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Movie Going Madness in Japan

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    Ian Jane

  • Ian Jane
    I don't have much to add here except that this is a really interesting idea for a thread and I look forward to reading your updates.

    Leave a comment:

  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    Anyone who loves seeing movies from 35 mm film prints is in for an epic treat in Tokyo in May (2014). As a result of an unbelievable amount of coincidences, there's an incredible set of Japanese classics and cult films screening in different theatres around the same time. Most of them play in large retrospectives, so you if you stay for longer time you could catch tons of movies.

    However, even if you were like me and could only drop by for one extended weekend, you've still got more Japanese 40 classics to choose from in a dozen theaters. May 15th - May 18 (Friday-Sunday) especially is good time. I've listed below only what's playing during that time.

    Laputa (Day Show): Screenwriter Koji Tanada Retrospective
    The Defensive Power of Aikido (Shigero Ozawa, 1975) (35mm)
    Silk Hat Boss (Norifumi Suzuki, 1970) (35mm)
    Ikasama bakuchi (Shigero Ozawa, 1968) (35mm)
    Shimaizaka (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1985) (35mm)
    Onimasa (Hideo Gosha, 1982) (35mm)
    Otoko no shobu: niou no irezumi (Norifumi Suzuki, 1967) (35mm)

    Laputa (Morning Show): Ishiro Honda Drama Retrospective
    People of Tokyo, Goodbye (Ishiro Honda, 1956) (35mm)
    An Echo Calls You (Ishiro Honda, 1959) (35mm)

    Laputa (Late Show): Meika Seri Retrospective
    Wet Lust: 21 Strippers (Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1974) (35mm)
    Man and Woman Behind the Fusuma Screen: Enduring Skin (Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1974) (35mm)

    Pole Pole: Special Screening
    Woods are Wet: Woman Hell (Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1973) (35mm)
    The Embryo Hunts in Secret (Koji Wakamatsu, 1966) (35mm) (Guest: Masao Adachi)

    Kineka Omori (Normal Distribution)
    No. 10 Blues - Goodbye Saigon (1975) (format unknown)

    Cinema Vera: Director Yoshitaro Nomura Retrospective
    Tokyo Bay (Yoshitaro Nomura, 1962) (35mm)
    Hakuchí» dodo (Yoshitaro Nomura, 1968) (35mm)

    Cinema Vera: Actor Shin Kishida Retrospective
    Utamaro's World (Akio Jissoji, 1977) (35mm)
    Demon Spies (Takashi Tsuboshima, 1974) (35mm)

    Theater Shinjuku: Pia Film Festival Presents
    Japanese 8mm 16mm Films from 1970′s & 1980′s (format unknown)

    Cine Qualite: Karikore 2014
    - Horrors of Malformed Men (Teruo Ishii, 1969) (35mm)

    National Film Center: The Birth and Development of Japanese Color Film
    Yuhi to kenju (Kiyoshi Saeki, 1956) (35mm)
    Hokkaido no hanran (Kunio Watanabe, 1956) (35mm)
    Bridge of Japan (Kon Ichikawa, 1956) (35mm)
    The Taira Clan (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1955) (35mm)
    Hadashi no seishun (Senkichi Taniguchi, 1956) (35mm)
    River of the Night (Kí´zaburí´ Yoshimura, 1956) (35mm)

    Meguro Cinema: Shunji Iwai Series
    Love Letter (Shunji Iwai, 1995) (35mm)
    Swallowtail Butterfly (Shunji Iwai, 1996) (35mm)
    All About Lily Chou Chou (Shunji Iwai, 2001) (35mm)
    Hana and Alice (Shunji Iwai, 2004) (35mm)

    Shin Bungeiza: Yuzo Kawashima retrospective
    Ojosan shacho (Yuzo Kawashima, 1953) (35mm)
    Burden of Love (Yuzo Kawashima, 1955) (35mm)
    Suzaki Paradise Red Light (Yuzo Kawashima, 1956) (35mm)
    Noren (Yuzo Kawashima, 1958) (35mm)
    Onna wa nido umareru (Yuzo Kawashima, 1961) (35mm)
    The Graceful Brute (Yuzo Kawashima, 1962) (35mm)

