The Japan Foundation Film Series Part 9

PROGRAM

Door open: 15 min. before

February 2 (Sat.) 13:00
15:15
17:30
February 3 (Sun.) 13:00
15:35 Lecture by Chris FUJIWARA
17:30

* All Screenings with English Subtitles.

Outline
Dates Saturday, February 2 to Sunday, February 3, 2008
Venue
Price A single ticket: 600 yens at the door only.
(A single ticket for members of JF Supporter's Club: 500 yen at the door only.)
*Lecture: Admission Free
Info TOKYO FILMeX Office
Tel: 03-3560-6394 (11:00-17:30 Weekdays only)
Tel: 080-6953-1951 (2/2-3 only)

Introduction

Since its establishment in 1972, the Japan Foundatoin has been showing subtitled Japanese films overseas as part of its efforts to introduce Japanese culture to the world.  In 2004, we began a new series of film events (*1) offering prints subtitled in English to foreign residents of Japan, in the hope of giving a wider public at home the opportunity to watch some of the treasures of Japanese cinema.

At this 9th event, five excellent works by director Yamamoto Satsuo will be shown.  We feel that the Yamamoto’s works deserve second look, after a period of quasi-neglect. At this event, three of the films (A Band of Asassins, Return of the Band of Assassins, and Solar Eclipse) will be shown in brand new prints.  Two others are also in very good condition.

His works were shown at the special show last November, at a retrospective jointly organized by Tokyo Filmex and the National Film Center.  The Japan Foundation provided special support to this project by lending new prints specially made for the occasion.

Yamamoto undertook a wide range of works, from left-leaning social dramas to purely entertaining films.  Many turned out to be masterpieces with earnest messages, at the same time successfully emanating true pleasures of cinema.  This February, we are happy to present five strong works that expose certain aspects of the Japanese Society.  Stellar performances by such actors as Ichikawa Raizo, Wakao Ayako, Tamiya Jiro and Nakadai Tatsuya also make these films very special.

In addition to the screenings, film critic, Chris Fujiwara, will discuss the strengths of Yamamoto’s films.

Profile of YAMAMOTO Satsuo

Born in Kagoshima, southern Japan, in 1910. Joined Shochiku in 1933, moved to PCL (later became Toho) in 1934. In1937, moved up the ranks and became a director.  Called into military service in 1943, and rejoined Toho upon return from the war.  In 1947 he directed Between War and Peace jointly with Kamei Fumio.  Left Toho as a result of a great labor dispute at the company.  As a freelance film director, he made such socialist-leaning films as Vacuum Zone (1952).  Then in 1962, A Band of Assassins, commissioned by Daiei, became a huge hit, leading to further successes of The Ivory Tower (1966), Bride from Hades (1968), etc.  Yamamoto later directed such epic dramas as the Senso to Ningen (literally, “War and Men”) trilogy (1970-73), The Wealthy Family (1974) and Solar Eclipse (1975).  He died in 1983 at the age of 73.

Profile of Chris FUJIWARA

Chris FUJIWARA is a writer, film critic, journalist, editor, and translator. He has written, contributed to and edited many books and anthologies on film. His next book, The World and Its Double, a critical biography of Otto Preminger, will be published by Faber & Faber in February 2008. He is also completing a study of the films of Jerry Lewis, to be published by the University of Illinois Press.

FUJIWARA has taught and lectured on film at many institutions including Yale University and the Athénée Français Cultural Center (Tokyo) and has participated in panel discussions and symposia on film aesthetics and criticism around the world. In 2003, he was a panelist in the Ozu Yasujiro International Symposium in Tokyo.

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