The Japan Foundation Film Series - Part 6 (English Press Release)

Tom Mes china_crisis
Wed May 31 07:11:11 EDT 2006

Is this information available online anywhere? It would be nice to link to 
it from the Midnight Eye event calendar.


>Below is the full English press release from FILMeX for
>the upcoming Japan Foundation Film Series - 'The Masters
>and Jidaigeki' (I had posted the Japanese release last
>If you know anybody off-list who will be in Tokyo and
>would be interested, please forward this to them!
>Jason Gray
>News Release
>                                                 May 31,
>                                                 TOKYO
>The Japan Foundation Film Series Part 6
>The Masters and Jidaigeki
>A Special Three-day Film Showings with English Subtitles
>Masumura Yasuzo, Ito Daisuke, Uchida Tomu, Imai Tadashi,
>Kurosawa Akira and Ichikawa Kon
>Presented by: The Japan Foundation
>With the special cooperation of: TOKYO FILMeX Organizing
>With the cooperation of: Kadokawa Pictures, Toei and
>A single ticket: \600 at the door only.
>A single ticket for members of JF Supporter?fs Club: \500
>at the door only.
>Venue: OAG Hall (7-5-56 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
>Nearest station: Aoyama-itchome Sta.(Ginza and Hanzomon
>subway lines), Exit
>Info.(Tokyo FILMeX Office)     Tel:03-3560-6394
>(11:00-17:30, weekdays
>The Japan Foundation Forum     Tel:090-3647-4963 (June
>23-25 only)
>For more than 20 years, the Japan Foundation has been
>showing subtitled
>Japanese films overseas as part of its efforts to
>introduce Japanese
>to the world. In 2004, the Japan Foundation began offering
>English-subtitled prints to foreign residents of Japan so
>that they would
>have the opportunity to experience the wealth of Japanese
>We have organized 5 film events in the last two years, and
>as the sixth
>event, we are proud to present ?gThe Masters and
>?h Japanese
>dramas, called jidaigeki, are popular not only in Japan.
>They have
>passionate fans, there have been many masterpieces, they
>have spawned many
>great sub-genres, and they continue to develop by adding
>tastes.  For the 6th film event, we selected films from
>1950s and 1960s by
>masters of Japanese cinema and also starring charismatic
>In addition to film screenings, there also will be a
>lecture by Dr. Keiko
>McDonald, adding different perspectives to enjoying
>jidaigeki period
>The Wife of Seishu Hanaoka (Hanaoka Seishu no Tsuma)
>1967 / 99 min. / B&W, cinemascope / Kadokawa Pictures
>Director: Masumura Yasuzo / Based on a novel by: Ariyoshi
>Sawako /
>Screenwriter: Shindo Kaneto  / Cinematographer:
>KobayashiSetsuo / Art
>Director: Nishioka Yoshinobu / Music: Hayashi Hikaru
>Cast: Ichikawa Raizo, Wakao Ayako, Takamine Hideko, Ito
>Yunosuke, Watanabe
>A drama surrounding a medical doctor, Hanaoka Seishu, who
>carried out the first surgery in the world using general
>anesthesia.  Set
>Kishu (present-day Wakayama prefecture) in the late 18th
>to early 19th
>centuries. Okae grew up admiring Otsugi, famous for her
>beauty and wisdom.
>Okae eventually marries Otsugi?fs son, Umpei (who assumes
>the name Seishu
>later) only to find out that she has to fight Otsugi to
>try to win his
>affection.  Umpei dedicates himself to studying
>anesthesia, and both women
>volunteer to have the still being developed anesthetic
>tested on them.
>Based on a best-selling novel by AriyoshiSawako.  Masumura
>Yasuzo, of
>and Toys (1958) and Manji (1964) fame, depicts the fierce
>and yet noble
>battle between the mother and the wife.  Wakao Ayako and
>Takamine Hideko
>share the screen, and Ichikaza Raizo, known for his roles
>in swordplay
>films, stars as the doctor.
