Intermedial practices are a common trademark of the Japanese art world in the sixties and seventies. This article focuses on a case study of such practices, namely the relationship between artwork and audience in Terayama Shūji’s cinema. Moving from the author’s theatrical theories on spectatorship (kankyakuron), the paper applies those theories to Terayama’s experimental movies, analysing how they are adapted to the cinematic medium. This study conceives a three-phased system, where the spectator is progressively brought towards the screen and his role changes from passive viewer to active agent. The study adopts an approach based on performance studies and avant-garde film theory to reveal how Terayama moulds the movie-going practice into a performative and collective event, using the movie theatre as a theatrical stage.
Japanese Cinema. Terayama Shūji. Spectatorship. Intermediality. Performance.