Film Forum to Screen Japanese Movies Set in “Shitamachi” 🗓 🗺

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Shitamachi Festival at Film Forum

Friday, October 18 through Thursday, November 7

Film Forum – 209 W. Houston Street (between Varick Street and 6th Avenue)

Admission: $15/$9 Film Forum members

Shitamachi, a three-week, 38-film series spanning nearly eight decades of classic movies that are all set in “downtown” Tokyo, will run at Film Forum from Friday, October 18 through Thursday, November 7. The series is co-presented by The Japan Foundation, as part of the citywide “Japan 2019.”

Shitamachi means “downtown” Tokyo, or literally “low town.” It signifies the low-lying eastern side of the city, including such famous districts as Ginza, Ueno, and Asakusa (Tokyo’s one-time 42nd Street). Beginning with the feudal Edo period, Shitamachi also referred to the area and culture of the non-elite. Even as physical boundaries have become increasingly blurry, it still suggests class struggle, brash characters (like Tora-san or Mifune’s yakuza in Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel), a particular cityscape (pachinko parlors; black markets; cramped bars; narrow, raucous shopping streets; and, until they were banned in 1958, red light districts), popular entertainment (rakugo—Japanese “sit down” comedy—and kabuki), and even cuisine (yakitori and ramen, inexpensive food consumed at train stations). These characteristics capture the imagination of moviemakers from the silent era to the present.

Aiko Masubuchi, former senior film programmer at Japan Society, programmed Shitamachi for the Film Forum. This series includes 25 rare films (most in 35mm) imported from Japan. Many of the films have translations and subtitles created especially for the Film Forum screenings.

Spanning nearly eight decades of Japanese filmmaking, from Ozu’s 1929 Tokkan Kozo to Ōbayashi’s 2004 Reason), Shitamachi, in the words of Masubuchi, “digs into the area’s history, legends, and myths, as seen by some of Japan’s greatest filmmakers. Many of the films are stories of the resistance and resilience of common people.”

Says Bruce Goldstein, Film Forum’s Director of Repertory Programming, “This series proves that not every movie is so easily accessible. Shitamachi includes films that can be seen only as part of the festival before their return to Japan. At least half are not available on home video or via streaming.” Many of the 35mm prints in the festival come from the Japan Foundation library in Tokyo, as well as from the National Film Archive of Japan.

Kenji Matsumoto, Deputy Director General of The Japan Foundation New York, says, “We have had the honor to work with Film Forum on such memorable film series as Naruse: The Unknown Japanese Master (2005); a retrospective of the legendary actor Tatsuya Nakadai (2008); and a tribute to Five Japanese Divas: Kinuyo Tanaka, Isuzu Yamada, Hideko Takemine, Setsuko Hara, and Machiko Kyo (2011). Following this longstanding partnership, it is with great pleasure that we co-present this series, which depicts vivid human dramas set in different eras in Shitamachi, where young and old from all walks of life are embraced.”

 

About Film Forum

Film Forum began in 1970 as an alternative screening space for independent and classic films on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, with 50 folding chairs, one 16mm projector, and a $19,000 budget. Karen Cooper became director in 1972, and under her leadership Film Forum has grown into its current four-screen incarnation on West Houston Street, open 365 days a year, with as many as 250,000 annual admissions, over 6,700 members, a $6 million budget, and an endowment of $4.3 million. Located at the convergence of Greenwich Village and SoHo in lower Manhattan, Film Forum is the only autonomous non-profit cinema in New York City whose sole focus is exhibition. In 1986, Bruce Goldstein began the theater’s popular repertory program, with a focus on classic films and new restorations.

 

About The Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation, established in 1972, is Japan’s only institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange programs throughout the world. The mission of The Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries in the areas of arts and culture, Japanese-language education as well as Japanese Studies and intellectual exchange. The Foundation maintains its headquarters in Tokyo and operates through a network of 25 overseas offices in 24 countries. It has two offices in the United States—one in New York and the other in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit Japan Foundation’s website.

 

About Japan 2019

This event is part of Japan 2019, a citywide cultural festival organized by The Japan Foundation. Other Japan 2019 events include The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japan Night at PlayStation Theater and Sony Hall, Antigone by Satoshi Miyagi at Park Avenue Armory, and Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki at Lincoln Center.

