Cinematic Impressions” Japan
Come revel in the colorful beauty of
in cinematography as well as printmaking, in this film series presented by the Clark
on Sunday afternoons in its newly-renovated auditorium, in conjunction with
“Japanese Impressions,” the concurrent exhibition of color woodblock
prints. (All films in Japanese with
Sunday, January 22, : The Makioka Sisters (1983, 140 min.). Kon Ichikawa’s lyrical adaptation of Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel follows four sisters through the cycle of seasons in the late 1930s. The elder two are married, but the passionate youngest must wait for the reluctant third to wed. Their family is in the kimono business, but war is on the horizon, and tradition is about to give way to modernity. This graceful study of changing times and fading customs is rendered in vivid and evocative color.
Sunday, January 29, : Gate of Hell (1953, 89 min.) Teinosuke Kinugasa directs one of the first color films from
winner of Academy Awards for best foreign film and best costume design. This feast for the eyes, set amidst dynastic
conflict in twelfth-century Japan,
portrays the passion of an imperial warrior for a married lady-in-waiting. The acting will seem stylized to Western
eyes, but the lavish pageantry sweeps the viewer along, and the colors are a
wonder to behold.
Sunday, February 5, : Kwaidan (1965, 183 min.) Masaki Kobayashi adapts four ghost stories collected by Lafcadio Hearn in the 19th century, with a fine eye for the colors and themes of that era’s printmaking masters. From the credit sequence images of ink in solution throughout the surreal settings of four separate period folktales, Kobayashi delivers a rapturous immersion in the colors of the Floating World. This version restores one of the haunting stories cut from the initial American release.
Sunday, February 26, : Equinox Flower (1958, 118 min.) Late in his career, the superlative Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu turns to color for the first time, and creates a film in which color -- red in particular -- is a prime character in its own right. As always with Ozu, the story is about a father dealing with the marriage of his daughter, and of the confrontation of family and tradition with a changing society, which as always yields to the profound and humorous harmony of the director’s vision.