    Jinbocho: Screen Beauties Retrospective
    Mukashi no uta (Tamizo Ishida, 1939) (35mm)
    Sincerity (Mikio Naruse, 1939) (35mm)
    Hideko, the Bus Conductor (Mikio Naruse, 1941) (35mm)
    A Broken Drum (Keinosuke Kinoshita, 1949) (35mm)
    Till We Meet Again(Tadashi Imai, 1950) (35mm)
    Aijo (Kiyoshi Horiike, 1956) (35mm)
    Garasu no naka no shí´jo (Mitsuo Wakasugi, 1960) (35mm)
    Tears on the Lion's Mane (Masahiro Shinoda, 1962) (35mm)

    Of course, there's dozens of more films playing in the same retrospectives before and after, like many Kinji Fukasaku yakuza films, more roman pornos, more Ishiro Honda films, Nobuhiko Obayashi's House, many Sogo Ishii films, or this Keizo Kanie set that closes on May 15th.

    Shimbashi Bunka: Keizo Kanie Memorial Screenings
    - Tattoeed Flower Vase (Masaru Konuma, 1976) (35mm)
    - Rape (Yasuraru Hasebe, 1976) (35mm)
    - Angel Guts: Red Classroom (Chusei Sone, 1979) (35mm)

    As you can guess, I've got my flights reserved already.

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  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    Theater Introduction

    Laputa Asagaya

    I must start with Laputa Asagaya which is absolutely my favourite place on earth (after a good love hotel, that is). If you want to see 1960's Nikkatsu action films or 1970's Japanese karate flicks or yakuza mayhem on 35 mm, this wonderful small retro theatre is your choice!

    Laputa is located in Asagaya in a small district filled with tiny old roads (no heavy traffic) full of neon lights, small restaurants and bars. Just walking these streets is like time leap back to the good old Japan!

    The theatre itself is a cosy two storey building. The first floor facilitates the ticket desk, a waiting area, and a small theatre café. Lots of movie related books, such as books on Koji Wakamatsu or Toei yakuza films, are offered for reading while waiting. The CD player in the back is always playing movie soundtracks from films that are currently screening, so depending on the time you'll be welcomed by the voice of Meiko Kaji, Yujiro Ishihara, Yoko Minamino and so on. The walls are decorated with newspaper articles from the currently screening films, and movie posters.

    The screening room is in the second floor, which you access via outdoor wooden stairs. Only 48 seats in there. All films screen from 35mm (or in rare cases 16mm) film. Program consists entirely of retrospectives on Japanese films, with 75% of the program being 1960's and 1970's film, and the remaining 25% covering the 1980's and pre-1960's cinema. The program is divided into three different retrospectives:

    Morning Show (at 10 am)
    Mostly golden age comedies and dramas, usually starring a popular 1950's or 1960's actress like Ruriko Asaoka. Examples of retrospectives include:
    - The Drama Films of Ishiro Honda
    - Junko Fuji Retrospective (Red Peony Gambler etc.)
    - Ruriko Asaoka retrospective (Nikkatsu's biggest femake star of the 1960s)

    Day and Evening Screenings
    Massive retrospectives with 3 or 4 screenings per day. The focus is usually a studio, a genre, a producer, or a prolific screenwriter. Examples of retrospectives include:
    - Ninja Movie Retrospective (1960's and 1970's ninja movies)
    - Rare Nikkatsu Films (action, yakuza, comedy and drama films never released on video or DVD)
    - Art Theater Guild (rare films such as Sadao Nakajima's yakuza film Aesthetics of a Bullet)
    - Screenwriter Koji Takada (anything from The Defensive Power of Aikido to Bounty Hunter 2)
    - The World of Old School Special Effects (Sci-fi, horror, and other special effects movies from late 1940s to 1970's)

    Late Screening (at 9 pm)
    For genre film fans this is a dream come true. Karate, yakuza, pinkuy violence and other genre movie retrospectives featuring films by Toei, Nikkatsu, Daiei, and other studios. Examples of retrospectives include:
    - Etsuko Shihomi retro (all her 1970's karate films, including 13 Steps of Maki)
    - Terrifying Girls' High School (the entire film series)
    - Female Prisoner Movies (from Toei pinky violence to Nikkatsu pink and Daiei exploitation)
    - Prison Escape Movies (including Sonny Chiba's Dasso yugi)
    - Yuji Makiguchi Films (the film's of Toei's notorious exploitation director, including the cannibal nun-film Torn Priestess)
    - Meika Seri films (Nikkatsu pink starlet's best films)
    - Bad Girl Retrospective (Nikkatsu, Daiei, Toei girl gang films like Nad Girl Mako, Bankaku Rock and Delinquent Girl Boss)
    - Toei Jitsuroku Anarchy & Violence (1970's Toei yakuza films like Graveyard of Honor)
    - Professional Killer Retrospective (60's and 70's films about assassins)
    - Sukeban Retrospective (all 7 of Toei's Sukeban Girl Boss films)
    - 1970's Biker Retro (Toei biker gang movies like Explosion: Violent Riders, an Wild Sex Gang)

