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Japan Society NYC schedule: ‘The Female Gaze’ film festival

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Photo Credit: © 2022 Wedding High Film Partners
Photo Credit: © 2022 Wedding High Film Partners

Japan Society NYC will present ‘The Female Gaze: Women Filmmakers from JAPAN CUTS and Beyond’ film festival this November. Full screening schedule below for the ACA Cinema Project Series.

JAPAN SOCIETY FILM SCREENING SCHEDULE

Friday, 11/11

7:00 PM – ‘Wedding High’ (North American Premiere)

Dir. Akiko Ohku, 2021, 120 min., DCP, color. With Ryoko Shinohara, Tomoya Nakamura, Nagisa Sekimizu

“The latest from Akiko Ohku (My Sweet Grappa Remedies, JC 2020; Tremble All You Want, JC 2018) steps away from the director’s singular heroines to offer a wildly entertaining ensemble piece.
*nbsp;
When Akihito and Haruka decide to tie the knot, little do they know of the impending chaos to follow when the wedding guests—each with their own set of motivations, passions and backstories—begin to use the occasion for their own means, threatening to derail a “perfect wedding.”

* Screening followed by a post-screening discussion & Q&A with director Ohku, and an opening night party.

Saturday, 11/12

1:00 PM – ‘Dreaming of the Meridian Arc’ (U.S. Premiere)

Dir. Kenji Nakanishi. 2022, 111 min., DCP, color. With Kiichi Nakai, Keiko Kitagawa, Kenichi Matsuyama.

“A TV dramatization of Tadataka Ino, the first person to map Japan, runs into trouble when it’s discovered mid-production that Ino died three years prior to the completion of his map.
 
Adapted for the screen by Yoshiko Morishita from Shinosuke Tatekawa’s rakugo story, Dreaming of the Meridian Arc weaves between modern day and Edo-era Japan to offer an entertaining account of the exploits that led to the completion of Ino’s revolutionary map.”

5:00 PM – ‘She is me, I am her’ (World Premiere)

Dir. Mayu Nakamura, 2022, 70 min., DCP, color. With Nahana, Fusako Urabe, Kota Kusano, Miyoko Asada.

“A socially-distanced college reunion, an unusual rapport struck between a food delivery man and a patron, a bus-stop encounter, and a blind woman scammed into thinking her brother is sick constitute the stories of Mayu Nakamura’s COVID-era quadriptych.
 
A work that delves into the lives of women in COVID-era Japan, finding profundity and human connection amid the unlikely encounters of strangers.”

7:00 PM – ‘One Summer Story’ (New York Premiere)

Dir. Shuichi Okita, 2020, 138 min., DCP, color. With Moka Kamishiraishi, Kanata Hosoda, Yuki Saito, Etsushi Toyokawa.

“Lensed by cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa, longtime DP for Kiyoshi Kurosawa whose collaborations include Tokyo Sonata and To the Ends of the Earth, Shuichi Okita’s charming One Summer Story follows young Minami and her friend Shohei as she tries to investigate the whereabouts of her missing father.”

Sunday, 11/13

1:00 PM – ‘Good Stripes’ (North American Premiere)

Dir. Yukiko Sode, 2015, 119 min., DCP, color. With Akiko Kikuchi, Ayumu Nakajima, Asami Usuda.

“An ode to romantic rediscovery and second chances, the second feature of director Yukiko Sode (Aristocrats, JC 2021) follows a couple on the verge of breaking up.
 
When a surprise pregnancy results in a shotgun wedding, the two decide to stick it out for the baby’s sake.”

4:00 PM – ‘The Nighthawk’s First Love’ (International Premiere)

Dir. Yuka Yasukawa, 2021, 98 min., DCP, color. With Ayumu Nakajima, Rena Matsui, Mina Fujii.

“An adaptation of Naoki Prize-winning author Rio Shimamoto’s romantic novel, Yuka Yasukawa’s second feature follows the life of grad student Aiko whose facial birthmark has left her reluctant to pursue love.
 
