold simultaneously, dipping in and out of different time periods and events, centering around a fair that has come to the town of Iizuna. Watch from beginning to end, and you’ll witness how Sakakibara composed the film into an infinite loop.
“Iizuna Fair” was commissioned by Nagano Prefectural Art Museum, where it is currently on view on a massive 26-meter-wide, L-shaped screen, and you can also watch the animation above through December 15. See more on the artist’s Vimeo and website.
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