is a film about seven artists. It's also a film about seven
people who are mentally handicapped. In the course of this
touching film, we discover how art may provide a route to
the human interior.
SATO zeros in on the creative genius of people who we usually
relegate to the social margins for their "non-productivity."
Shot over an eight-month period, and that after extensive
research, the film strings together one subtle, special moment
. The director of photography is TASHIMA Seizo, a painter
who has long collaborated with handicapped artists.
Any film on art needs such understated, yet brilliant, photography
in order to defer to the talent of the subjects.
The camera peers at them at work, following the respective
creative processes step by step, listening to their thoughts
about their art---about art. The intensity with which they
draw, paint, sculpt (and film!) is relieved by sequences that
display the work in all its brilliance. The montages of line,
color, and form are concrete expressions of these artists'
fears, joys, obsessions, and every other familiar human emotion.
Artists in Wonderland has all the marks of a SATO Makoto film:
the quirky humor and passion for the human everyday.