Nikkatsu at 100: A Centennial of Japanese Cinema

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October 26, 2012 - October 28, 2012, Varied

Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall & Thea Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex

The School of Cinematic Arts, Visions and Voices, and Nikkatsu Corporation,
in cooperation with The Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles,
The Japan Foundation Los Angeles (JFLA), Japan Film Society,
The Cinefamily,
The Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures, The East Asian Studies Center,
and Josai International University invite you and a guest to attend


 
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPS REQUIRED.
 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26TH

7:00 PM: Opening Remarks by Akira Mizuta Lippit, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts; Consul General Jun Niimi from the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles; Misako Ito, Director of the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles; and Naoki Sato, President and CEO of Nikkatsu Corporation.

7:20 PM: Secret Screening of the new horror film from Director Hideo Nakata (Ringu, Dark Water), co-presented by The Cinefamily, followed by a Q&A with the director.

10:00 PM: Catered Reception and Live Set by DJ House Shoes.
Learn more about DJ House Shoes at djhouseshoes.com

TO RSVP FOR THE OPENING NIGHT SCREENING AND PARTY, CLICK HERE.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH

ALL EVENTS ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH WILL NOW TAKE PLACE IN THE RAY STARK FAMILY THEATRE, SCA 108, LOCATED IN THE LOBBY OF THE GEORGE LUCAS BUILDING, USC SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS COMPLEX, 900 W. 34TH STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA 90007.

11:00 AM: The Burmese Harp (1956, 116 minutes, Dir: Kon Ichikawa)
(c)1956 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
With The Burmese Harp, Kon Ichikawa made one of his best films at Nikkatsu and one of his best-known internationally: a stirring beautifully shot anti-war story about a Japanese soldier after British victory in Burma. Separated from his comrades in the chaotic afterman, harp-playing Corporal Mizushima (Shoji Yasui) finds himself in a frightening new world. As Mizushima finds his bearings in the ravaged landscape, Ichikawa’s film becomes a subtle spiritual journey inflected by Buddhism. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture.

To RSVP for The Burmese Harp, click here.

 

1:15 PM: The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate (1957, 110 minutes, Dir: Yuzo Kawashima) --Digitally Restored Version-- (c)1957 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
This uproarious rakugo (traditional “sit-down” comedy) co-written by Yuzo Kawashima, Shohei Imamura, and Keiichi Tanakat was rated by Kinema Junpo as the fifth-greatest Japanese film of all time. Socialite Saheji (comedian Frankie Sakai) runs up a bill at a brothel and is forced to remain there until he works off his debt. However, Saheji takes advantage of the confusion leading up to the Meiji restoration, turning a profit and seducing the brothel’s staff.

To RSVP for The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate, click here.

 

3:30 PM: Rusty Knife (1958, 90 minutes, Dir: Toshio Masuda)
(c)1958 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
Shady pasts come back to haunt two ex-thugs after going straight in this hit first feature from Toshio Masuda that cemented his place in the Nikkatsu action pantheon. Years after Tachibana (studio star Yujiro Ishihara) and Makoto (future big-shot Akira Kobayashi) accidentally witness a murder by a local crime heavy, a thirds witness threatens to sing like a canary, bringing Tachibana and Makoto’s names bubbling back to the surface in the stellar jazzy noir.

To RSVP for Rusty Knife, click here.

 

6:00 PM: "Nikkatsu and the World of Japanese Entertainment" Panel Discussion. Panelists will include: Sandy Climan, CEO of All Nippon Entertainment Works Inc. (ANEW); Akira Mizuta Lippit, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; Hide Murakawa, Professor of film & video at Josai International University; Hideo Nakata, Director of Ringu & Dark Water; Naoki Sato, President and CEO of Nikkatsu Corporation.

The panel will look at the rich history of Nikkatsu's one hundred years and uses the occasion to both reflect on Nikkatsu's contributions to Japanese film culture and to assess the place of Japanese entertainment today in Japan and abroad. Panelists include key members of the Japanese film and entertainment communities who can best speak to the rich history of Nikkatsu and Japanese cinema as well as look forward to new horizons in Japanese film and media.

FOR PANELIST BIOS, CLICK HERE.
TO RSVP FOR THIS PANEL DISCUSSION, CLICK HERE.

8:00 PM: Lovers are Wet (1973, 76 minutes, Dir: Tatsumi Kumashiro)
(c)1973 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
Katsu, a young man who has spent five years drifting around Japan, returns to his coastal village hometown hoping to restart his life. Though the villagers recognize him, he refuses to admit his past identity. He sets about disrupting social conventions and engaging in sexual and violent affronts to decorum. A local girl befriends him. In 1999 the mainstream Japanese film journal Kinema Juno named it as one of the best Japanese films of the 20th century.

To RSVP for Lovers are Wet, click here.

