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Excerpt from the Vipers



"I loved the medium and was a regular client of the Cinematheque where I spent most of the winter evening viewing the old classics." - Shinkichi Tajiri


In 1955 Tajiri made his first film, The Vipers, on a 16 mm Kodak. He wanted to do a short semi-documentary on cannabis and hashish, which in 1955 were still relatively unknown to the public at large. Tajiri wanted to show the ritual of rolling a joint and lighting up, then juxtaposing a series of seemingly unrelated visuals to create a feeling of the high. When it was finished he took it to Cannes, France for the festival of 16 mm films and received the Golden Lion for 'Best Use of the Language of Film'.

A few months later he made a 10-minute documentary on Ferdi and her iron welded jewelry, which was shown on Dutch television. Some 15 years later he made a documentary about Bodil Joensen. It was shown at the first Wet Dream Film Festival, 1970 and received the Grand Prix.


text: S. Tajiri, Autobiographical notations, Kempen Publishers, 1993

photo above: Excerpt from The Vipers

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