>The Inner Palace Conspiracy (Oboro Kago)
>1951 / 97 min. / B&W, standard / Shochiku
>Director: Ito Daisuke / Based on a novel by: Osaragi Jiro
>/ Screenwriter:
>Yoda Yoshitaka / Cinematographer: Ishimoto Hideo / Art
>Director: Mizutani
>Hiroshi / Music: Suzuki Seiichi
>Cast: Bando Tsumasaburo, Tanaka Kinuyo, Yamada Isuzu,
>Tsukigata Ryunosuke,
>Sada Keiji, Mitsui Koji
>A tragic-comical mystery set in the late 18th-century Edo.
>An all-star cast
>headed by Bando Tsumasaburo made for a highly profitable
>new-year release.
>Ito Daisuke, who had been active since the silent era,
>revels in his
>signature moving shots.  Okatsu, a lady in waiting and
>candidate for the
>Shogun?fs concubine, was found dead, and her childhood
>friend, Shinnosuke,
>was the last one to see her alive and thus is suspected as
>her killer.
>However, a purse found at the scene of murder was that of
>another concubine
>candidate, Misawa. Mukaku, a priest, and Kuranosuke, one
>of the shogun
>retainers, investigates a conspiracy masterminded by
>power-hungry Numata,
>with help from Kichitaro, a small-time crook, and Onaka, a
>worldly geisha.
>A Bloody Spear at Mt. Fuji (Chiyari Fuji)
>1955 / 94 min. / B&W, standard / Toei
>Director: Uchida Tomu / Based on a novel by: Inoue Kintaro
>/ Screenwriters:
>Yahiro Fuji, Tamikado Toshio / Cinematographer: Yoshida
>Teiji / Art
>Director: Suzuki Takatoshi / Music: Kosugi Taichiro
>Cast: Kataoka Chiezo, Tsukigata Ryunosuke, Kitagawa
>Chizuru, Tashiro
>Kato Daisuke
>Set in the 18th century, this road movie portrays a young
>samurai, Kojuro,
>who travels on foot to Edo with his two servants, Genta
>and Gonpachi.  They
>meet an assortment of people walking in the same direction
>?\a salesman,
>traveling performers, an orphan, a group of pilgrims, and
>others. Spearman
>Gonpachi always worries about his master and Genta?fs
>drinking habits. On
>their way to Edo, finally they meet their tragic end?c The
>last sword
>fighting scene is simply powerful. This is the first
>postwar film from
>Uchida Tomu, and Ito Daisuke, Ozu Yasujiro, Shimizu
>Hiroshi, and Mizoguchi
>Kenji are just a few giant figures of Japanese cinema who
>helped Uchida to
>make this after being away from the scene for 13 long
>years.  It is also
>noteworthy that Kataoka Chiezo, usually typecast as a
>hero, plays the
>servant here.
>Bushido: Samurai Saga (Bushido Zankoku Monogatari)
>1963 / 123min. / B&W, cinemascope / Toei
>Director: Imai Tadashi / Based on a novel by: Nanjo Norio
>/ Screenwriters:
>Suzuki Naoyuki, Yoda Yoshitaka / Cinematographer: Tsuboi
>Makoto / Art
>Director: Kawashima Taizo/ Music: Mayuzumi Toshiro
>Cast: Nakamura Kinnosuke, Tono Eijiro, Watanabe Misako,
>Mori Masayuki, Mita
>An unusual drama focusing on the inhuman characteristics
>of feudalistic
>society.  Imai Tadashi looks at the way exceptional
>loyalty leads the
>characters to extreme acts of self-sacrifice experienced
>by seven
>generations of a fictional family from medieval times to
>the present.
