Examiner Film Editor

The experimental music group Aono Jikken Ensemble and the Northwest Film Forum are collaborating again to bring sound to another Japanese film classic.

Screenings of “The Naked Island,” a 1960 film by director Kaneto Shindo, with live musical accompaniment by AJE, will be held Oct. 27-30.

It’s the story of a farming family who are the only inhabitants of a small, arid island in Japan’s inland sea. The wordless film was made with a cast and crew of 12 who, during production, lived and worked on the island where the film is set.

This is a rare theatrical screening of the film, which is not available on DVD. A previous video release was reportedly of poor quality.

Aono Jikken Ensemble will present a new live music and sound score for “The Naked Island.” Earlier this year, the group performed live soundtracks for two Yasujiro Ozu films as part of the NWFF’s month-long Ozu retrospective.

For this event, AJE members William Satake Blauvelt, Susie Kozawa, Michael Shannon, Naho Shioya, Esther Sugai and Marcia Takamura will work with guest artists from One World Taiko (Gary Tsujimoto and Nancy Ozaki) and sound artist David Knott.

In addition to their usual blend of traditional Asian, western and world instruments, found objects, children’s toys and other unique sound devices, AJE will incorporate two 30-foot long string instruments that will span the theater and use its walls as a resonator. Specially made string instruments, crafted from the bodies of burnt Japanese kotos and suspended from the ceiling, will also be played.

Performances of “The Naked Island” will be held Oct. 27-30 at 8:00 p.m. at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill. Tickets are $13, or $10 for NWFF members. To purchase advance tickets, call Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or visit

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