Japan Society Film

Japan Society Film

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Screening Japanese cinema from classics to contemporary premieres in NYC. Organizers of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film since 2007. Films streaming at film.japansociety.org

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JAPAN CUTS 2021 returns Aug 20th for Online and In-Person Screenings!

North America’s largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema returns for its 15th edition as an online and in-person hybrid event! Following last year's entirely online edition, this summer’s festival offers 14 days of unique access to 38 dynamic new films from Japan for audiences across the United States—including studio films, independent gems, documentaries, shorts, avant-garde works and more—through Japan Society’s virtual cinema.

Cinema as Struggle: The Films of Kazuo Hara & Sachiko Kobayashi | Streaming now!

Our online film retrospective, Cinema as Struggle: The Films of Kazuo Hara & Sachiko Kobayashi, kicks off today! Widely-recognized for their compelling, complicated and deeply personal portraits of iconoclastic individuals, Kazuo Hara and Sachiko Kobayashi have dedicated their lives to documenting the struggle between people and the powers that be. Presented in partnership with Janus Films and Shisso Productions, this career-spanning retrospective celebrates the highly influential documentary work of the husband-and-wife team. Streaming now until July 2nd! View and rent films here!

Koji Fukada's The Real Thing | Streaming starts this Friday, June 4th!

The Real Thing, Koji Fukada’s latest work, is a sprawling 10-part television miniseries officially selected by the 2020 Cannes Selection Committee. After a floundering toy salesman rescues a beguiling woman whose car was stuck on the train tracks, she inadvertently whisks him into an epic series of misadventures that turn his life upside down. While his once humdrum routine was already complicated by two female co-workers, he soon finds himself entrenched with gangsters, strange interlopers, kidnapping and other sundry crimes…

Recent reviews

After being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the age of 80 and given six months to live, Nobuhiko Obayashi set out to fulfill his filmmaking dream: an adaptation of a 1937 novella by Kazuo Dan that the director had originally hoped to make even before his legendary debut House in 1977. In the spring of 1941, wide-eyed 17-year-old Toshihiko Sakakiyama (Shunsuke Kubozuka) arrives in the coastal town of Karatsu in Saga Prefecture and befriends a group of teenage…

In his follow-up to Casting Blossoms to the Sky, Nobuhiko Obayashi continues to explore themes of lost love, memory, war and art. At 2:46 PM on March 11, 2013 in Ashibetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture, Mitsuo Suzuki (Toru Shinagawa) takes his last breath at the ripe age of 92. As the patriarch’s far-flung family gathers to make preparations for his passing, a mysterious and unknown woman (Takako Tokiwa) appears among them. Together, they begin to unravel the secret history of Mitsuo’s long…

In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, journalist Reiko Endo (Yasuko Matsuyuki) travels to the city of Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture as it prepares for an annual fireworks festival memorializing the fallen victims of war. Drawn to the city by an old flame who plans to put on a war-themed play written by a mysterious student, Reiko embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she learns the storied history of Nagaoka and the ghosts of its war-torn past.…

“Minamata disease” is a neurological disease caused by methylmercury poisoning named for its identification in Kumamoto Prefecture, where industrial wastewater from a Chisso Corporation chemical plant contaminated fish and shellfish consumed by communities around Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea. Filmed over 15 years, this sprawling documentary lays out this history of pollution dating back to the 1930s and decades long legal battles against the government for diagnosis certification and reparations. However the film gives itself over to the network…

Liked reviews

The most amazing sports cinematography I've ever seen. Sound design is fantastic as well! Ichikawa actually makes baseball interesting.

Notes later.

Unpopular opinion maybe, but I prefer this to Tokyo Olympiad, and mind, I don't even particularly like baseball.
The first part is among the best examples of cinema I've seen this year: beautiful photography, really stunning, by Uematsu Eikichi (a cinematographer for Kamei Fumio's Record of Blood: Sunagawa, among other works), fast-paced editing like in an action movie, incredible popping colours, a moody music, inventive camera angles, a clever sound design, different landscapes of Japan, and above all, it touches…

Sion Sono has lived many lives behind the camera. After several relentless decades spent churning out softcore pornos, demented J-horror classics, furious confrontations with post-Fukushima Japan, a hyper-violent rap opera about masculine fragility, one of the most unflinching serial killer dramas since “Vengeance Is Mine,” a four-hour epic about upskirt photographers (and death cults), an Amazon miniseries called “Tokyo Vampire Hotel,” and a few dozen other films that defy such easy description, the only thing less surprising than the massive…