ICJS Event: Japanese Cinema Eclectics - Curated by Donald Richie

A Multi-part Series Devoted to Unexplored Tangents of the Japanese Film

A Film Anthology

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
7:00 p.m. (start at 8:00 p.m.)
Super Deluxe(Access)
Open to general public.
1,500 yen (valid for one day/one screening)
Introduction by Donald Richie in English Film Screening
Registration closed

Bringing to a close this season's Japanese Cinema Eclectics, curator Donald Richie will preside over a showing of his own films. Credited with having back in the early 1950s introduced into Japan the concept of the non-commercial personal (avant-garde) film, he went on to make some of the first. Directors Nagisa Oshima and Susumu Hani have attested to the influence of these short, personal films on their generation and special retrospectives at museums and art festivals have featured these works: Donald Richie's Film Anthology is slated to be screened later this month (October 21st) at the New York Museum of the Moving Image.

About the Films

  • Wargames, 1962, 22 minutes. A gang of children and a goat, filmed on the coast of Chiba during a typhoon, with Tatsumi Hijikata as assistant director.
  • Atami Blues, 1962, 20 minutes. A pick-up and its consequences at the Atami hot springs, with music by Toru Takemitsu.
  • Boy with Cat, 1967, 5 minutes. A minimalist structural experiment with a boy, a cat, and a set of pornographic photos.
  • Dead Youth, 1967, 13 minutes. Based on a poem of Muturo Takahashi in which past and present, love and death, reflection and desires are woven together with transgression.
  • Five Filosophical Fables, 1967, 47 minutes. The best-known of Richie's films, this portmanteau package contains the celebrated Japanese family cannibal picnic and the exhilarating nude finale.

About the "Japanese Cinema Eclectics"

This monthly series will feature relatively unknown but important Japanese avant garde films selected by Donald Richie, the former Curator of Film at the New York Museum of Modern Art in New York (1969-1973), and a renowned authority on Japanese film.

Donald Richie came to Japan in 1947 as feature writer for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. After the end of the Occupation, he became film critic for The Japan Times and still continues with that paper as Arts Critic. During the following years he wrote a number of books, including The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965); Ozu (1974), and One Hundred Years of Japanese Film (2002). In addition, he has written over forty books about the country in which he has been resident for nearly sixty years. These include: The Inland Sea (1971), Japanese Portraits (1991), and his latest work, The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. From 1968 to 1973 he was Curator of Film at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Named by TIME magazine," the dean of Japan's arts critics," he is regarded as the preeminent authority on Japanese film. Susan Sontag has said of him "Donald Richie writes about Japan with an unrivaled range, acuity, and wit."

About ICJS

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.

Japanese Cinema Eclectics
Film Schedule

June 8 A Page Out Of Order (Kurutta Ippeiji) / (AKA A Crazy Page)
June 12Focus
Aug. 4 Naked Island, directed by Shindo Kaneto - A Silent Film with Music
Sep. 13 Stirrings from the Underground
Aug. 4 Naked Island, directed by Shindo Kaneto - A Silent Film with Music
Sep. 13 Stirrings from the Underground
Oct. 4 Patriotism (Yukoku)
Nov. 15 Donald Richie-A Film Anthology