Against Authority: The Cinema of Masaki Kobayashi

July 20–August 18, 2019

A rare chance to see 35mm prints of films by a key figure in mid-twentieth-century Japanese cinema, including his masterwork, the three-part antiwar epic The Human Condition.

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  • Kwaidan

  • The Human Condition

  • Samurai Rebellion

  • I Will Buy You

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • I Will Buy You

    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1956

    BAMPFA Collection

    • Sunday, August 18 4:30 PM

    Japan’s favorite sport gets taken down in Kobayashi’s clear-eyed dissection of the ruthlessness and greed of the baseball business, shot more like a film noir or paranoid thriller than a sports saga.

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Past Films

  • Kwaidan

    • Thursday, August 15 7 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1967

    International Version

    Kobayashi’s atmospheric and visually captivating adaptation of four haunting stories by Lafcadio Hearn. “Each of the exquisitely crafted tales . . . is, in its own right, one of the great ghost stories brought to the screen. Together, they form an exemplar of the anthology horror film” (Village Voice).

  • Samurai Rebellion

    • Saturday, August 10 8 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1967

    Japanese cinema icons Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai team up to slice their way through duty-bound Japan in this tale of a dutiful samurai whose attempts to be a “good servant” are about to end . . . in blood.

  • The Inheritance

    • Wednesday, August 7 7 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1962

    BAMPFA Collection

    A dying businessman sets off a family scandal by announcing that his fortune will go to his illegitimate children in Kobayashi’s melodrama. A wry condemnation of Japanese postwar materialism, perfectly chilled by Toru Takemitsu’s jazzy score.

  • Harakiri

    • Wednesday, July 31 7 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1962

    Tatsuya Nakadai is a penniless samurai who asks a wealthy clan’s permission to commit ritual suicide—though that’s not the only killing on his mind. “Probably the best samurai film ever made” (Washington Post).

  • The Human Condition III: A Soldier’s Prayer

    • Wednesday, July 24 7 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1961

    By Part III of Kobayashi’s epic, the Japanese army is being routed by superior Russian troops. Protagonist Tatsuya Nakadai is captured by the Soviets and imprisoned, learning the bitter truth about the Red Army as liberators.

  • The Human Condition II: The Road to Eternity

    • Sunday, July 21 5:30 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1959

    In Part II of Kobayashi’s nine-hour epic about Japan’s occupation of China during World War II, soldier Tatsuya Nakadai tries to institute more humane procedures in his military unit, but only succeeds in attracting the ire of his fellow officers.

  • The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

    • Saturday, July 20 6 PM
    Masaki Kobayashi
    Japan, 1959

    Kobayashi’s three-part antiwar masterpiece follows the awakening—and disillusionment—of a Japanese soldier (the great Tatsuya Nakadai) during the Second World War. “Amazingly powerful in its emotional sweep and the depth of its historical insight. . . . Kobayashi’s monumental film can clarify and enrich your understanding of what it is to be alive” (New York Times).