Les Sorcières de l’Orient
The Witches of the Orient
Across only a handful of works, including JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION Julien Faraut has proven himself to be the master of a new kind of sports film: more essay than straight documentary, eager to take bold creative risks, and entrusting almost everything (in the style of his idol Chris Marker) to the power of audio-visual montage.
Faraut’s subject here is intrinsically fascinating: the dazzling career of the Japanese women’s volleyball team that fought its way to Olympic victory in 1964. Underlying issues of gender and of international political relations in that era are deftly raised and dealt with. The archival footage of the almost brutal training process (led by enigmatic and dictatorial coach Hirobumi Daimatsu) is compelling, and the contemporary discussion between surviving players is charming and poignant. Faraut’s ace card, however, is the popular cartoon version of the team and its on-court triumphs from the 1960s, which opens the door to an exuberant “re-enactment” of matches in a manga/anime style, edited to an intense musical accompaniment. The result cleverly mixes artifice and cultural mythology with immediacy and excitement. (Adrian Martin)
In the presence of Julien Faraut.
Julien Faraut: REGARD NEUF SUR OLYMPIA 52 (2013), L’EMPIRE DE LA PERFECTION (2018)
- Julien Faraut
- Léon Rousseau
- Yukata Yamazaki
- Andrei Bogdanov