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film

Sharon Lockhart

SHARON LOCKHART’S Goshogaoka (1997) provides a much-needed slap on the wrist to the frequently tedious, self-involved goings-on of much American “independent” movie-making, by showing how a few simple and surprising elements—a single camera angle, six ten-minute sequences, a Japanese junior high girl’s basketball team—are all it takes to charm the eye and mind. We hear an extended bell tone, like a sound that might summon initiates to prayer; we see the polished sheen of a basketball-court floor in a gymnasium-cum-auditorium (whose stage and red curtain center the frame); we hear the rumble of what we recognize as the rhythmic running of twenty-four teenage girls in T-shirts, black short-shorts, workout socks, and sneakers but only when they have run past the camera and disappeared. The squad stretch their muscles in unison to the call of a team leader; they run, hop, and walk to warm up

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