    Theater Access:
    Take JR Chuo Local (not rapid!) line from Shinjuku Station to Takao/Hachioji/Nakano direction and get off at Asagaya Station. It only takes about 10 minutes. Use the north exit. Laputa is about 150m from the station. Map.

    Note: On the way to Asagaya you can stop in Nakano for some DVD and movie poster shopping. Right next to the station there's a big shopping mall called Nakano Broadway. There's a very good used DVD shop called Recommints, which focuses in genre films, and a movie poster shop which sells original posters for Sonny Chiba films and other genre stuff.

    Etsuko Shihomi Retrospective! Poster for 13 Steps of Maki (1975)

    Art Theater Guild Retro. Eros + Massacre poster

    Art Theater Guild Retro. Preparation for the Festival (1975) poster

    Aru koroshiya no kagi (1967) and Kenjū mushuku datsugoku no blues (1965)

    Female Prisoner retro. Material from Daiei's Woman's Prison series

    Sukeban Deka Special

    Theater website introductions for past programs

    Leave a comment:

  • Takuma
    Senior Member

  • Takuma
    started a topic Movie Going Madness in Japan

    Movie Going Madness in Japan

    The Silly Swede inspired me to steal his idea and do something similar thread. However, I will expand the concept a little bit. I will recycle some of the stuff that I may have posted elsewhere before, but I'll also try to add new things especially in the future. The plan is to post about the following topics:

    1) Cinema Adventures in Japan
    2) Film Festival Madness in Japan
    3) Theatre Introductions

    I'm gonna dump quite a bit of content for starters but don't panic, I will slow down after that. I just want to cover a few things before I'm off to Tokyo on Friday.

    For starters, here's my list of recommended movie theatres in Tokyo in case you ever visit the great city:

    Classics and Genre Films
    Laputa Asagaya (JP movie retros only, late show often with genre flicks. All 35 mm or 16 mm. The best cinema in Tokyo!!!!)
    Cinema Vera (various retros from pinky violence to silent films. 35mm)
    National Film Center (retrospectives on classics, 35mm)
    Jinbocho (retros from Ozu to Godzilla and Seijun Suzuki. 35mm)
    Shin bungeiza (from new films to old genre films. Usually 35mm. All nighters often feature BD screenings, beware!!!)
    Art Center (classics, 35mm).
    Porepore (indie, arthouse, some times old films on 35mm)
    Kineka Omori (otherwise mainstream, but interesting weekly double features, e.g Tsukamoto flicks on 35mm)
    Meguro Cinema (plays 35mm prints of older films from time to time)
    Cine Roman (pink theater, sometimes roman porno included)

    Indie, Arthouse, New Genre Films, Occasional Classics
    Eurospace (arthouse, occasionally genre films. Roman Porno retros played here in 2012! JP + foreign)
    K's Cinema (new arthouse films)
    Uplink Factory (indie, arthouse, docs)
    Image forum
    Human Trust Shibuya (new films, inc. genre films)

    Mainstream Cinemas That Sometimes Have Genre, Indie or Classic Films
    Cinema Rosa
    Kamata (usually latest hits, occasionally old films on 35mm, like Red Peony Gambler)
    Cinema Avenue
    Waseda Shochiku
    Shinjuku musashino
    Ginrei Hall
    Shinjuku Cinemart
    Roppongi Cinemart

    Theater N (genre films, old and new)
    Ginza Cine Pathos (genre films, Steven Seagal flicks etc.)
    Shinbashi bunka (mainstream + pink cinema. See Roman Gekijo section. Roman Porno's frequently. All 35 mm)
    Auditorium Shibuya (indie)
    Baus Theater (closing soon, R.I.P)
    Cinema Rise

    For an excellent resource on cinemas in Tokyo area that show non-mainstream films and old movies, see this great Japanese website.
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Takuma; 12-25-2016, 10:25 AM.