With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ACF 818: Kurosawa / Mifune film series in San Francisco through January 6th, 2011

Scene from Drunken Angel,
the first Kurosawa film in which Mifune starred


Seven Films Playing Thru January 6th At The Bay Area Theatre Showcase
Iconic Director Akira Kurosawa And Actor Toshiro Mifune

I received this information a bit too late for some of the earliest screenings, but there are plenty of screenings left. So those of you in the San Francisco environs, don't miss this opportunity to see as many of these films as you can. They are, after all, by one of cinema's greatest all time director/actor combinations - Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune! And while all of these films are also available from The Criterion Collection, they're best seen in a theater whenever possible.

VIZ Cinema, the nation’s only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese film, concludes 2010 with Mifune x Kurosawa, a special new festival celebrating the work of iconic director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune beginning Saturday, December 18th and running until Thursday, January 6th.

Escape holiday doldrums with seven films including Red Beard, The Idiot, The Lower Depths, High And Low, Stray Dog, Drunken Angel, and the classic action masterpiece, Seven Samurai, which will be presented with a New Year’s reception party on January 2nd. Tickets to all screenings are $10.00 each; screening times and more details are available at: www.vizcinema.com.

Red Beard, Saturday, 12/18 – Sunday, 12/26
(1965, 185 minutes, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Red Beard chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity.

The Idiot, Saturday, 12/18 – Thursday, 12/23
(1965, 185 minutes, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
The Idiot, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth-century masterpiece about a wayward, pure soul’s reintegration into society—updated by Kurosawa to capture Japan’s postwar aimlessness—was a victim of studio interference and, finally, public indifference.

The Lower Depths, Sunday, 12/19 – Monday, 12/27
(1957, 125 minutes, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Mifune and Kurosawa transform Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play The Lower Depths in their own way firmly situated in the postwar world. Remaining faithful to the original with its focus on the conflict between illusion and reality, their film making styles converge to create unique masterpieces.

High And Low, Monday, 12/27 – Thursday, 1/6
(1957, 125 minutes, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential High and Low, a compelling race-against-time thriller and a penetrating portrait of contemporary Japanese society.

Stray Dog, Tuesday, 12/28 – Thursday, 1/6
(1949, 122min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
When a pickpocket steals a rookie detective’s gun on a hot crowded bus, the cop goes undercover in a desperate attempt to right the wrong. Kurosawa’s thrilling noir probes the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.

Drunken Angel, Wednesday, 12/29 – Wednesday, 1/5
(1948, 98min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Takashi Shimura’s jaded physician.

Seven Samurai, Sunday, 1/2 at 1:30pm
(1954, 207 minutes, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles)
Kick-off 2011 with one of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai! This three-hour ride featuring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire eponymous warriors to protect them from the invading bandits. Screening will include a special New Year’s reception party.

VIZ Cinema is the nation’s only movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre 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.

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