The Japan Foundation Film Series Part 3 (List)

The Japan Foundation Film Series Part Ⅲ

  1. (1)Avalon / June 24 (Fri.) 18:00
    2000, 106 min.
    Director: OSHII Mamoru
    Cast: Malgorzata FOREMNIAK
    Named after the island Avalon in the legend of King Arthur, Avalon is Oshii's meditation on reality and technology. Shot in Poland (in Polish) where he had direct access to actual military hardwear, the film is set in a bleak, sepia-toned future, where the population is hooked on an immersive virtual reality video game called Avalon.
    Despite its popularity the game can be deadly, leaving players bodies catatonic in the real world. One player of the game, Ash, hears of a secret level hidden within Avalon. The film follows her quest to find the level.
  2. (2)Ugetsu / June 25 (Sat.) 14:00
    1953, 97 min.
    Director: MIZOGUCHI Kenji
    Cast: KYO Machiko, MORI Masayuki, TANAKA Kinuyo
    Presented in a manner as eerie as it is heartbreaking, this film is a gorgeous supernatural fable about the folly of men with dreams larger than their abilities and their women who suffer as a result. Genjuro is a potter who longs for wealth and luxury, while Tobei, a farmer, dreams of the glories of the samurai to the point of ignoring his wife. Though a war rages around them, they venture to town to sell their wares. Genjuro becomes bewitched by a beautiful though vengeful ghost, while his wife is murdered by a soldier; Tobei becomes a noted warrior, while his wife descends into far different life.
  3. (3) By a Man's Face Shall You Know Him / June 26 (Sat.) 16:00
    1966, 89 min.
    Director: KATO Tai
    Cast: ANDO Noboru, NAKATANI Ichiro, ITAMI Ichizo (Juzo), NAKAHARA Sanae
    Deploying three time frames, this noir-ish look at postwar racial divisions, crime and the black market, is rendered in Kato Tai's signature low camera placement and what HASUMI Shigehiko has called the "solitude of people sharing the same 'disorganized space.'" An victim of a car accident, a Korean-Japanese is taken to the hospital where Amamiya works as a doctor. He recognizes the unconscious victim. Flashbacks send us back to the violent circumstances of their past: Bunki was involved in the death of Shunji, Amamiya's younger brother. Meanwhile back in the present: Maki, Bunki's wife, begs Amamiya to save her husband's life. Amamiya prepares for the delicate operation...
  4. (4)A Fugitive from the Past / June 26 (Sat.) 18:00
    1965, 183 min.
    Director: UCHIDA Tomu
    Cast: MIKUNI Rentaro, HIDARI Sachiko, BAN Junzaburo, TAKAKURA Ken
    A modernist detective story in which the past pays an unwelcome visit as surely as it does in any film noir, Fugitive involves a crime of theft, murder, and arson during a typhoon in 1947 that led to the destruction of a town in Hokkaido. A decade later, the person responsible, now a successful businessman living under an assumed name, has a surprise call from a prostitute who encountered him on that fateful day. In its use of the investigative crime genre to indict society, the film looks forward to many European films of the subsequent decade, but few can match its technical virtuosity.
  5. (5)No Regrets for Our Youth / June 27 (Sun.) 13:00
    1946, 110 min.
    Director: KUROSAWA Akira,
    Cast: HARA Setsuko, OKOUCHI Denjiro, FUJITA Susumu, KAWANO Akitake
    Kurosawa's postwar melodrama charts Japan's tumultuous history from the perspectives of the ruins of 1946. The story focuses on a woman (wonderfully played by Hara Setsuko) and the political storms that sweep through her life, and the lives of the men around her.
    Set in the immediate postwar ruins, Kurosawa uses curiously abrupt transitions flashing back to the past―a curious structure Rey Chow uses to contemplate the postwar moment and the present.

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