In Tokyo, a man builds his house alone, as an improvised Butoh dance.
Somewhere in the gigantic human anthill of Tokyo, a man resists to the infernal machinery of the great metropolis. Alone, for 15 years, he built this resistance in the form of a house. A shell? A cathedral? A folly? The work of Keisuke Oka escapes any simple definition.
We should rather speak of a world, a small universe built and thought in a rare freedom. Trained in butoh dance, an avantgarde choreographic movement born in Japan in the 1960s, Oka makes architecture a performance. Conceived day after day in the mode of improvisation, the space that slowly emerges is a form of moving meditation. A total work of art, the Arimaston building is the imprint in the concrete of a man’s life. This film tells this adventure at a very special moment in its history.
Following new urban regulations, the Arimaston building was recently threatened with destruction by the city of Tokyo for being too close to the street and neighboring buildings. The only solution would be to move it 10 meters back. Pending the outcome of the current trial, the site had to be stopped. Like the building, this film is an improvisation. Beka & Lemoine met Keisuke Oka by chance the day he chose to build, before the total stop of the project, the last 3 steps of the staircase that will lead to the top floor.
BUTOHOUSE is a film about concrete, illumination, perseverance and hope.