With such a disturbing picture as their promotional shot, I just had to see what Americana Kamikaze was all about.
Presented by: Temporary DistortionVenue: Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane) Friday, February 18, 2011
With such a disturbing picture as their promotional shot, I just had to see what Americana Kamikaze was all about. Heralding from Paris, Maubeuge, and New York, as part of the WTF – World Theatre Festival, the premise is an East meets West psychological horror story inspired by Japanese ghost stories.
Now I’m the type that can’t watch a thriller movie and have to walk out when it starts getting disturbing, so I wondered what it would be like on a stage that has a lock out policy. Temporary Distortion’s signature set structure comprised of two backlit booths, equipped with a microphone each with a grunge pop industrial look. It Intriguingly reminded me of the entrance to a carnival horror mirror maze.
The four actors (Brian Greer, Yuki Kawahisa, Lorraine Mattox, and Ryosuke Yamada), each took turns in these booths to unfold the ghost story, speaking both in past and present tense, and even Japanese in parts.
The restrained delivery and confining space, which was intentionally claustophobic, enhanced the tension. And what good would a horror story be without shocking the senses with a richly eerie industrial-like soundtrack, extreme lighting states and silhouettes and disturbingly poetic imagery, expertly constructed, filmed and projected onto an unconventionally sized screen, rotated 90 degrees, like a huge door or mirror into the psyche of the story, sitting vertically between the two booths. In tribute to the cinematographer, any frame of the video was worthy of an exhibition in an art gallery or artistic portfolio. Truly beautiful composition, artistic lighting, and surreal juxtapositions enhanced the performance by delicately balancing between a dreamlike reality and an awake nightmare. This truly was a piece of performance art worth watching. It successfully combined mixed media and live performance to tell an all encompassing story… a horror story. And I am glad to report that I survived only slightly traumatised… but that’s a good thing right?