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.Read full description
The Human Condition
I Will Buy You
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).