Bay Area Theater Presents A Rare Opportunity To Screen 6
VIZ Cinema and NEW PEOPLE are presenting Kurosawa On Sword Battles - Samurai Saga Volume 2, a new film series opening today, August 20th, marking the centennial birth of Japan’s most beloved film director – Akira Kurosawa – and celebrating nearly half a century of big screen samurai action and drama. General Admission Tickets: $10:00; No discounts apply.
Screening times and more details are available at: www.vizcinema.com.
Seven Samurai, August 20th – 22nd
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1954, 207min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
One of the most beloved films of all time, Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride, featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, seamlessly weaves philosophy, entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope.
Rashamon, August 21st – 25th
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1950, 88min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, Rashomon is perhaps the finest film ever to explore the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife. Toshiro Mifune gives another commanding performance in the eloquent masterwork that revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema to the world.
Yojimbo, August 23rd – August 28th and also August 31st
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1961, 110min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade twice, by Sergio Leone and Walter Hill, this exhilarating genre-twister remains one of the most influential and entertaining films of all time.
Sanjuro, August 25th – August 30th
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1962, 96min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Toshiro Mifune again swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Kurosawa’s tightly paced, beautifully composed drama. In this companion piece to Yojimbo, jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s betrayer, and in the process turns their image of a “proper” samurai on its ear. Less brazen in tone than its predecessor but equally entertaining, this classic character’s return is a masterpiece in its own right.
Throne of Blood, August 28h – September 2nd
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1957, 109min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
One of the most celebrated screen adaptations of Shakespeare into film, Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. Starring the director’s longtime collaborator Toshiro Mifune and the legendary Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife, the film tells of a valiant warrior’s savage rise to power and his ignominious fall. With Throne of Blood, Kurosawa fused one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies with the formal elements of Japanese Noh theater to make a Macbeth that is all his own – a classic tale of ambition and duplicity set against a ghostly landscape of fog and inescapable doom.
The Hidden Fortress, August 28h – September 2nd
(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1958, 139min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
A general and a princess must dodge enemy clans while smuggling the royal treasure out of hostile territory with two bumbling, conniving peasants at their sides; it’s a spirited adventure that only Akira Kurosawa could create. Acknowledged as a primary influence on George Lucas’sStar Wars, The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s inimitably deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action and humanist compassion on an epic scale. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this landmark motion picture in a stunning, newly restored Tohoscope edition.
VIZ Cinema is the nation’s only movie theater devoted to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theater is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: www.NewPeopleWorld.com.