With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Sunday, October 24, 2010

ACF 744: Free film series on Japanese Cinema in the 1960s coming to New York

Age of Assassins (Toho Co., Ltd.)

Asia Society and Japan Foundation present Film Series:
Japanese Cinema 1960s
November 5-December 10, 2010
Screenings at Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC

Yet another terrific Japanese film series is coming to New York. And the screenings are FREE!!!!!

The decade of the 60s produced a wide array and high quantity of films that made it the golden age of Japanese cinema. Politically radical New Wave films, formally vigorous art films, and mainstream genre films were produced side-by-side contributing to the vibrancy of the industry. This series showcases a sampling of films, most of them rarely screened and without US distribution, representative of this period. The diverging voices reflect acute attitudes toward a changing Japan, a sense of exploration, with hints of tradition.


Tickets can be registered online and are available for pick-up on days of events. For more information, visit http://asiasociety.org/japanesecinema1960s or call (212) 517-ASIA.

This series is co-presented with Japan Foundation. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

PROGRAM SCHEDULE (all films in Japanese with English subtitles)

Pleasures of the Flesh
Directed by Nagisa Oshima
1965. 91min. 35mm. Color
Friday, November 5, 2010, 6:45PM

In a career spanning four decades, Oshima (Cruel Story of Youth, In the Realm of the Senses) has made some of the most memorable as well as formally and politically provocative films highlighting outcasts, criminals and rebellious youth in Japanese film history. In Pleasures, a lovesick young man entrusted with a case of money belonging to an imprisoned bureaucrat embarks on a year of sexual fantasies and indulgence. Janus Films.

“Japan’s greatest living filmmaker.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice

“A brilliant stylistic exercise on a sensual subject.” — Max Tessier, Film Scholar

Three Outlaw Samurai
Directed by Hideo Gosha
1964. 95min. 35mm. B&W
Friday, November 12, 2010, 6:45PM

Based on a popular television series of the same name also directed by Gosha, Three Outlaw Samurai features three ronin who found themselves accidentally entangled in the conflict between a group of peasants and their local magistrate. While initially reluctant to get involved, the three quickly make up their mind as to for which side they will fight. A dash of humor, attitude and style accompanies this action-packed picture. Janus Films.

“The result is cinematic magic, the perfect blend of blood and tears, a film worth watching over and over again.” -Mike Street, The Asian Reporter

“[Gosha is] a genius at staging action.”-- Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

Directed by Mikio Naruse
1964. 100min. 35mm. B&W
Friday, December 3, 2010, 6:45PM

Reiko (Hideko Takamine), a war-widow, keeps her late husband’s family store afloat against supermarket competition and the meddling of her in-laws. Fed up with the pressure, she embarks on a journey home, accompanied by a younger brother-in-law (Yuzo Kayama). The journey, with hints of forbidden romance, ends with a shocking finale. Known as “a great director of women” (Film Comment), Naruse contemplates a society challenged by capitalism and changing social mores in this stunningly shot feature. Toho Co., Ltd.

“a masterpiece of portraiture” –Keith Uhlich—Slant Magazine

“[In the films of Naruse,] a flow of shots that looks calm and ordinary at first glance reveals itself to be like a deep river with a quiet surface disguising a fast-raging current.”– Akira Kurosawa

Age of Assassins
Directed by Kihachi Okamoto
1967. 99min. 35mm. B&W
Sunday, December 5, 2010, 3:00PM

A creepy “mad scientist” who directs an insane asylum trains mental patients to become assassins. One of the targets, a vision-impaired nerd-turned-suave secret agent played by Tatsuya Nakadai, called “Japan’s most distinguished living actor,” (The New York Times) is able to dodge all attempts on his life. This wacky, farcical chase comedy takes you on a wild ride through a surrealist landscape and a narrative filled with twists and turns. (Film also known as Epoch of Murder Madness) Toho Co., Ltd.

"Dashing and angelically handsome, Tatsuya Nakadai is a screen idol to rival Toshiro Mifune." –David Fear, Time Out New York

“[a] sharp-edged lampoon that….compares favorably with such other brilliant, tongue-in-cheek, mod sixties masterpieces as Elio Petri’s The Tenth Victim and Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill.” – Chris Desjardins, Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film

The Fort of Death
Directed by Eiichi Kudo
1969. 97 min. 35mm. Color
Friday, December 10, 2010, 6:45PM

Peasants in a village hire a bounty hunter to rebel against a shogun who exploits them for money in order to remodel an Edo castle. The bounty hunter summons his fellow fighters to join the fight. What ensues is an epic battle involving samurai, ninjas, powerful guns and cannons. Growing up in a family that ran a horse breeding business, director Kudo has proved particularly adept at choreographing action sequences, making this Japanese version of a B-Western especially enthralling. Toei Co., Ltd.

“[Kudo is] an extraordinary stylist…To call him a skilled action director is to understate the power of his set-pieces.” –Henry Sheehan

About the Asia Society:

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonprofit nonpartisan educational institution. Through exhibitions and public programs, Asia Society provides a forum for the issues and viewpoints reflected in both traditional and contemporary Asian art, and in Asia today. Asia Society is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City. www.AsiaSociety.org

About the Japan Foundation:

The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 by special legislation in the Japanese Diet and became an Independent Administrative Institution in 2003. The mission of the Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. Through its headquarters in Tokyo and 23 overseas offices in 21 countries, the Japan Foundation conducts a wide range of programs concerning arts and cultural exchange, Japanese‐language education, Japanese studies and intellectual exchange. www.jpf.go.jp

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