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Directors in Focus: Nagisa Oshima

The Ceremony

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Saturday 5/30
8:00 pm
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dir. Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 1971, 35mm, Japanese w/ English subtitles, 123 min.

This well-known film by auteur director Nagisa Oshima offers a humorous and trenchant commentary on trends in Japanese society. Looking through the eyes of a younger son in a lesser branch of an important Japanese family, we see simultaneously the boy's history, the family's history, and the history of Japan. This is done by showing important family ceremonies over the years: anniversaries, weddings, funerals, etc. Various factions in the family, which reflect the factions in Japanese society, struggle for superiority. Viewers of this film will find their enjoyment enriched if they have some knowledge of recent Japanese history. Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Directors in Focus: Nagisa Oshima

Often called the Godard of the East, the esteemed Japanese director Nagisa Oshima was one of the most provocative film artists of the twentieth century, and his works challenged and shocked the cinematic world for decades. Following his rise to prominence at Shochiku, Oshima struck out to form his own production company, Sozo-sha, in the early sixties. That move ushered in the prolific period of his career that gave birth to the five films collected here. Unsurprisingly, this studio renegade was fascinated by stories of outsiders—serial killers, rabid hedonists, and stowaway misfits are just some of the social castoffs you’ll meet in these audacious, cerebral entries in the New Wave surge that made Japan a hub of truly daredevil moviemaking. As part of IHP’s continuing programming of the Janus Collection, we are pleased to offer these five newly restored 35mm gems to our audiences.