Haiku

"Haiku | 俳句" is a symphonic audiovisual project for two Japanese performers, alternating percussion groups, soundscapes and rhythmicized video sequences. The film is an experimental approach to pay tribute to the extraordinary art of Japanese haiku poetry.

  • Martin Gerigk
    Director
    Structures of Nature, Rain, Energy
  • Martin Gerigk
    Writer
    Structures of Nature, Rain, Energy
  • Martin Gerigk
    Producer
    Structures of Nature, Rain, Energy
  • Eri Uchino
    Key Cast
  • Cauro Hige
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    poetry, haiku, music, percussion, Japan, audiovisual, experimental
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 2, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Japan
  • Language:
    Japanese
  • Shooting Format:
    digital, 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Montelupo Fiorentino International Independent Film Festival
    Montelupo
    Italy
    October 1, 2021
    Best Experimental Film
  • 23rd The Artists Forum of the Moving Image
    New York
    United States
    October 1, 2021
    Winner Best Editing
  • Serbest International Film Festival
    Kishinev
    Moldova, Republic of
    September 1, 2021
    Best Experimental
  • 54th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival
    Houston
    United States
    April 1, 2021
    Gold REMI Winner “Experimental Short (Music)”
  • 69th Columbus International Film & Animation Festival
    Columbus
    United States
    April 1, 2021
    Best Experimental/New Media
  • New Renaissance Film Festival
    Amsterdam
    Netherlands
    March 1, 2021
    Best Experimental
  • 18th Oxford Film Festival
    Oxford
    United States
    March 1, 2021
    Best Experimental
  • 36th International Digital Arts Festival Videoformes 2021
    Clermont-Ferrand
    France
    March 1, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Sydney International Film Festival
    Sydney
    Australia
    December 1, 2020
    Best Editing
  • XXIII Icaro International Film Festival in Central America

    Guatemala
    December 1, 2020
    Best International Experimental Short
  • Austria International Film Festival
    Vienna
    Austria
    November 1, 2020
    Best Poetry Short
  • 21st Fargo Film Festival
    Fargo
    United States
    March 1, 2021
    Official Selection and Honorable Mention Winner
  • 39th New Jersey Film Festival
    New Brunswick
    United States
    January 1, 2021
    Official Selection and Honorable Mention Winner
  • 2021 Film and Video Poetry Symposium
    Los Angeles
    United States
    January 1, 2021
    Best Experimental
  • 10th Balneário Camboriú International Film Festival
    Balneário Camboriú
    Brazil
    December 1, 2020
    Winner “Vivo Award - Language”
  • Sherman Oaks Film Festival
    Sherman Oaks
    United States
    November 1, 2020
    Grand Jury Prize Winner “Best Short Film – Experimental”, Filmmakers Award Winner “Outstanding Director – Experimental”
  • 17th annual Syracuse International Film Festival
    Syracuse
    United States
    November 1, 2020
    Best Experimental Short
  • Reykjavik Visions Film Festival
    Reykjavik
    Iceland
    October 1, 2020
    Best Experimental Film
  • 32nd Girona Film Festival GFF
    Girona
    Spain
    September 1, 2020
    Winner “Remedios Varo Award” (video creation section)
  • BonDance International Film Festival
    Ureshino
    Japan
    September 1, 2020
    Best Film Score
  • Filmfest Bremen
    Bremen
    Germany
    April 1, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Martin Gerigk

Martin Gerigk (*1972) is a composer of contemporary music. His repertoire includes compositions for orchestra and chamber music, as well as several solo concertos. His compositions are performed nationally and internationally including in Korea, Japan, USA, England, Finland, Austria and Switzerland. In this context he works together with renowned international soloists and ensembles.

In addition to his compositional work he is known for his remarkable audiovisual art and experimental films which focus on inherent synesthetic connections of sound and visual perceptions. Besides creating interwoven aural and visual landscapes of music, nature sounds and video sequences one important aspect of his art is the illustration of the hidden poetry of nature phenomena and sciences.

His experimental films won several international prizes and were screened at noted festivals like Asolo Film Festival, International Digital Arts Festival Videoformes, Girona Film Festival, Salento International Film Festival, Columbus International Film & Animation Festival, USA Film Festival, New Jersey Film Festival, Sidney International Film Festival, Fargo Film Festival, Sherman Oaks Film Festival, Canberra Short Film Festival, Film and Video Poetry Symposium Los Angeles, Syracuse Film Festival or ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I first came into contact with haiku poetry in my youth. In a small library. There was a book with selected haiku by the great Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō containing the original Japanese version and an English translation. Probably then, the fascination for this extraordinary poetry seems to have embedded itself somewhere inside me.

The real dimension of haiku poetry only became clear to me while visiting Japan for the first time years later. The untouched, partly wild nature in Japan has an almost spiritual attraction. At that time, as a composer, I asked myself whether it is possible to capture these wonderful impressions in an abstract haiku that does not consist of words and syllables, but of music, text and photographic events. This is how the idea came about for the current project.

However, the implementation should take a few more years. In order to be able to select suitable traditional Japanese haiku for the film project in terms of content and sound, it was initially essential to fully learn all the official Japanese characters called kanji in order to be able to research in Japanese databases at all. A really difficult learning session!

For example, Kobayashi Issa, one of the four great haiku poets whose haiku I use in the film project, wrote more than 20,000 haiku. At first it looked as if it would be an almost impossible undertaking to find the suitable thematic texts for the film. So, it took several months to create the script for the film.

Following the typical structure of a traditional Japanese haiku the film contains 17 specific events divided in three parts of 5, 7 and again 5 units. All these events are built and derived from original Japanese haiku, contemporary text sequences, sound patterns, rhythmicized video sequences or pure music sections. In their entirety they create a kind of abstract and virtual “hyper-haiku” including a typical “seasonal” and “cutting word” called kigo and kireji.

The music of “Haiku | 俳句”is inspired by the omnipresent rhythms of nature. I therefore decided only to use percussion instruments for the music. In total, more than 100 individual instruments were recorded for the film project, an exciting experience. My special thanks go to Tobias Liebezeit, a true sound magician!

Working with the two actors was also a great asset. It was not easy to find two Japanese performers who were willing to communicate their inner feelings unfiltered only through facial expression and body language. With Eri Uchino and Cauro Hige I finally found the best actors that I can imagine for the film. The interaction during the shoot was absolutely fascinating and very touching.

Contrary to expectations, traditional haiku usually imply no personal views or emotional reflections in the first instance. They rather describe different frozen moments in juxtaposition, intended leaps of thoughts and images, crystallized and distilled to be perceived just like they are.

So, the speech, images and music of “Haiku | 俳句” are intentionally kept in suspense like in common haiku poetry. They wait for an audience to come to life eventually. An audience that is willing to get involved in discovering the hidden superordinate haiku within combined chains of intertwined poetic visual and auditive associations, patterns and layers. Just by this interaction the haiku finally gets complete and reaches a state of emotionality. And at best, something new and touching emerges for each individual viewer.

Overall, the implementation of the project was a very rich and wonderful experience. A time that I really enjoyed and that is still having an impact on me. I hope that I can take the audience on my journey into a very special world and culture. There's a lot to discover!
When I look back, the film is probably nothing more than an absolute declaration of love for Japan, its people, culture and wonderful nature.