Taisho Chic on Screen

11/5/05 to 12/11/05

  • Mr. Thank You, December 10|© Shochiku Co., Ltd.

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Past Films

  • Sisters of the Gion

    • Sunday, December 11 17:00

    In this famous melodrama, Mizoguchi strips away the romantic veneer of the geisha business, both in the story and in a stark visual style that capitalizes on visual elements of the Gion district.

  • What Did the Lady Forget?

    • Sunday, December 11 18:30

    A thoroughly modern niece disrupts the lives of a professor and his socialite wife in Ozu's splendid satire on Tokyo's suburban bourgeoisie. "Wry, affectionate, and ironic."-Donald Richie

  • Mr. Thank You

    • Saturday, December 10 17:20

    "Mr. Thank You is the driver of a bus chugging its way through the hills and villages of rural Japan. Shooting entirely on location, Shimizu merrily tracks along the winding paths, accompanied by some favorite American tunes to while away the journey. Irresistible."-NFT, London

  • The Dancing Girl of Izu

    • Saturday, December 10 19:00

    Live Musical Accompaniment by Mark Izu and Friends. Gosho's beautiful, fresh adaptation of Yasunari Kawabata's novel about the romance between a dancer in a touring troupe and a college student, set in the mountain resorts of the Izu peninsula.

  • Osaka Elegy

    • Saturday, December 10 21:30

    In an Osaka sparkling with the seductive allure of capitalism, Mizoguchi depicts the humiliations of a switchboard operator who adapts to the times. Isuzu Yamada stars in "Mizoguchi's most brilliant pre-war film."-Joan Mellen

  • Japanese Girls at the Harbor

    • Sunday, December 4 14:00

    Gabriel Thibaudeau on Piano. "A knockout. Shimizu's stunning tale of passion, crime, and decadence [is an] exhilarating triumph of . . . experimental style [and] also a precious portrait of the great port city of Yokohama."-Village Voice

  • Actress

    • Sunday, December 4 16:00

    The story of 20th-century Art Theater actress Sumako Matsui is emblematic of a woman who refused to conform to traditional Japanese values of the period. Kinugasa directs this star turn for the great Isuzu Yamada, "a complete performer."-David Owens

  • Crossroads

    • Sunday, December 4 18:15

    Gabriel Thibaudeau on Piano. Teinosuke Kinugasa's experimental films from the '20s have a place in any international history of the avant-garde. Here, his virtuosic style animates a tale of innocence betrayed in 18th-century Yoshiwara.

  • A Page of Madness

    • Saturday, December 3 19:00

    Gabriel Thibaudeau on Piano. Kinugasa's early avant-garde masterpiece uses techniques we would normally associate with German Expressionism and Russian montage to create a hallucinatory story of love set entirely in an insane asylum. "As intense, mysterious, poetic, and technically inventive as Dr. Caligari."-The Observer

  • The Downfall of Osen

    • Saturday, December 3 20:35

    "Mizoguchi's female icon of the '30s, Isuzu Yamada . . . [in] the essential Mizoguchi fable about a worthy woman destroying herself for a worthless man."-Village Voice. Our print has recorded benshi narration and orchestral score.

  • Woman of Tokyo

    • Sunday, November 27 17:00

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Ozu's Depression-era melodrama rehearses his later style in "a subtle riot of discordant formal devices."-Village Voice

  • Foghorn

    • Sunday, November 27 18:10

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Minoru Murata's brooding tale of power, passion, and violence evokes 1870s Yokohama in darkly atmospheric images.

  • Kageroza

    • Saturday, November 26 20:35

    Set in 1926, a watershed year on the cusp of the Taisho and Showa eras, Seijun Suzuki's sequel to Zigeunerweisen concerns a playwright, a businessman, and a ghost. It has been hailed for its "luminous images and fierce eroticism."-London Film Festival

  • Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts

    • Saturday, November 26 17:20

    Tokyo's lively Asakusa district comes alive in Naruse's wonderful portrait of three modern girls who try to break away into love and marriage. Based on a Kawabata novel.

