With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Yasuzo Masumura's MANJI at Japan Society NY on Friday, December 1st

Japan Society NY
Directed by Yasuzo Masumura
With Ayako Wakao, Kyoko Kishida, Eiji Funakoshi, Yusuke Kawazu
Japan, 1964, 91 minutes
35mm, color
In Japanese with English subtitles

When: Friday, December 1, 7 PM 
Where: Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC
Tickets: $13/$10 seniors & students/$5 Japan Society members

This erotic and darkly comic melodrama by Japanese New Wave auteur Yasuzo Masumura stars a stunning Ayako Wakao as Mitsuko, a beguiling woman at the center of a tangled bisexual love quadrangle between bored housewife Sonoko (Kyoko Kishida), her husband and Mitsuko’s equally deceptive former fiancé. Adapted from the novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, the film’s story of destructive obsession, jealousy and manipulation is brilliantly rendered visually by Masumura and cinematographer Setsuo Kobayashi (Fires on the Plain), whose highly stylized compositions effectively portray the increasingly fractured psyches of four people constantly trying to out-maneuver each other for love at the risk of death.

Related Film Series: Yuzo Kawashima x Ayako Wakao (December 2 & 3, 2017)

Thursday, November 09, 2017

WOLF WARRIOR 2 will debut on Digital, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, & DVD on December 12th

Well Go USA
Wolf Warrior 2 / Zhan lang II
Directed by and starring Wu Jing
China, 2017, 124 minutes

With Wolf Warrior 2, the iconic character is back, bigger and badder than ever, in this action-packed sequel to the 2015 blockbuster hit that debuts on digital, Blu-ray™/DVD Combo Pack and DVD December 12 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Directed by and starring Wu Jing (Wolf Warrior, Shaolin, Badges of Fury) as a loose cannon Chinese soldier who takes on a special mission in an African country protecting medical aid workers from local rebels and vicious arms dealers.

Shot on locations in Africa and China, Wolf Warrior 2 was one of the top five highest-crossing films worldwide in 2017 and the biggest box-office champ ever in China. The film also stars Frank Grillo (Captain America franchise), Celina Jade (“Arrow”), Wu Gang (White Deer Plain), Hans Zhang (Zombie Fight Club), Ding Haifeng (White Vengeance) and Chungyu Shanshan (Witness), with special appearances by Yu Nan (The Expendables 2), Yu Qian (The Unfortunate Car) and Shi Zhaoqi.

The Wolf Warrior is back, bigger and badder than ever, in this action-packed sequel to the 2015 blockbuster hit. With his career in tatters, China’s deadliest Special Forces operative has settled into a quiet life on the sea. But when he crosses paths with a sadistic band of mercenaries terrorizing innocent civilians, he must reaffirm his duty as a soldier and save the day once again. Fists (and bullets, tanks, missiles and much more) will fly in this adrenaline-fueled tour de force of bravura action filmmaking, all culminating into a climactic battle between the Wolf Warrior and the mercenary leader (Frank Grillo).

Bonus Materials Include:
-- 4-Part Behind the Scenes Featurette
  -- “Action Scenes”
  -- “Filming in Africa”
  -- “Director Wu Jing”
  -- “Wu Gang”
-- Trailer

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

SANRIZUKA - HETA VILLAGE at Japan Society this Saturday evening

Japan Society NY
Image © Athénée Français Cultural Center
Sanrizuka – Heta Village / Sanrizuka Heta Buraku
Directed by Shinsuke Ogawa
Japan, 1973, 146 minutes
Digital, b&w
In Japanese with English subtitles

When: Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Where: Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC
Tickets: $13/$10 seniors and students/$5 Japan Society members

“The first of two masterpieces by Ogawa Productions” - Markus Nornes, author of Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary (University of Minnesota Press, 2006)

In the summer of 1968, Ogawa Productions, led by visionary filmmaker Shinsuke Ogawa, entrenched themselves in the middle of the site of violent conflict wherein ongoing resistance to the construction of the Narita International Airport was demonstrated by local farmers, activists and students. Committing their lives to documenting the farmers’ struggle, the collective produced their most famous series of seven films known as the “Sanrizuka Series.” Amidst increasing police violence and tragedy, this meditative sixth film in the series focuses on life in Heta village itself, documenting its customs and people through eleven quiet scenes that convey deep empathy for the villagers and their experiences.

Related Screening: Barbara Hammer’s Devotion: A Film About Ogawa Productions (Saturday, November 11th at 4:00 PM)

Monday, November 06, 2017

DEVOTION: A FILM ABOUT OGAWA PRODUCTIONS at Japan Society this Saturday, November 11th

Japan Society NY

(c) Barbara Hammer, Devotion (still), 2000. Courtesy of Barbara Hammer
Devotion: A Film About Ogawa Productions
Directed by Barbara Hammer
Japan/USA, 2000, 84 minutes
Digital, color
In Japanese with English subtitles

When: Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Where: Japan Society NY
333 East 47th Street, NYC
Tickets: $13/$10 seniors & students/$9 Japan Society members

Introduction and Q&A with director Barbara Hammer
moderated by documentary filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda

Lesbian feminist artist and filmmaker Barbara Hammer (whose life work is currently being celebrated throughout New York City) screens her documentary about the influential and controversial Japanese filmmaking collective Ogawa Productions that most famously made films about the lives of farmers who stood in direct opposition to the construction of Narita International Airport on their land. Shot shortly after the death of the influential founding filmmaker Shinsuke Ogawa, this probing documentary utilizes archival material and firsthand interviews with Ogawa’s closest collaborators to parse out the complex, fascinating inner workings of one of Japanese cinema’s most uncompromising film movements.

"My film came alive when I interviewed the previously unheard voices of the few women that were in the collective and who had been relegated to the kitchen during their life in the commune." - Barbara Hammer, Hammer! Making Movies out of Sex and Life (The Feminist Press, The City University of New York, 2010).

This screening is co-organized with Carmel Curtis and Staci Bu Shea, curators of Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies at the Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay & Lesbian Art on exhibition from October 7, 2017 – January 28, 2018.

At 7:00 PM in Saturday, there will be a separate showing at Japan Society of SANRIZUKA - HETA VILLAGE, a documentary from Ogawa Productions.