Aiko finds herself in unknown territory when rising interest in her story catches interest for a film adaptation.”

7:00 PM – ‘Her Brother’ (International Premiere of 4K Restoration)

Dir. Kon Ichikawa, 1960, 98 min., DCP, color. With Keiko Kishi, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Masayuki Mori.

“Based on the autobiographical novel by Aya Koda, Her Brother was adapted to the screen by Yoko Mizuki, renowned for her work on Kwaidan and Floating Clouds.
 
Her Brother is a restrained family melodrama told from the viewpoint of Gen, a lonely yet resilient young woman obligated to her distant writer father and invalid, Christian stepmother.
 
Gen is left to serve as a surrogate mother for her delinquent younger brother Hekiro, to whom she remains lovingly devoted.”

Monday, 11/14

7:00 PM – ‘Conflagration’ (International Premiere of 4K Restoration)

Dir. Kon Ichikawa, 1958, 99 min., DCP, b/w. With Raizo Ichikawa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Ganjiro Nakamura.

“Conflagration is the pinnacle of the many acclaimed literary adaptations Kon Ichikawa and his constant collaborator and wife Natto Wada worked on together.
 
Loosely based on true events that inspired Yukio Mishima’s novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the story involves the spiritual and psychological breakdown of troubled youth named Goichi.
 
Whose desire for pure beauty leads him to Kyoto’s Shukaku temple, where he becomes an apprentice to the priest.”

Tuesday, 11/15

7:30 PM – two of us / Long-Term Coffee Break

‘Long-Term Coffee Break”

Dir. Naoya Fujita, 2022, 30 min., DCP, color. With Mina Fujii, Hiroki Sano, Mayuko Fukuda.

“Yuko is in the midst of a successful career when she meets Naoki, a spontaneous and aloof actor, and the two hit it off over coffee–his love of it and her disinterest in it–and get married.
 
Shifting from sweet to bitter at a moment’s notice, Long-Term Coffee Break is a modern romance in brief, and a promising work from Naya Fujita.”

* Screening followed by a post-screening discussion & Q&A.

‘two of us’

Dir. Risa Negishi, 2019, 47 min., DCP, color. With Meirin, Manami Usamaru, Shohei Yamashita. Screening followed by a post-screening discussion & Q&A.

“Told in a fragmented, nonlinear style, Risa Negishi’s short provides snapshots of two women enduring emotional hardships while leaning on one another, and features dreamy, experimental photography and editing.”

Friday, 11/18

5:00 PM – ‘His Lost Name’

Dir. Nanako Hirose, 2019, 113 min., DCP, color. With Yuya Yagira, Kaoru Kobayashi, Keiko Horiuchi, Young Dais.

“Small-town carpenter Tetsuro finds an unconscious young man on a riverbank who eventually says his name is Shinichi. The middle-aged widower sympathetically takes Shinichi in, offering a room in his home and apprenticeship in his woodshop.
 
Before long, the pair soon develop a father-son dynamic—forcing Tetsuro’s other carpenters and patient fiancée to adjust to the strange new situation—though long-held secrets threaten to undo everything.”

* Screening followed by a post-screening discussion & Q&A.

8:00 PM – ‘Riverside Mukolitta’ (U.S. Premiere)

Dir. Naoko Ogigami, 2021, 121 min., DCP, color. With Kenichi Matsuyama, Tsuyoshi Muro, Hikari Mitsushima.

“Director Naoko Ogigami’s (Kamome Diner, JC 2007) newest feature, Riverside Mukolitta, focuses on ex-con Takeshi Yamada, who is eluding his past by relocating to a quaint rural village in the Hokuriku region.
 
There, he moves into a rural apartment complex, getting to know its community of earnest (if audacious) locals and adapting to a quieter, simpler pace of life.”

* Screening followed by a post-screening discussion & Q&A with director Ogigami, and a reception.