 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28TH

ALL EVENTS ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28TH WILL NOW TAKE PLACE IN THE RAY STARK FAMILY THEATRE, SCA 108, LOCATED IN THE LOBBY OF THE GEORGE LUCAS BUILDING, USC SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS COMPLEX, 900 W. 34TH STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA 90007.

12:00 PM: The Insect Woman (1963, 123 minutes, Dir: Shohei Imamura)
(c)1963 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
Amorality in Japan. Tome is born into poverty in rural Japan, in the late 1910’s. Chuji, her father, dotes on her; her mother is less faithful. Tome becomes a neighbor’s mistress, works at his mill as World War II rages, and has a daughter. After am affair with a mill supervisor, Tome goes to Tokyo to seek her fortune. She leaves the child, Nobuko, in Chuji’s care. Tome’s a maid at a brothel, learns trade from the madam, enjoys the protection of a businessman whose mistress she becomes, and is soon herself the boss. As Chuji ages and Nobuko grows up with her own ideas, can Tome’s self-preserving schemes provide continued comfort? Or will the mice scamper?

To RSVP for The Insect Woman, click here.

 

2:15 PM: Retaliation (1968, 94 minutes, Dir:Yasuharu Hasebe)
(c)1968 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
Hasebe’s hardboiled New Action take on underworld turf wars pits tough guy Akira Kobayashi as an ex-con gang leader against Joe Shishido. Steering clear of romanticizing the underworld, the story plots out the cutthroat tactic and amoral diplomacy required to remain on top.

To RSVP for Retaliation, click here.

 

5:00 PM: "The Global Studio at 100" Panel Discussion.
Panelists will include: Dr. Akira Lippit, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts; Bill Mechanic, Chairman and CEO of Pandemonium Films; Hideo Nakata, Director of Ringu & Dark Water; Jay Roach, Director of Austin Powers, Meet the Parents, Recount & The Campain; Naoki Sato, President and CEO of Nikkatsu Corporation. Moderated by Dr. Richard B. Jewell, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts.

This panel brings together key figures from the global film studio community, including executives, scholars, and directors to look at the role of the studio system over the past one hundred years. Reflecting on Nikkatsu's contributions to Japanese film culture, the panel looks at how the studio system shaped global cinema throughout the twentieth century and also how it has adapted to changes during the past one hundred years. The panel concludes by looking ahead to the next one hundred years, imagining new configurations for studios as they respond to technological, social, and global changes in the media industry.

FOR PANELIST BIOS, CLICK HERE.
TO RSVP FOR THIS PANEL DISCUSSION, CLICK HERE.

7:00 PM: Suzaki Paradise: Red Light (1956, 81 minutes, Dir: Yuzo Kawashima)
(c)1956 NIKKATSU CORPORATION. Brand new 35mm print provided courtesy of Tokyo Filmex and the City of Tokyo.
An unwed couple takes refuge in a Tokyo red-light district in this matter-of-fact look at the seamier side of life from key transitional director Yuzo Kawashima. Yoshigi (Mihashi Tatsuya) sells noodles while his companion Tsutue (Aratama Michiyo) slings sake, but it’s easy come, easy go when Tsutue’s eyes wander to another man. This was Kawashima’s personal favorite among his films, and its open embrace of its role characters was doubtless an influence on its assistant director, Shohei Imamura.

To RSVP for Suzaki Paradise: Red Light, click here.

        

8:30 PM: Tattooed Life (1965, 87 minutes, Dir: Seijun Suzuki)
(c)1965 NIKKATSU CORPORATION
A yakuza action movie directed by Seijun Suzuki. The film stars Hideki Takahashi as “Silver Fox” Tetsu. The story follows the flight of yakuza hitman Tetsu and his younger, artistic brother Kenji after the latter kills a yakuza boss in a double cross. The pair is pursued by the yakuza and police as they head to Manchuria. They are swindled of heir money before they can reach their destination and take labor jobs on a tunnel project, each falling in love with their new boss’s wife and daughter, respectively.

To RSVP for Tattooed Life, click here.

 

About Nikkatsu at 100: A Centennial of Japanese Cinema

On September 10, 2012, Japan’s Nikkatsu Film Studio celebrated its 100th anniversary. One of Japan’s oldest and most acclaimed film studios, the Nikkatsu libraries contain approximately 3,300 film titles, including some of the most important Japanese films from the silent era to the classical period, from the postwar era to the new wave, and up to the present renaissance of Japanese cinema and Nikkatsu Studios. Nikkatsu’s films include period pieces and samurai films, melodramas and youth films, gangster films and “pink” movies, horror films and contemporary blockbusters, with major critical and box offices successes in each of those areas.

This three-day event draws from Nikkatsu’s library to celebrate 100 years of Japanese cinema and the centennial of Nikkatsu’s founding. Nikkatsu’s collaboration allows the screening of rare 35mm film prints from Nikkatsu’s archive, including many films recognized as masterpieces of world cinema. Throughout the festival, we will showcase a selection of films from across the Nikkatsu catalogue, with some commentary and post-screening discussion offered by film experts and persons involved in the film’s production, as well as roundtable conversations including directors, film scholars, and film critics on Nikkatsu’s enduring legacy in Japan and its historical place in the film world.

