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
[Film] March 8, 7 PM
New Wave director Masahiro Shinoda utilizes classic Japanese theatrical conventions and avant-garde film techniques to stunning effect in this brilliant modernist adaptation of Monzaemon Chikamatsu's 18th-century bunraku puppet play about the doomed romance of a married Osaka paper merchant and a courtesan. Among the first films produced by independent film company Art Theatre Guild (ATG)—whose productions from the late 1960s through the 1980s pushed Japanese arthouse cinema in radical new directions—Double Suicide features contributions by some of the era's most innovative artistic collaborators, including composer (and co-writer) Toru Takemitsu and production designer/art director Kiyoshi Awazu.
Next event3/8/2019 7:00 PM
[Globus Film Series] April 5, 7 PM
In this directorial debut by Kiju Yoshida—a key figure of postwar Japanese cinema and the Shochiku New Wave along with Nagisa Oshima and Masahiro Shinoda—four bored college students decide to steal money from a company run by one of their fathers. In the process, the company secretary takes an interest in one of the aimless young men, in whom she senses some potential, and tries to change him. A representative work of the New Wave in its aesthetics and political overtones by one of its major filmmakers, Good-for-Nothing offers a complex perspective on class with cutting-edge direction and visual style.
Next event4/5/2019 7:00 PM
Shorts Program: New Wave Rarities
[Globus Film Series] April 6, 4:30 PM
Three rare short films by artists who played a leading role in the birth of the New Wave: Conversation Between Nail and Socks (1958), the first self-produced work by the Nihon University Film Study Club, directed by Katsumi Hirano and Hiroo Ko; Forgotten Land (1958), a documentary portraying the poverty-stricken area of Honshu’s northernmost region, directed by Shinkichi Noda, who led the Association of Documentary Filmmakers (Kiroku Eiga Sakka Kyokai); and Anpo Joyaku (1959) by Toshio Matsumoto, which captures the context of the 1960 Anpo Treaty and the whirlwind of debate surrounding it.
Next event4/6/2019 4:30 PM
The End of Love
[Globus Film Series] April 6, 7 PM
A leading postwar Japanese film critic and theorist who co-founded the seminal film magazine Eiga Hihyo (Film Criticism) in 1957, Eizo Yamagiwa made his directorial debut with this independent feature—long thought lost until a negative was recently discovered—about a group of idle bourgeois students known as the “Roppongi Tribe” (Roppongi zoku). Depicting the resignation and nihilism of the postwar generation in the years following the Anpo Treaty conflicts through a coming-of-age narrative, Yamagiwa offers sharp criticism of the prevalent characterizations of Japan's new youth offered by Nikkatsu's taiyozoku (“Sun Tribe”) films and the New Wave at large.
Next event4/6/2019 7:00 PM
The Age of Our Own
[Globus Film Series] April 20, 4:30 PM
This controversial film by director Koreyoshi Kurahara is based on a story by Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe, adapted by Yoshio Shirasaka, a prolific writer who scripted masterpieces under every major Japanese production company (including Yasuzo Masumura’s 1958 film Giants and Toys at Daiei studios). A college student seeks to study abroad in France to escape his daily troubles in Japan only to be met with endless frustration and ultimately forced to live an aimless life of disillusionment. Among Nikkatsu's most political films, The Age of Our Own reveals a complex, multi-faceted reaction to the anti-Anpo struggle and its contexts.
Next event4/20/2019 4:30 PM
Blood is Dry
[Globus Film Series] April 23, 7 PM
Kiju Yoshida's second film for Shochiku is a fierce critique of mass media, advertising and capitalist consumerism. When his employers announce massive layoffs, a salaryman takes a gun to his head in a plea for mercy on behalf of his colleagues only to unwittingly become the center of an insurance company’s advertising campaign that exploits his desperate gesture for profit and markets him as a hero. Paired with Nagisa Oshima’s Night and Fog in Japan (1960) as a double bill, both films were pulled from theaters days after opening due to the politically motivated censorship of Oshima’s allegedly inflammatory film.
Next event4/23/2019 7:00 PM
The Samurai Vagabonds
[Globus Film Series] April 26, 7 PM
Virtually unknown outside of (and even within) Japan, this Shochiku New Wave gem is set in a mining bunkhouse wherein a woman who survives a double suicide becomes entwined in a peculiar relationship with her dead lover's brother, a killer on the run. Another significant yet overlooked progenitor of the New Wave’s theoretical and formal ideals, Tsutomu Tamura only made this one film as a director before leaving Shochiku to create an independent production company with Nagisa Oshima and write scripts for many of the renown director’s films, including The Catch (1961), Violence at Noon (1966) and Boy (1969).
Next event4/26/2019 7:00 PM
The Tragedy of Bushido
[Globus Film Series] April 27, 5 PM
Written and directed by newcomer Eitaro Morikawa for Shochiku’s Kyoto studio, The Tragedy of Bushido is the first jidaigeki period drama produced by the New Wave. After a clan lord dies, a young samurai in 17th century Japan is forced to follow him in death through ritual suicide in accordance with an archaic bushido custom. Drawing a connection between the oppressive values of absolute fealty within the samurai moral code and the bureaucratic political systems of postwar Japan that continued to place priority on obedience and obligation over individual freedoms, Morikawa gave birth to a new kind of post-Anpo jidaigeki.
Next event4/27/2019 11:00 AM
Only She Knows
[Globus Film Series] April 27, 7 PM
The debut film by Osamu Takahashi, assistant director on Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) and a Shochiku New Wave leading figure who launched the film journal Shichinin (The Seven) with his circle of fellow assistant directors (including Nagisa Oshima and Kiju Yoshida). A young woman is attacked by a serial rapist and murderer whom her detective father (played by Ozu regular Chishu Ryu) is investigating. Though she survives, the impact of the event creates increasing discord and agony for her and her loved ones. After this auspicious debut, Takahashi went on to make a couple more films for Shochiku before going independent and eventually becoming well-known as a novelist.
Next event4/27/2019 7:00 PM