The Chef of South Polar (2009). Directed by Shûichi Okita (all images courtesy Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs in association with VIPO)
this article is sponsored by Japan Society
Highlighting the early efforts of now-established contemporary filmmakers, Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors — the second ACA Cinema Project series — takes an intimate look at six of Japan’s most well-known directors: Naomi Kawase, Miwa Nishikawa, Shuichi Okita, Junji Sakamoto, Akihiko Shiota, and Masayuki Suo. Brought to you by Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan (ACA), in collaboration with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO), this hybrid program will feature 18 films streaming throughout the US on Japan Society’s Virtual Cinema from December 3–23, 2021, and two in-person screenings in Japan Society’s auditorium at 333 E 47th Street in Manhattan on December 11 and 17.
Farewell Song (2019). Directed by Akihiko Shiota
Series highlights include Naomi Kawase’s 1997 debut Suzaku — a gorgeously-shot family drama that won the Cannes Camera d’Or, making Kawase the youngest director to win the coveted prize, and Shuichi Okita’s most recent effort, Ora, Ora Be Goin’ Alone, a surreal exploration of loneliness. In addition, Junji Sakamoto and Masayuki Suo’s late ’80s indie classics Knockout and Fancy Dance bring entertaining and eclectic perspectives to the worlds of boxing and Buddhism, while Miwa Nishikawa’s dysfunctional character studies offer comically bleak cynicism in Wild Berries, or even possible redemption in The Long Excuse.
Japan Society is also proud to present, in collaboration with the National Film Archive of Japan, two new 4K restorations of films by master filmmaker Sadao Yamanaka: Tange Sazen and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo, a North American premiere, and Priest of Darkness, an International Premiere — to screen exclusively on-site in Japan Society’s auditorium.
In-person screenings are $15 ($10 for members). For online screenings, all individual film rentals are $10, with discounted bundle offers. Both individual screenings and bundles come with a 3-day rental window, on sale starting December 3. Japan Society members receive a 20% discount on all tickets via coupon code.
All online films are available through film.japansociety.org, presented in Japanese with English subtitles within the US from December 3-23 unless otherwise noted. Titles that are also available beyond the US are noted on the website. Lineup and other details are subject to change.
For complete information, visit japansociety.org.
Ora, Ora Be Goin’ Alone (2020). Directed by Shuichi Okita.
Knockout (1989). Directed by Junji Sakamoto.
Fancy Dance (1989). Directed by Masayuki Suo.