Check-In & Reservations

All screenings are free of charge and open to the public. RSVPs required. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmations, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making RSVPs through this website.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.

Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

About the Co-Sponsors

THE JAPAN FOUNDATION, LOS ANGELES (JFLA) is a cultural exchange institution which promotes international awareness and mutual understanding between Japan and overseas countries. We also provide a wide range of programs relating to introducing Japanese Arts and Culture, promoting people-to-people exchange, support for Japanese Studies and language, education and assisting media-related projects such as publications, translations, and film/video productions by offering various kinds of grants.

Our activities are for non-profit and we are financed by operation profits on Japanese government endowment, annual government subsidies and funding/donations from the private sector. The Foundation maintains 23 offices in 21 overseas countries including 2 offices in North America: New York and Los Angeles.

JFLA (formerly The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office 1983-1994 and The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office & Language Center 1994-2004) opened its first office in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, in February 1983.

Now located in the Wilshire Courtyard of the Miracle Mile District, JFLA conducts arts and cultural programs for the Western United States (the thirteen states west of the Rockies). The office also provides comprehensive assistance for Japanese-language education nationwide.

Visit their Official Website: http://www.jflalc.org/

THE JAPAN FILM SOCIETY is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to promote Japanese film and culture in the United States.

JFS is an all-volunteer network of artists, business people, and film lovers who share an appreciation for the diverse world of Japanese cinema. Together, we aspire to showcase the work of Japanese filmmakers and non-Japanese artists inspired by Japanese cinema and culture.

Visit their Official Website: http://japanfilmsociety.org/

THE CINEFAMILY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films.

The Cinefamily’s mission is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others.

The Cinefamily was founded in 2007 by brothers Dan and Sammy Harkham and Hadrian Belove, founder of Cinefile Video. We currently average 14 shows per week, many of which are enhanced with special guests, live music, dance parties, potlucks and other kinds of social fun. Last year, 53,352 patrons visited the Cinefamily in person, and 1.5 million were reached by the Cinefamily livestream.

This event is part of NIGHTMARE CITY (nightmare-city.com), a month-long, city-wide horror festival presented by Cinespia, The Cinefamily, and The Woodshed. Events include spotlight premieres (including Sion Sono's Guilty of Romance, Toad Road, Maniac), musical performances by Jonwayne (live scoring Tetsuo: Iron Man), Joe Frank, Hauschka (playing to Hands of Orlac), 30 different midnight movies, a blacklight art show curated by Sammy Harkham, a Synth-themed halloween party with performances by Tearist, James Ferraro, and Claudio Simonetti (from  "Goblin") and much, much more.

Check out the full calendar of events here: http://www.cinefamily.org/#calendar. Hideo Nakata will be appearing also on the 25th at Cinefamily to present RINGU.

CENTER FOR JAPANESE RELIGIONS AND CULTURES (CJRC) was established at the University of Southern California (USC) in September 2011. The Center’s mission is to promote the study of Japanese religions and culture at USC and in the broader intellectual community of Japan Studies. We will foster this area of study by funding faculty-led research projects; planning conferences, colloquia, and workshops; providing faculty and graduate student research support awards; and by building our capacity to host visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows in the near future (3-5 years). CJRC is the first research center for Japanese religions on the West Coast of the United States, and only the second such center in the country (the first is the Columbia University Center for Japanese Religion).

The establishment of the Center for Japanese Religions and Culture is a significant milestone as it is the first and only Japan Studies center at USC. Before the establishment of CJRC, USC was home to three centers devoted to East Asian area studies: the East Asian Studies Center, the U.S.-China Institute, and the Korean Studies Institute. However, the university lacked a research unit devoted to Japan. The establishment of the Center for Japanese Religions and Culture thus signifies an important moment for scholarship in Japan studies at USC. In addition to filling this very conspicuous absence in the usual triad of East Asia studies centers, CJRC also seeks to serve the needs of, and to create research synergy among, the critical mass of USC faculty members who work in this area.

Visit their Official Website: http://dornsife.usc.edu/cjrc/

THE EAST ASIAN STUDIES CENTER (EASC) was established in 1975 by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in order to provide dedicated leadership, coordination and support for the growing interdisciplinary education, research activity, and community outreach concerning East Asia. In addition to being an academic department, EASC has been recognized as one of the nation's leading centers for the development of East Asian area studies and is among a small group of elite colleges and universities to be designated a National Resource Center for East Asian studies by the U.S. Department of Education. Today, over 70 USC faculty are affiliated with EASC.

Visit their Official Website: http://dornsife.usc.edu/eascenter

About Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

For more information, visit www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices

         

Produced by Akira Mizuta Lippit, Alessandro Ago and Michael Dillon
for the USC School of Cinematic Arts

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu