In The River

1969-70,16mm, Color,17min., Sound


"Katmudu Series #1: the basic footage was shot in the Katmundu area, and is of a man taking a bath in a sacred river. The image was repeated and superimposed in a viewer and then reshoot. The original footage was lengthened considerably by this process". (T.I.)

"The film concerns itself structurally with prolonging the time of a minimal action. My evaluation of what happens in Iimura's films is that a mystical reality emerges from exploring a subject like this in great detail - in getting into it, seeing it uncommonly, focusing on it, by being forced to observe its subtle changes. It somehow enables us to see into it. It is as if perception were carried by a swift current, when film images are seen in normal progression; but when the film slows and eddites around a single boulder-like image, viewer's perception sinks to deeper levels."
Carl Linder, Filmmaking, 1976

"A different sort of formal investigation resulted in In the River. Again, Iimura used the process of re-photography, but in this instance, the screen was the tiny viewer of a 16mm editor. Using various camera speeds and in-camera superimpositions, Iimura analyzed some footage he had made in katmandu of a man taking a bath in a sacred river. The finished film develops an interesting parallel between the man's careful bathing as the river flows past and Iimura's careful analysis of the man's physically simple activities as the film flows through the camera. The spiritual illumination the man receives is reflected by the mandala-like circular illumination created by the flickering light of the 16mm viewer. A meditational experience is, thus, presented in a film whose minimal action and quiet pace can create meditational possibilities for viewers."
Scott MacDonald (Afterimage, April, 1978)