>Members of Iikura family have met grueling fates?\some of
>them had to die
>committing seppuku, others had their loved ones violated
>by their lords,
>others died carrying out a suicide bombing attack or
>becoming a corporate
>slave.  Nakamura Kinnosuke, famous as one of the biggest
>jidaigeki stars,
>plays all of the heroes from the seven different periods
>of time with
>The film received a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film
>Rashomon (Rashomon)
>1950 / 88 min. / B&W, standard / Kadokawa Pictures (Daiei)
>Director: Kurosawa Akira / Based on a novel by: Akutagawa
>Ryunosuke /
>Screenwriters: Kurosawa Akira, Hashimoto Shinobu /
>Kazuo / Art Director: Matsuyama Takashi / Music: Hayasaka
>Cast: Mifune Toshiro, Kyo Machiko, Mori Masayuki, Shimura
>Takashi, Chiaki
>Minoru, Ueda Kichijiro, Honma Fumiko, Kato Daisuke
>One of the best known works of Kurosawa Akira, this film
>won the Golden
>at the Venice Film Festival.  Based on a novel by
>Akutagawa Ryunosuke, this
>film delves deep down into the human psyche by telling a
>story surrounding
>dead samurai.  The film is set in the war-torn 10th
>century. A samurai is
>found dead in the shrubs with stabbed wounds.  He was
>apparently murdered,
>while his wife was raped. Tajomaru, a robber suspected of
>rape and murder
>was arrested.  However, Tajomaru, the samurai?fs wife, and
>the dead samurai
>(talking through a medium) all tell stories that
>contradict one another. .
>.  The stellar ensemble cast of Mifune Toshiro, KYO
>Machiko, Mori Masayuki,
>and Shimura Takashi is sheer joy to watch.  Staff members
>such as famed
>cameraman Miyagawa Kazuo show great teamwork as well.
>Revenge of a Kabuki Actor (Yukinojo Henge)
>1963/113min. / color, cinemascope / Kadokawa Pictures
>Director: Ichikawa Kon/ Based on a novel by: Mikami
>Otokichi /
>Screenwriters: Ito Daisuke, Kinugasa Teinosuke, Wada Natto
>Cinematographer: Kobayashi Setsuo / Art Director: Nishioka
>Yoshinobu /
>Music: Akutagawa Yasushi, Yagi Masao
>Cast: Hasegawa Kazuo, Yamamoto Fujiko, Wakao Ayako,
>Nakamura Ganjiro, Katsu
>Set in Edo period theater, Yukinojo, a famous kabuki actor
>who plays female
>roles, is secretly plotting to avenge his father by
>killing those who
>his father?fs demise.  Yukinojo approaches Dobe Sansai,
>one of the enemies,
>but Namiji, Sansai?fs daughter, who knows nothing about
>?fs past,
>falls in love with Yukinojo immediately after seeing him
>on stage.
>Yamitaro, a leader of thieves, and Ohatsu, a man-hating
>woman burglar,
>further complicate and enliven this drama of revenge.
>This was famous
>heart-throb Hasegawa Kazuo?fs 300th film appearance, and
>he plays both
>Yukinojo and Yamitaro.  Jazzy music by Akutagawa Yasushi
>Ryunosuke?fs son), as well as interesting artistic design,
>lighting, and
>photography, all contribute to this stylish film by
>Ichikawa Kon.
>June 23 (Fri.)
>18:30?@The Wife of Seishu Hanaoka /1967 / 99 mins. /
>Masumura Yasuzo
>June 24 (Sat.)
>13:30?@The Inner Palace Conspiracy / 1951 / 98 min. / Ito
>15:45?@A Bloody Spear at Mt. Fuji / 1955 / 94 min. /
>Uchida Tomu
>18:00?@Bushido: Samurai Saga / 1963 / 123 min. / Imai
>June 25 (Sun)
>13:30?@Rashomon / 1950 / 88 min. / Kurosawa Akira
>15:15?@Lecture by Dr. Keiko McDonald
>18:00 Revenge of a Kabuki Actor  / 1963 / 113 min./
>Ichikawa Kon
>TOKYO FILMeX office (Okazaki)
>3rd Floor, 5-5-11, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
>TEL: 03-3560-6394 FAX:03-3586-0201
>e-mail:  okazaki at

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