Sunday, October 22, 2017

Japan Society Film Presents Barbara Hammer's Documentary about Influential Filmmaking Collective Ogawa Productions, Followed by Ogawa's Masterpiece 'Sanrizuka – Heta Village'

Saturday, November 11 at 4 PM
**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).

2000, 84 min., digital, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Barbara Hammer.

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.

Tickets: $13/$10 seniors & students/$9 Japan Society members


Saturday, November 11 at 7:00 pm
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.

1973, 146 min., digital, b&w, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Shinsuke Ogawa.

“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).

Tickets: $13/$10 seniors and students/$5 Japan Society members.


December 2 & 3
Just ahead of his centenary, Japan Society presents three brand-new 4K restorations of director Yuzo Kawashima’s collaborations with legendary actress Ayako Wakao. Known for his acidic urban comedies and satires, the highly modern Kawashima (1918-1963) left behind 51 films, all of which remain criminally underseen in the U.S. These bold Kawashima gems featuring the luminous Wakao, full of playful visual surprises and sharp social commentary, offer a rare opportunity to reintroduce a master filmmaker who bridges the gap between the classical Japanese cinema of the 1950s and the New Wave of the 1960s. Featured films include Women are Born TwiceElegant Beast, and The Temple of Wilde Geese. 

“Kawashima is a director whose non-existence in the West is a sorrowful grievance which ought to be redressed.” — Slant Magazine

Tickets: $13/$10 seniors & students/$9 Japan Society members

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, btw First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 & 7 at 42nd St-Grand Central Station or the E & M at Lexington and 53rd St.)

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