Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell
[Film] January 26, 8:30 PM
In the final film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, star and producer Tomisaburo Wakayama is given almost complete creative control and runs with it to extreme ends, bringing in director Yoshiyuki Kuroda. The final battle—10 minutes long and involving undead assassins and an army of skiing ninjas—is one of the greatest action sequences in the franchise in terms of its epic scale and cost (taking a month and half to shoot). In the conclusion to their quest, Ogami and Daigoro share a moment of quiet profundity.
Recommended Shows (7)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance
[Film] January 25, 7 PM
In this classic first film in the Lone Wolf series, the fearsome former executioner Itto Ogami takes on an assassination job in a remote hot springs area filled with murderous outlaws. Penned by the original manga writer Kazuo Koike and directed by chanbara director extraordinaire Kenji Misumi, Sword of Vengeance introduces the iconic father-son duo and their battle against the duplicitous Yagyu clan, setting the tone for the entire series with blood-spewing decapitations and unforgettable action sequences.
Next event1/25/2019 7:00 PM
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx
[Film] January 25, 8:45 PM
Itto Ogami and Daigoro continue to get hounded by the Yagyu clan as they travel the countryside, set upon by a deadly female ninja and the spiked weapon-wielding Hidari Brothers. In a touching father-son moment, the battered Ogami survives thanks to Daigoro’s love and ingenuity. A fan favorite entry in the series featuring flying limbs and geysers of blood, this second film makes up a large majority of Shogun Assassin, the 1980 recut and dubbed U.S. release of the franchise.
Next event1/25/2019 8:45 PM
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades
[Film] January 26, 3 PM
In the thrilling third film, set in the sweltering summer heat, Itto Ogami displays extraordinary virtue and self-discipline when he endures torture to protect a young woman sold to a brothel by local yakuza (who eventually hire him). Later, in a thrilling battle against an army of soldiers, Ogami reveals the true power of his baby cart and its arsenal of hidden weapons. Finally, he ruminates on the true “Way of the Warrior” after a duel with a formidable former samurai (Go Kato).
Next event1/26/2019 3:00 PM
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril
[Film] January 26, 4:45 PM
For the fourth installment in the series, the last released in 1972, director Kenji Misumi (who directed the first three films) relinquishes the director’s chair to veteran genre director Buichi Saito. As the Yagyu clan continues to pursue him, Ogami accepts a job to assassinate the tattoo-clad killer Oyuki (Michi Azuma), who has been cutting off her victims’ topknots. Meanwhile, Daigoro gets lost and has a melancholic musical interlude in the rain.
Next event1/26/2019 4:45 PM
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons
[Film] January 26, 6:45 PM
Kenji Misumi returns to direct the fourth Lone Wolf film, but long-time producer Shintaro Katsu (Zatoichi) leaves the responsibility to his brother and series star Tomisaburo Wakayama. In this next chapter, five disguised messengers test Ogami’s skills in a series of surprise attacks, gradually revealing the information he needs for his next assignment: to kill a revered Buddhist priest. Replete with Buddhist philosophy, this penultimate film taps into the spiritual aspect of Ogami’s journey for revenge.
Next event1/26/2019 6:45 PM
The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
[Film] February 8, 7 PM
Shohei Imamura’s Palme d’Or-winning masterpiece is set in a remote mountain village in 19th century Japan wherein tradition dictates that those who reach the age of 70 must be carried to the top of Mount Narayama and left to die. Despite her hard-scrabble surroundings, Orin (Sumiko Sakamoto) is still sprightly at 69, working the fields and managing her family’s affairs. Even so, when winter returns to the valley, she demands that her eldest son (Ken Ogata) carry out her fate. A film full of mud, lust, sweat and death, Narayama is a grand culmination of Imamura’s career-long interest in “the lower part of the human body and lower part of the social structure.”
Next event2/8/2019 7:00 PM
Tomoyasu Murata: Stop Motion Master
[Film] February 23, 3 PM
One of Japan’s most prolific independent animation artists, Tomoyasu Murata (b. 1974, Tokyo) has created breathtaking, boundary-breaking stop motion animated films over the last two decades. Initially inspired by the expressive power of traditional Japanese bunraku puppet theater, Murata’s films—at once tender, whimsical and mysterious—deal with themes of memory, absence and mujo (the Buddhist concept of impermanence) through the cinematic manipulation of his meticulously handcrafted puppets and fantastical miniature sets. The eight short films in this program range from the artist’s award-winning student work to recent projects that respond to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Next event2/23/2019 3:00 PM