Our last film from the animation theme was Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke and we were very pleased about our record breaking attendance. This film is also the perfect link to our next theme which is the Japanese cinema. During April we welcome in Cork the annual Japanese Film Festival and since the country’s film making is so close to our heart we decided to expand on it and have the next two months dedicated to this film strong region. Naturally we first contacted the JFF to ensure that with our screenings we want to support the festival and expand on it and sponge of it. The JFF team was very supportive and even offered to promote our screenings, for which we are very thankful.
Now without further ado here is our program:
(synopsis taken from IMDb and reviews in Italic written by Zemo)
15.4. Akira Kurosawa – Yojimbo (1961)
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.
I felt that this film by the legendary Akira Kurosawa even though considered one of his greatest is often overlooked by Cineclubs in favour of the likes of ‘Ran’ or ‘Seven Samurai’. It is also my favourite performance by Toshiro Mifune.
22.4. Masaki Kobayashi – Harakiri (Seppuku) (1962)
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord’s home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
Let us call this one a psychological samurai drama. When you think of samurai movies you imagine lot of sword fights but even with absence of these ‘Harakiri’ manages to surpass them all. All right there is a little sword fighting as well. Essential viewing.
29.4. Masaaki Yuasa, Kôji Morimoto – Mind Game (2004)
The film follows Nishi, a loser who has a crush on his childhood girlfriend. After an encounter with the Japanese mafia, the film follows Nishi as he journeys to heaven and back, and ends up trapped in an even more unlikely place.
I know we just came out of the animation theme but this brilliant animated feature was on my short list of ‘If I ever have a Cineclub’ films way before I started with The Deja View at Camden Palace. It was only waiting for the appropriate date which is now.
06.5. Yôjirô Takita – Departures
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.
Academy award winner for best foreign language film in 2008 is one of our most recent entries
13.5. Ishirô Honda – Godzilla (Gojira) (1954)
American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.
This is the first time the mutated sea monster came out of the sea and repeatedly destroyed Tokyo and New York over the last 60 years.
20.5. Kenji Mizoguchi – Ugetsu Monogatari (1953)
A fantastic tale of war, love, family and ambition set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.
27.5. Yasujirô Ozu – I was born but…(1932)
Two young brothers become the leaders of a gang of kids in their neighbourhood. Their father is an office clerk who tries for advancement by playing up his boss.
Japanese silent era masterpiece by the legendary director who is sadly not as well-known as Akira Kurosawa. If you never seen any of his movies this is a great film to start. Most famous for ‘Tokyo Story’
This was very hard thing to do to choose only seven movies and we feel we have to mention the runner-ups which we will try to include at some later stage. We are considering to do couple extra screenings but nothing is confirmed yet so we cant make any promises.
We were planning to include at least one Takeshi Kitano movie but since we showed our personal favorite Sonatine last year we felt other directors should get the space. But he is the first choice for a Friday screening. We are thinking of experimenting with a poll where you choose which of his movies you want to see. Another Miyazaki movie was also considered but we just cam out from animation and there is already one animation in the program so again we left space for real actors. There are some directors as well who we would like to show at least one movie of…for example Takashi Miike or Seijun Suzuki. We also omitted a whole genre of gory comedy horrors like Noboru Igochi’s Machine Girl probably the goriest film ever. And just to list few more:
Kaneto Shindo – Onibaba
Kaneto Shindo – Edo Porn
Yasuzo Masumura – Blind Beast
Kinji Fukasaku – Battle Royale
We hope to see you at least at few of the movies shown. We know we should not play favorites but our top choice is Harakiri on 22.04.2015.
*note about poster: We found the image on the Killahbeez website and they in turn have it from LWLIES who created this print, sold it at 40GBP and donated all proceedings to NPO charity. This print is long sold out but can be now freely used online as a reminder to make donations to charity, but in this spirit The Deja View made an actual donation as well to Project Reason of the same amount as was the print
Here is a link to an interesting TED talk about our perception of charity organisations