No. 4 ("Bottoms") by Yoko Ono, 1966
film is composed of a series of shots of people's moving backsides, framed and
edited so that the entire screen is filled with one bare bottom after another.
The soudtrack tbat accompanied the second version is made up of the comments of
the unidentified subjects of the film talking about the process of being filmed."
Arias and Objects, Barbara Haskell & John G. Hanhardt, 1991
longer version of No. 4, Ono's first non-Fluxus film, marks a transition in her
filmmaking. She shot the film at the Belgravia house of Victor Musgrave, aided
by (Tony) Cox, during a long stay in London. Ono developed the structure of the
earlier No. 4 by expanding the number of bottoms (theoretically to 365, one for
each day of the year), encouraging both friends and associates to participate
by placing an advertisement in the newspaper, extending the film's length to 80
minutes, and including a soundtrack."
one of the most important parts of the film was its rhythm, created by constantly
varying physical character and movement of each set of buttocks. The soundtrack
both interrupts and reinforces that rhythm, while refusing the conventional match
of sound and image. It includes enthusiastic, cautious, and intrigued reactions
from from participants and friends, descriptions of their experiences, and a press
interview with Ono, contrasting with the monotonous, claustrophobic space of the
screen, which the large images of naked male and female bottoms fill continuously,
dividing it into four parts."
"The longer version
of No. 4 was privately screened, then banned in London by the British Board of
Film Censors, a decision protested by Ono with a small,
peaceful (daffodil) demonstration. (The third image from the top) A few weeks
later, the Greater London Council Licencing Committee granted the film an x-rating
YES Yoko Ono, Japan Society, Inc., Chrissie