ICJS Event: Japanese Cinema Eclectics—Curated by Donald Richie

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

Film: Fire Festival

Thursday, February 7, 2008
8:00 p.m. Start (7:00 p.m. Open)
SuperDeluxe (Access)
Open to general public.
1,500 yen (valid for one day/one screening)
Introduction by Donald Richie in English
Film in Japanese with English subtitles (film to be followed by a Q&A moderated by Donald Richie)
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About the Film: Fire Festival

This "forgotten masterpiece," made a quarter-century ago and never received, remains a searing cinematic experience. It is a film about transgression and retribution, about nature revenging itself upon destructive modern man. At the same time, it is not about a lumberjack and his relationship with "nature," something more and more personified until made palpable at the horrific conclusion. Though it won a prize at the Locarno Festival, and made several foreign critics best-ten lists, the film was far too outspoken for bubble-era Japan. Though made by an enormously talented young director, written by one of Japan's major younger writers, and scored by Japan's finest composer, it offended local critics and failed to make money. This rare showing (VHS) is possible through permission of the director and Kino, the purveyor of this tape.

Fire Festival (Hi Matsuri) 1984.
Produced by Gunro / Seibu Group / Cine Saison.
Executive Producer: Kazuo Shimizu. Directed by Mitsuo Yanagimachi. Written by Kenji Nakagami and Mitsuo Yanagimachi. Photographed by Masaki Tamura. Music by Toru Takemitsu. With Kinya Kitaoji, Kiwako Taichi, Ryota Nakamoto, Norihei Miki, Rikiya Yasuoka. (120 mins.)

About Donald Richie

Donald Richie, former Curator of Film at the New York Museum of Modern Art, is also the author of many books on the Japanese cinema including his most recent, One Hundred Years of Japanese Film. He has also written on many other aspects of this country in which he has spend most of his life including the classic travel account, The Island Sea, and his latest, A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics.

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.