With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

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.

Monday, October 30, 2017

THE VILLAINESS coming to digital November 7th, Blu-ray Combo pAck and DVD on November 21st

Well Go USA
The Villainess / Ak-Nyeo
Directed by JUNG Byung-gil
South Korea, 2017, 124 minutes

Bloody revenge is at the heart of the stylish, kinetic action-thriller The Villainess, debuting on digital November 7 and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD November 21 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Certified “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, this welcome shot of adrenaline to the classic femme fatale story follows a ruthless female assassin who leaves a trail of bodies behind her as she seeks her blood-spattered revenge.

Directed by JUNG Byung-gil (Confession of Murder), The Villainess stars KIM Ok-bin (Thirst, The Front Line), SHIN Ha-kyun (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) and BANG Sung-jun (Horror Stories 2, Pluto).

Bonus materials include a Making-of featurette that highlights the action choreography and the characters.

Honed from childhood into a merciless killing machine by a criminal organization, assassin Sook-hee is recruited as a sleeper agent with the promise of freedom after ten years of service - and she jumps at the chance for a normal life. But soon enough, secrets from her past destroy everything she’s worked for, and now nobody can stand in her way as she embarks on a roaring rampage of revenge.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DAGUERROTYPE opens on VOD on Tuesday, November 7th

(Photo Credit: Under The Milky Way)
Daguerrotype / Le secret de la chambre noire
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring Tahar Rahim, Constance Rousseau, and Oliver Gourmet 
France/Belgium/Japan, 2016, 131 minutes
In French with English subtitles

From acclaimed Japanese master Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Creepy, Pulse), comes Daguerrotype, a classic ghost story bent through the lens of one of the most singular horror visionaries at work today. It will open on VOD Nationwide on Tuesday, November 7 on all major platforms including iTunes, Sony, Google Play, Amazon, Microsoft, Vudu, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Vimeo, and various other cable operators.

Jean (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet), a young Parisian with few skills and even fewer prospects, seems an unlikely candidate for assistant to famed photographer Stéphane (Olivier Gourmet), an obsessive perfectionist living in isolation since his wife’s unexpected death. Yet he soon finds himself in his new employer’s vast, decaying mansion, helping to create life-sized daguerrotypes so vivid they seem almost to contain some portion of their subjects’ souls.

Their model is most often Stéphane’s daughter and muse, Marie (Constance Rousseau), and as she and Jean fall in love they realize they must hatch a plot to leave Stéphane’s haunted world forever. But is there something malevolent within the massive daguerrotypes that will prevent their escape?

Daguerrotype was an official selection of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sentai Filmworks Has Acquired ‘The Life of Budori Gusko’

Sentai Filmworks has announced its acquisition of the Japanese animated feature film, The Life of Budori Gusko.

Based on the 1932 fantasy novel by Kenji Miyazawa, the film is a fairy tale that follows an anthromorphic cat named Budori living in the forests of Ihatov. After a series of misfortunes, including the spiriting away of his beloved sister, Budori sets off to build a better life - but a deadly winter is coming, and Budori finds himself the unlikely hero with a plan that can save everyone.

The Life of Budori Gusko will soon be available on select digital outlets, with a home video release to follow.