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Directors in Focus: Nagisa Oshima

The man who left his will on film (Tokyo senso sengo hiwa)

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Saturday 5/30
5:00 pm
$9 General Public
$7 Students & Seniors
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dir. Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 1970, 35mm, Japanese w/ English subtitles, 94 min.

"...This circuitous film begins with the alleged suicide of a young activist who is part of a radical film collective. When his camera is recovered by a friend, Motoki, it is revealed that the footage is nothing but mundane street scenes of Tokyo. Duly obsessed, a despairing Motoki goes about reconstructing his friend’s life as an extension of the found footage. Oshima’s mercurial experiment avoids the fixed fact—identity and happenstance float like wild mercury, forcing the viewer to actively assemble the reenactment. To piece together a single life seems daunting, to engage with history, nearly impossible. This is the will and testament Oshima would have us consider." —Steve Seid

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.