Japanese Movie Events in June

Planet London is getting a host of excellent movie events dedicated to Asian films (thanks go to Otherwhere who spotted these) with Japanese films featuring prominently thanks to the Japan Foundation and the British Film Institute.

Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozaburo Yoshimura

Kuroneko Bamboo Forest

The BFI and the Japan Foundation have co-organised a two-month tribute to Kaneto Shindo and his close collaborator Kozaburo Yoshimura. Yes, that’s Kaneto Shindo of Onibaba, Naked Island, and Kuroneko fame (check out Goregirl’s glowing review for that). The retrospective will screen a selection of major works by both directors with June’s programme focusing primarily on the 1950s, the period when their collaboration was at its closest, and July’s programme span the period stretching from the 1960s to the 21st century.

Films for Part One of the season can be found on the BFI website.

Speaking of the BFI, there’s also their Anime Season which I posted about last month. There are a lot of great titles but the highlight has to be A Letter to Momo.

A Letter to Momo Poster

Japanese Cinema for Busy People

Japan Foundation Logo

The Japan Foundation is holding a series of lectures at assessing Japanese cinema, past and present. For anybody interested in Japanese cinema this looks like a very interesting series of lectures and major critics are involved from Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye) to Tony Rayns (Sight and Sound).

Japanese Cinema for Busy People

Week 1 – Wednesday 13 June 2012 – 6.30pm

Beyond Rashomon: A Golden Age of Japanese Cinema, but for Whom?
by Jasper Sharp (Writer and Film Curator)

Jasper Sharp will look beyond the Japanese filmmakers of the 1950s championed in the West to focus on the technological and industrial developments of the era considered the ‘Golden Age’ of Japanese cinema.


Week 2 – Wednesday 20 June 2012 – 6.30pm

Fidelity, High and Low: Japanese Cinema and Literary Adaptation
by Lauri Kitsnik (University of Cambridge) 

Lauri Kitsnik will consider how the relationship between literature and film has developed through various periods of Japanese cinema and the way literary classics have been reinterpreted for the screen.

Week 3 – Wednesday 27 June 2012 – 6.30pm

The Meaning of Independence in Japanese Cinema: Production, Distribution and Exhibition
by Julian Ross (University of Leeds)

Julian Ross will discuss the meaning of independence in the context of Japan’s film history, and examine the alternatives in distribution, production and exhibition whilst investigating what exactly is gained and lost with the decision to turn independent.

Week 4 – Wednesday 4 July 2012 – 6.30pm

Collaboration or Exploitation? The Relationship Between Japanese Directors and their Stars
by Tony Rayns (Writer, Film Critic and Programmer)

Tony Rayns will explore the creative relationships between Japanese directors and their stars, many of which instigated by contractual bounds under the Studio system, and how recurring actors can be both fruitful and restraining in film production.

Week 5 – Wednesday 11 July 2012 – 6.30pm

What’s Happening Now in Japanese Cinema?
by Dr Rayna Denison (University of East Anglia)

As the final talk of the series, Rayna Denison will look into the current climate of the Japanese cinema industry and the production trend.

The lectures are free to attend but must be booked in advance by email. They take at the following location.

The Japan Foundation
10-12 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5EH

For more information please visit the Japan Foundation website.

A last bit of Asian movie  news (a month early and not Japanese) – Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels gets a new reissue on Blu-Ray and DVD from Artificial Eye in July which is a must-buy for me since my old version taped from BBC Four has a bit of the end credits missing and I want to enjoy the image (SPOILERS) of Takeshi Kaneshiro and Michelle Reis riding off together with the Flying Pickets singing.

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