  • Wife! Be Like a Rose!

    • Saturday, November 26 19:00

    Naruse's warm, funny-sad tale of a girl who tries to unite her poetess mother and estranged father "is presented with a simplicity and a seriousness. . . . The result is one of the most moving films I know."-The Nation

  • Castle of Wind and Clouds

    • Sunday, November 20 17:00

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Beautifully choreographed fight scenes highlight this tale of treachery, conspiracy, and doomed love in a samurai clan. With a fragment from Daisuke Ito's Slashing Swords.

  • Walk Cheerfully

    • Sunday, November 20 19:00

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Ozu's stylish comedy of petty thieves, con men, and flappers.

  • The Neighbor's Wife and Mine

    • Saturday, November 19 17:00

    Japan's first talkie is filled with sounds, as Gosho constructs a satirical comedy around the distractions experienced by a middle-class couple in their new home.

  • Our Neighbor, Miss Yae

    • Saturday, November 19 18:30

    Shimazu was an early master of understated irony, and this picture of a middle-class family was "carefully calculated by the director to give the effect of eavesdropping on life itself."-Donald Richie

  • Zigeunerweisen

    • Saturday, November 19 20:10

    Seijun Suzuki weds French Surrealism to Japanese ghost story, hypnotically evoking the late 1920s as a period of changing mores in Japan akin to Weimar Germany.

  • Apart from You

    • Sunday, November 13 17:30

    Michael Mortilla on Piano. A story of two geishas, one aging, one starting out, shows "Naruse's genius for combining a lyrical realism with his feminist sentiments."-William M. Drew. With a fragment from Mizoguchi's Rising Sun.

  • The Lady and the Beard

    • Sunday, November 13 19:15

    Michael Mortilla on Piano. Ozu satirizes Taisho chic and nostalgia in this gleefully ribald comedy about a collegian who passionately loves his beard and despises all modern ways. But then he shaves . . .

  • Public Manners: Sightseeing in Tokyo

    • Saturday, November 12 19:00

    Michael Mortilla on Piano. A fascinating look at Tokyo in 1925, after the Great Kanto Earthquake. With the most complete extant version of Mizoguchi's Tokyo March.

  • The Water Magician

    • Saturday, November 12 20:50

    Michael Mortilla on Piano. Takako Irie stars in Mizoguchi's tale of delicate passion and crushing irony, detailing a woman's plight in Meiji-era Japan.

  • Winter Camellia

    • Saturday, November 12 17:00

    Michael Mortilla on Piano. From 1921, this Western-influenced melodrama directed by Ryoha Hatanaka is a key example of Japan's "pure film" movement.

  • Eternal Heart

    • Sunday, November 6 15:30

    Donald Sosin on Piano. Introduced by Akira Tochigi and Fumiaki Itakura. Shimizu's romantic melodrama is notable for its stylish modernist sets. With short The Sumida River.

  • Rebirth of the Capital

    • Sunday, November 6 18:30

    Donald Sosin on Piano. Introduced by Akira Tochigi. This city symphony documents Tokyo's recovery after the Great Kanto Earthquake.

  • Souls on the Road

    • Saturday, November 5 18:00

    Donald Sosin on Piano. Introduced by Fumiaki Itakura. Neorealist in tone, Murata's fascinating film (based partly on Gorky's Lower Depths) was Japanese cinema's first modern work, and its first work of social criticism. Denmei Suzuki stars.

  • The Golden Bullet

    • Saturday, November 5 21:00

    Donald Sosin on Piano. Introduced by Akira Tochigi. This saga of murder, detection, and double identity recalls the picaresque adventures of Fantomas and other French crime serials, which were popular in Japan. With short To the Reborn Imperial Capital by Airship.