Japan Film Classics
October 19, 22, & 29, 2003
Co-sponsored with Center for Japanese Studies. All screenings at the Wang Center Theater; admission is free.
October 19: Tampopo
Billed as "the first noodle Western," this deliciously eroticized food farce is truly sui generis. A young widow named Tampopo struggles to make ends meet by running a noodle restaurant. Goro, a truck driver, saves Tampopo's young son from being beaten by a group of school girls and is rewarded with a bowl of unsatisfactory ramen (noodles). Goro tells Tampopo the awful truth about her cooking and she asks for his help. Together they launch an obsessive search for the perfect ramen recipe. "Perhaps the funniest movie ever made about the connection between food and sex."—Washington Post.
(Juzo Itami/1985/114 min./Japanese with English subtitles)
Sunday, Oct. 19th, 4:00 p.m.
October 22: High and Low (Tengoku
Kurosawa's cynical, seminal widescreen neo-noir. Toshiro Mifuneis Gondo, a wealthy industrialist who is poised to take over a successful shoe business. Fate intervenes when he receives a phone call informing him that his son has been kidnapped; the ransom demand is nearly equivalent to the amount Gondo has raised for his corporate coup. A philosophical dilemma emerges when he learns that the kidnappers have mistakenly abducted not Gondo's son, but the child of Gondo's chauffeur. What follows is both a tense crime thriller, as the police attempt to track down the kidnapper, and a compelling study of class division in Japan—the "high and low" of the title. "One of the best detective thrillers ever filmed."—New York Times
(Akira Kurosawa/1963/143 min./Japanese with English subtitles.)
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 7:00 p.m.
A wave of horrible murders is sweeping Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody "X" carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe (Koji Yakusho, Shall We Dance?) and psychiatrist Sakuma are called in to figure out the connection.Chief suspect: An odd young man who has a strange effect on everyone who comes into contact with him. Detective Takabe starts a series of interrogations to determine the man's connection with the killings. "Without doubt one of the purest horror films made in recent times."—Midnight Eye
(Kiyoshi Kurosawa/1997/112 mins./Japanese with English subtitles.)
Wednesday, October 29th, 7:00 p.m.