Australian Video Art Archive

Peter Callas


Kinema No Yoru (Film Night)

00:02:45 1988

Callas' first almost entirely animated work Kinema No Yoru introduces the motif of the menKinema No Yoru (Film Night)ko playing card as a recurrent symbol. Popular amongst Japanese children, menko's colourful appeal is underscored by a darker ideological bias in the set of cards at Callas' disposal.

Disjunctive images of war and territorial conquest (human bombs, brave feats, gas masks) thus convey more about Japan's colonial aspirations than of the game's competitive nature in the simple winning and losing of the iconic cards. The introduction of political and propagandist imagery reflects the artist's profound scepticism toward notions of universal truth and authenticity of experience.
- KENT, Rachel, Peter Callas: Initialising a History Selected Video Works 1980-1999, in Alessio Cavallaro (ed), Peter Callas: Initialising History. Sydney: dLux Media Arts, 1999.

Music by Toshiro Sensui.

DVD available.