Saturday, 11/19

1:00 PM – ‘No Longer Human’ (East Coast Premiere)

Photo Credit: ©2019 "No Longer Human" Film Partners

No Longer Human Japan Society NYC screening. Photo Credit: ©2019 “No Longer Human” Film Partners

Dir. Mika Ninagawa, 2019, 120 min., DCP, color. With Shun Oguri, Rie Miyazawa, Erika Sawajiri, Fumi Nikaido.

“Adapting the life of celebrated novelist Osamu Dazai (played by Shun Oguri), visionary director Mika Ninagawa’s (Sakuran, JC 2008; Helter Skelter, JC 2013) sumptuous period piece focuses on the troubled, womanizing author’s formative relationships with his wife and two mistresses during his late-career years.”

7:00 PM – ‘Let Me Hear It Barefoot’ (East Coast Premiere)

Dir. Riho Kudo, 2021, 128 min., DCP, color. With Shion Sasaki, Shuri Suwa, Kaho Ito, Jun Fubuki, Masahiro Komoto.

“Riho Kudo’s second feature (Orphan Blues, JC 2019) focuses on college dropout Naomi who encounters local pool staff Maki and his blind adoptive mother Midori.
 
To fulfill Midori’s wishes of seeing the world, Naomi and Maki began to record traveling tapes of a fictional world-trip.
 
As their “footprints” cover the Sahara Desert, Iguazu Falls and more, the hard-to-stop recording becomes the bond of a secretive and delicate romantic affair.”

Sunday, 11/20

1:00 PM – ‘Nagi’s Island’ (North American Premiere)

Photo Credit: ©2022 "Nagi's Island" Film Partners

Nagi’s Island screening at Japan Society NYC. Photo Credit: ©2022 “Nagi’s Island” Film Partners

Dir. Masahiko Nagasawa, 2022, 107 min., DCP, color. With Chise Niitsu, Rosa Kato, Hana Kino.

“Produced by Kumi Kobata (One Million Yen Girl, JC 2010; Rent-a-Cat, JC 2012), Nagi’s Island follows young Nagi who lives a peaceful island life with her mother and grandmother.
 
Nagi begins a particularly eventful summer vacation on the island during which she learns to reconcile her own traumas and estrangements while growing and helping others.”

4:00 PM – ‘a stitch of life’ (New York Premiere)

Dir. Yukiko Mishima, 2015, 104 min., DCP, color. With Miki Nakatani, Takahiro Miura, Hairi Katagiri.

“Refashioning, hemming and threading, dressmaker Ichie utilizes the old-fashioned techniques passed down to her from her grandmother.
 
When department store employee Fujii approaches her clothing boutique to develop it into a brand with mass-produced garments, Ichie refuses.
 
Fujii gradually comes to appreciate the philosophies that motivate Ichie, as she finally dares to branch out and design her own work.”

Japan Society NYC Ticket Info

In-person screenings: Tickets are on sale now at. Japan Society NYC. Most tickets are $15 for non Japan Society members and $10 for members.

Tickets for ‘Wedding High’ and ‘Riverside Mukolitta’ with post-screening Q&A and party are $21 general / $18 seniors & students/ $16 members.

* For ‘Filmmakers on the Rise’ selections, tickets are $5 general / free for members, seniors & students. This includes ‘His Lost Name’, ‘two of us’, and ‘Long-term Coffee Break’.

Official Japan Society NYC Announcement:

“A survey of the growing prominence and visibility of women in film, the latest ACA Cinema Project series The Female Gaze: Women Filmmakers from JAPAN CUTS and Beyond focuses on the essential roles that female artists play from behind the camera in Japanese cinema—ranging from directing and screenwriting to production and cinematography.
 
Presenting an exciting array of screenings and premieres—that include new mainstream and independent works from JAPAN CUTS alumni and rising talents alongside a classics selection—The Female Gaze offers a much-needed deep dive into the remarkable and overlooked contributions of women in contemporary Japanese cinema.”

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Nir Regev is the founder of The Natural Aristocrat. You can directly contact him at [email protected] for coverage consideration, interview opportunities, or general comments.

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