earthearthearth Daïchi Saïto Canada/Japan35mm > digital30 min2021
Like so many before him (Cézanne, Turner, O’Keeffe, Brakhage), Saïto coaxes complex shapes and patterns from the natural environment, hills and skies rendered in electric hues of lilac, teal, and royal blue … Some of the tones recall late Warhol (especially the Electric Chairs series) … A major film from a singular artist, earthearthearth is a pulsing, painterly tour de force. – Michael Sicinski
Watching earthearthearth, I understand why early 20th-century painters had despaired when film was first invented. Once you feel color breathe like this, a canvas never looks the same. In earthearthearth, color is the real protagonist, nature its pale shadow. To put it plainly, there is only film. – Ela Bittencourt
It is as if we are watching a movie shot by some primeval witness to the beginning of the world. – Tony Pipolo
earthearthearth crystallizes into a multifaceted gem, shimmering with each light-encrusted frame. Like a constantly metamorphosing series of paintings, the film astonishes with its shifts of pigment, texture, and composition. – Ara Osterweil
Read a review of earthearthearth in Artforum.
This film is available to stream globally.
This film is co-presented with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre and Cornell Cinema.
Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © Daïchi Saïto and Braden King.
about the artist
Daïchi Saïto (Canada/Japan) is a filmmaker and educator born in Kashiwa, Japan in 1970. His films explore the relationship between the corporeal phenomena of vision and the material nature of the medium, fusing formal investigations of frame and juxtaposition with sensual and poetic expressions. He studied literature and philosophy in the USA and Hindi and Sanskrit in India, releasing his first book Moving the Sleeping Images of Things Towards the Light with Les éditions Le Laps (2013). He has completed 15+ films since 2003, including All That Rises (2007) and Engram of Returning (2015), which have been exhibited widely at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Jeonju International Film Festival, Yokohama Museum of Art, Anthology Film Archives, Image Forum, Slovenian Cinematheque, New York Film Festival, Cinémathèque québécoise, International Film Festival Rotterdam, George Eastman Museum, Toronto International Film Festival, Austrian Film Museum, 25FPS Festival, Kyoto Art Center, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Hong Kong International Film Festival, among others. Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis won the Jury Grand Prize at Media City Film Festival in 2010. He has taught cinema at Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV de San Antonio de los Baños in Cuba, and Concordia University in Montréal. His films are in public collections, including the Academy Film Archive, Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), and the Slovenian Cinematheque (Ljubljana), and are distributed by Light Cone, Arsenal Berlin, and CFMDC. Writing about his practice has appeared in Artforum, Film Comment, Mubi, MICE Magazine, Cinema Scope, The Brooklyn Rail, Millennium Film Journal, and elsewhere. Saïto was a commissioned artist of MCFF’s Mobile Frames and Underground Mines residency programs (2014–2015). He is a co-founder of Double Negative, an artist collective dedicated to the exhibition and production of experimental film. He currently teaches at Binghamton University in upstate New York. He lives and works between Montréal and New York.