More in my inbox from the Japan Foundation regarding the upcoming tenth instalment of their Touring Film Programme: in the week before the event launches at the ICA (London) on February 1st, a number of related talks are scheduled at the Japan Foundation. As they write:
To complement the film programme and prior to its start, The Japan Foundation presents three special seminars, providing interesting and unique spins on Japanese cinema and culture, shedding light related to this year’s theme and selection.
(Note: Descriptions, below, of the seminars are directly taken from the JPF newsletter.)
- January 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm: “United Red Army and the Legacy of Koji Wakamatsu” (Jasper Sharp)
“Koji Wakamatsu, a controversial and iconoclastic filmmaker tragically passed away in October 2012 aged 76. A self-taught director and producer, Wakamatsu produced over 100 films in his career, gaining notoriety for his soft-core ‘pink’ and exploitation films before delving into a more politically-charged cinema. Wakamatsu’s most ambitious and celebrated film is United Red Army, a docu-drama depicting the rise and fall of 1960s left-wing radicalism, will be screened as part of this year’s programme.
Complementing this screening, Jasper Sharp, writer and film curator, will briefly go through Wakamatsu’s prolific career and contribution to the nation’s cinema. Focusing particularly on United Red Army, this talk will look into how Wakamatsu came to make the film about a brutal and bloody history that had almost been forgotten, and how it stands out as the best among the films depicting Japan’s epic historical radicalism activities in the 1960s.”
- January 24, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.: “Japanese Cinema of the Time…What was made back then?” (Alexander Jacoby)
“This year’s Japan Foundation touring programme will showcase contemporary Japanese films highlighting a new wave of nostalgia for the past, representing the lifestyles and values of earlier decades. But what were the popular films of those decades actually like, and to what extent were those films representative of the values and tastes of society of the time?
Alexander Jacoby, Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Oxford Brookes University, will provide an informative accompaniment to this year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme Once Upon a Time in Japan, guiding you through Japanese cinema in the 20th century, and showing how Japanese cinema and Japan itself has transformed over the decades.”
- January 30, 2013, from 6:30 p.m.: “Art, events and bodies in 1960s Japan” (Peter Eckersall)
“Through public and social events such as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the 1970 Osaka Expo and the radicalisation of the student protest movement, the 1960s in Japan can be considered an era of embodied cultural acts; events all engaging with experience of the body, whether it be athletics, the crowds who gathered at Expo, and mass rallies that took over the city streets and railway stations. So too can a relationship with the body be identified in the arts of the 1960s, ranging from its use in stage performance, art events and the fascination with the body in cinema.
From Nagisa Oshima’s films about the protest movement to the Black Flag stage performance art events, Peter Eckersall, Associate Professor of Theatre Studies in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne and Research Fellow at the Centre for Interweaving Performance Cultures, Freie Universität Berlin, will discuss the various connections between the body, politics and action in the 1960s in the broader cultural context and look into how the era can be considered a decade of embodied gestures and events. This event will give an insight to the state of arts and culture in the 1960s, an era marking a milestone in Japan.”
All talks take place at the Japan Foundation (located at Russell Square) and are free to attend. Booking however is essential – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your name and the talk(s) you are interested in.