With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

ACF 2056: New series at Japan Society NY to focus on five directors championed by Donald Richie

Richie's Fantastic Five:
Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Yanagimachi & Koreeda
When: October 18, 2013 - February 19, 2014
Where: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, NYC
(between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Part One of  a new Monthly Film Series Highlights
Five Seminal Directors Introduced and Championed
by Legendary Japanese Cinema Critic Donald Richie

Before his passing in February, Donald Richie (1924-2013) educated and inspired generations to become interested in Japan through the Japanese art and culture he introduced – especially through film. Noted film scholar Kyoko Hirano calls him one of the single most important film and cultural critics. "Many people in the world beyond North America and Western Europe, beyond the film world, first became acquainted with Japanese culture through Richie's wide range of writings," she says.

In Richie's Fantastic Five: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Yanagimachi & Kore-eda, Japan Society's Film Program honors Richie's legacy, presenting five timeless classics and hard-to-see gems over five months in glorious 35mm presentations. Curated by Hirano, a former Japan Society Film Program Director, the series highlights five seminal Japanese directors, who first became known throughout the world through Richie's work. Co-presented with The Japan Foundation, the series launches with Akira Kurosawa's High and Low (October 18); continuing with Kenji Mizoguchi's The Life of Oharu (November 16); Yasujiro Ozu's Equinox Flower (December 12), screening on Ozu's birthday and the 50th anniversary of his death; Mitsuo Yanagimachi's Himatsuri (January 24), unavailable on DVD; and Hirokazu Kore-eda's After Life (February 19), marking the one-year anniversary of Richie's death.

Hirano notes, "Richie tirelessly promoted the cinematic beauty of such giants as Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse; championed the iconoclastic energy of Japanese New Wave directors Nagisa Oshima, Masahiro Shinoda, Susumu Hani and Shohei Imamura; and celebrated the vibrant styles of new and upcoming directors such as Yoshimitsu Morita, Kazuo Hara, Yanagimachi and Kore-eda. Thanks to Richie, the world knows the greatness of Japanese cinema."

Further information about Richie's Fantastic Five film series and descriptions of each film can be found here.

Tickets to each screening are $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased in person at Japan Society, by calling the box office at 212-715-1258, or at www.japansociety.org.

The second part of the series, also curated by Hirano, will focus on films that portray various aspects of Japanese society as observed through Richie's eyes, and begins March 2014 as part of the annual spring Globus Film Series.