Ai (Love)



1962, 16mm(blow up from Reg.8mm), B&W, Music:Yoko Ono

Japanese



"10minutes of the act of creation itself run through close up and magnifying lenses. " (T.I.)


"I have seen a number of Japanese avantgarde films at the Brussels international Experimental Film Festival, at Cannes, and at other places. Of all those films, Iimura's LOVE stands out in its beauty and originality, a film poem, with no usual pseudo-surrealist imagery. Closest comparison would be Brakhage's LOVING or Jack Smith's FLAMING CREATURES. LOVE is a poetic and sensuous exploration of the body・・・fluid, direct, beautiful"
Jonas Mekas, THE FILM CULTURE,1966, New York


"His very successful celebration of love, called LOVE , also has a narrative flow, in spite of the disorientation produced by body-close-up. LOVE is a warm and beautiful, an aesthetically aware film - made of close-ups for two people exploring the orifices of one another with toes, tongues, knees, breasts into ears, assholes, cunts, cracks, folds, etc. The only other film I've seen like this was GEOGRAPHY OF THE BODY by Willard Maas. But where, GEOGRAPHY is a cold documentary of the body mechanic, Love was made with involvement and feeling."
Carl Linder, THE FILM CULTURE, Spring 1967, New York



"This is one of the most beautiful and most introspective films ever made.・・・ Iimura has managed in this film to show us also the ugly that we are not aware of, while at the same time bringing to us an acceptance of it. Sometimes he even transforms it to beauty."
Peter Gidal, Ark, Spring, 1970, London

"LOVE , an Iimura film, 8mm and 16mm B/W 10minutes, using lenses of extremely short focal length and with magnifying lenses so that pubic hair and genitalia take on new and often unrecognizable aspects. Music is by Yoko Ono.Cast is anonymous."
Donald Richie, THE JAPAN TIMES, Tokyo


"Close-ups of a male and female body during lovemaking are photographed in such a way that we are frequently unsure which particular portion of which body we are seeing. These close-ups are juxtaposed with long shots in slightly fast motion of the bodies entwined or rubbing against one another. The film emphasizes the essential biological nature of the human organism. In a more formal sense, too, Love is interesting, because of the dramatic black and white contrasts in the imagery, created in part by shooting in 8mm and then blowing the film up to 16mm, and because of Yoko Ono's soundtrack, which combines a 'shhhhhhh' reminiscent of white noise with a variety of other intermittent sounds (to make the soundtrack, Ono hung a microphone out the window)."
Scott MacDonald (After Image, April, 1978)

"The camera slides across the lovers, their bodies glowing under the glare of a single bulb. Takahiko Iimura's AI/Love (1963) is a frenzy of exploration - hands grip hair, fingers probe lips, planes of skin collide. In grainy, ambiguous close-ups, Iimura films the entangled bodies with both passion and precision. AI encapsulates the Japanese film maker's lifelong, concerns - a love of form, the dissection of subjects into their components, the communication between artist, subject, and audience.
Karl Soehnlein,The Village Voice, March 27, 1990)

"I first saw Iimura's film "LOVE" in 1962 in Tokyo. I was very impressed by the poetic and sensuous, yet experimental, direction of the film and did the sound for it. "
Yoko Ono, 1996

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