JAPAN 2021

The Shifting Spaces of
Modern Japanese Cinema

The 1960s brought seismic changes to Japanese cinema. In this richly illustrated panel discussion, our special guests will consider how the landscape of Japanese cinema changed between the 1960s and the 1990s. Our invited speakers will explore what films, directors, actors, genres and social and political developments defined each decade, and comment on their impact on Japanese cinema of the 21st century.

Host: Alexander Jacoby lectures on the arts and culture of Japan, including film, manga and anime, at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors (2008, Stone Bridge Press) and of a forthcoming monograph on Hirokazu Koreeda, to be published by the BFI and Bloomsbury in 2022. His scholarly essays include contributions to Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts (2007, ed. Phillips and Stringer) and The Japanese Cinema Book (2020, ed. Fujiki and Phillips), and his journalism on film and other topics has appeared in various publications including Sight and Sound, The Times and The Japan Times. He has curated film programmes at the BFI, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, the Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Jasper Sharp is an author, filmmaker and curator known for his work on Asian cinema and the co-founder of the Japanese film website Midnight Eye. His books include The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film (2004), joint-written with Tom Mes, Behind the Pink Curtain (2008) and The Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema (2011). His work has appeared in publications including Sight and Sound, The Guardian, The Japan Times, Kateigaho and Film International, and on numerous home video releases. He has a PhD on ‘Japanese Widescreen Cinema: Commerce, Technology and Aesthetics’, examining the introduction of widescreen cinema technologies to Japan during the 1950s. He is the co-director with Tim Grabham of The Creeping Garden (2014), a documentary about plasmodial slime moulds and currently works as a disc producer for Arrow Films.

Rayna Denison is Professor of Film and Digital Arts and Head of Department for Film and Television at the University of Bristol. Her research centres on contemporary Japanese animation and cinema. Rayna is the author of Anime: A Critical Introduction (2015), the editor of Princess Mononoke: Understanding Studio Ghibli’s Monster Princess (2018), and the co-editor of the Eisner Award-nominated Superheroes on World Screens (2015). Rayna’s teaching and research examines the intersections between Japanese film and other media, especially animation, and can be found in a wide range of academic journals and books, but she has also appeared on podcasts like Fantasy/Animation and has written for The Conversation.

Dr Virginie Sélavy is a film scholar, writer and editor. She is the founder of Electric Sheep Magazine and was co-director of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London. She has edited The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology and contributed to Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin and Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered among various publications. She has written and lectured widely on horror, fantastique and exploitation cinema and runs an annual course on surrealism in film. She is currently working on a book on sado-masochism in 1960s-70s cinema. Her website is www.feminaridens.com.

JAPAN 2021
After Life (Wandafuru raifu)
Wed 1 Dec 18:10; Fri 10 Dec 20:40; Mon 13 Dec 20:40; Wed 29 Dec 14:20
In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida)
Wed 1 Dec 20:50; Sat 11 Dec 20:45; Wed 22 Dec 18:20
Funeral Parade of Roses (Bara no sôretsu)
Thu 2 Dec 18:00 (+ pre-recorded intro by Professor Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano, Kyoto University); Tue 14 Dec 14:30; Mon 27 Dec 15:50
The Shifting Spaces of Modern Japanese Cinema
Thu 2 Dec 20:40
Woman of the Dunes (Suna no Onna)
Fri 3 Dec 18:00 (+ intro by Espen Bale, BFI National Archive); Sat 18 Dec 17:30
Tokyo Drifter (Tôkyô nagaremono)
Fri 3 Dec 20:50; Thu 23 Dec 18:30
Black Rain (Kuroi ame)
Sat 4 Dec 17:50; Tue 28 Dec 18:15
Straits of Hunger (aka A Fugitive from the Past) (Kiga kaikyô)
Sun 5 Dec 16:30; Sat 18 Dec 14:30
Woman of the Lake (Onna no mizûmi)
Mon 6 Dec 18:00; Wed 15 Dec 20:50
Silence Has No Wings (Tobenai chinmoku)
Mon 6 Dec 20:55; Wed 15 Dec 18:00
The Long Darkness (Shinobugawa)
Wed 8 Dec 20:40; Sun 19 Dec 12:40
Pale Flower (Kawaita hana)
Thu 9 Dec 18:00; Sun 19 Dec 18:20
Death By Hanging (Kôshikei)
Fri 10 Dec 17:50; Fri 17 Dec 18:00
Muddy River (Doro no kawa)
Sun 12 Dec 11:50 (+ intro by season co-programmer Alexander Jacoby); Thu 23 Dec 20:40
The Demon (Kichiku)
Sun 12 Dec 14:50 (+ intro by season co-programmer Alexander Jacoby); Sun 19 Dec 16:00
The Man Who Stole the Sun (Taiyô wo nusunda otoko)
Sun 12 Dec 18:00; Thu 16 Dec 20:10
Mon 13 Dec 18:00 (+ intro by Catherine Wheatley, King’s College London); Fri 17 Dec 20:45; Tue 28 Dec 15:10
Philosophical Screens: Tampopo
Mon 13 Dec 20:15 Blue Room
The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (Yuki Yukite, Shingun)
Sat 18 Dec 11:40; Mon 27 Dec 18:20
Moving (Ohikkoshi)
Sat 18 Dec 20:35; Wed 29 Dec 20:30
Fire Festival (Himatsuri)
Mon 20 Dec 17:50; Mon 27 Dec 13:20
Suzaku (Moe No Suzaku)
Tue 21 Dec 17:45; Thu 30 Dec 21:00
Shall We Dance? (Shall we dansu?)
Tue 21 Dec 20:30; Thu 30 Dec 17:40
Love Letter
Wed 22 Dec 20:50; Tue 28 Dec 12:10

0.5mm (0.5 miri)
Sat 4 Dec 18:30; Mon 27 Dec 16:30
Dear Pyongyang
Sat 11 Dec 20:40 (+ pre-recorded intro by director Yang Yong-hi); Thu 23 Dec 18:10
Restoration Premiere: The Far Road (Toi ippon no michi) + intro
Tue 14 Dec 20:40 (+ intro); Tue 28 Dec 15:00
Experimenta presents: A selection of video and film works by experimental filmmaker Mako Idemitsu
Wed 15 Dec 18:10 (+ intro by Another Gaze’s Daniella Shreir); Wed 29 Dec 20:40

Supported by

In partnership wtih

With special thanks to

With the kind support of:
Janus Films/The Criterion Collection, Kadokawa Corporation, Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, Kokusai Hoei Co. Ltd, Nikkatsu Corporation, Toei Co. Ltd

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email