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The Machine That Kills Bad People:
Ode to Mount Hayachine + Un vent léger dans le feuillage
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A group of hikers walk up a snowy mountain
Ode to Mount Hayachine, dir. Sumiko Haneda, Japan 1982, 16 mm, colour, sound, 186 min., Japanese with English subtitles

This 16mm screening, programmed by The Machine that Kills Bad People, features two films that stay close to nature: Haneda Sumiko’s Ode to Mount Hayachine (1982) and Martine Rousset’s Un vent léger dans le feuillage (1994).

Martine Rousset’s Un vent léger dans le feuillage (1994) is a three-minute single shot of leaves rustling in the wind. As Nicole Brenez has put it, ‘It is the admirable film that Maxim Gorky would have liked to have seen’ when he first encountered the Lumière Cinématographe in 1896.

Haneda Sumiko’s Ode to Mount Hayachine is the director’s second independent film, following 1976’s The Cherry Tree with Grey Blossoms. For many years, Haneda worked on the idea of making a film about the Hayachine kagura, a ceremonial dance taking place in northern Japan, in the foothills of the mystical Mount Hayachine in Iwate Prefecture. Originally a religious dance performed by monks, the kagura is now preserved as cultural heritage by local villagers. More than just a film about the kagura, Ode to Mount Hayachine focuses on the life of rural communities at a time when their traditional economy and ways of living were being affected by rapid change. The film is shaped by Haneda’s sensitive approach to nature – to the mountain, the rhythms of the seasons, and the passage of time – and draws a complex picture of rural life in early 1980s Japan, on the cusp of tradition and modernity, obsolescence and renewal.

Both films will be screened in their original format of 16mm.

A specially commissioned essay by Ricardo Matos Cabo will accompany the screening.


Un vent léger dans le feuillage, dir. Martine Rousset, France 1994, 16 mm, colour, sound, 3 min.

Ode to Mount Hayachine, dir. Sumiko Haneda, Japan 1982, 16 mm, colour, sound, 186 min., Japanese with English subtitles
The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz, and Ben Rivers.
In partnership with the Japan Foundation.

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

Red Members gain unlimited access to all exhibitions, films, talks, performances and Cinema 3.
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