Japan 2019 aims to broaden understanding of and interest in Japanese culture in the United States through two programs: the Japan 2019 Official Program, featuring a series of events co-organized or supported by The Japan Foundation, mainly in New York and Washington, D.C., and the Japan 2019 Associated Program, featuring affiliated events organized by public and private entities to introduce Japanese culture and promote exchange between Japan and the U.S. For more information, please visit Japan2019’s website.

Drunken Angel ©Toho Co., Ltd

 

Public Screening Schedule

For full film descriptions and to purchase tickets, please visit Film Forum’s website or call the box office at 212-727-8110.

Friday, October 18
DRUNKEN ANGEL (1948, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
醉いどれ天使 (Yoidore tenshi)
Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura
12:30 p.m., 4:50 p.m.

STRAY DOG (1949, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
野良犬 (Nora inu)
Toshirō Mifune
2:30 p.m., 8:20 p.m.

RECORD OF A TENEMENT GENTLEMAN (1947, Yasujirō Ozu) 35mm
長屋紳士録 (Nagaya shinshiroku)
Chōko lida, Hōhi Aoki
6:50 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 19
DRUNKEN ANGEL (1948, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
醉いどれ天使 (Yoidore tenshi)
Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura
5:10 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

STRAY DOG (1949, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
野良犬 (Nora inu)
Toshirō Mifune
1:20 p.m., 7:10 p.m.

RECORD OF A TENEMENT GENTLEMAN (1947, Yasujirō Ozu) 35mm
長屋紳士録 (Nagaya shinshiroku)
Chōko lida, Hōhi Aoki
3:40 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 20
IKIRU (1952, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
生きる
Takashi Shimura
1:20 p.m.

EIJANAIKA (1981, Shôhei Imamura) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
ええじゃないか
Ken Ogata
7:20 p.m.

SHITAMACHI (1957, Yasuki Chiba) 35mm print courtesy National Film Archive of Japan
下町 ダウンタウン
Toshirō Mifune, Isuzu Yamada
4:10 p.m.

NINGEN GARI (1962, Akinori Matsuo) 35mm print courtesy National Film Archive of Japan
人間狩り
5:30 p.m.

 

Monday, October 21
IKIRU (1952, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
生きる
Takashi Shimura
12:30 p.m.

GINZA COSMETICS (1951, Mikio Naruse) 16mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
銀座化粧 (Ginza keshō)
Kinuyo Tanaka
3:15 p.m., 8:00 p.m.

KIGEKI: ONNA WA DOKYŌ (1969, Azuma Morisaki) 35mm
喜劇:女は度胸
Kenzō Kawarasaki, Kiyoshi Atsumi
6:00 p.m.

 

Tuesday, October 22
RECORD OF A TENEMENT GENTLEMAN (1947, Yasujirō Ozu) 35mm
長屋紳士録 (Nagaya shinshiroku)
Chōko lida, Hōhi Aoki
12:30 p.m.

HUMANITY AND PAPER BALLOONS (1937, Sadao Yamanaka) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
人情紙風船 (Ninjō kami fūsen)
Kan’emon Nakamura
2:30 p.m.

STILL I LIVE ON (1951, Tadashi Imai) 16mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Libraryどっこい生きてる (Dokkoi ikiteru)
4:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m.

THE STREET WITHOUT SUN (1954, Satsuo Yamamoto) 35mm print courtesy NFAJ
太陽のない街 (Taiyō no nai machi)
6:30 p.m.

 

Wednesday, October 23
HUMANITY AND PAPER BALLOONS (1937, Sadao Yamanaka) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
人情紙風船 (Ninjō kami fūsen)
Kan’emon Nakamura
12:30 p.m., 6:20 p.m.

STILL I LIVE ON (1951, Tadashi Imai) 16mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Libraryどっこい生きてる (Dokkoi ikiteru)
2:15 p.m., 8:10 p.m.

DRUNKEN ANGEL (1948, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
醉いどれ天使 (Yoidore tenshi)
Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura
4:20 p.m., 10:15 p.m.

 

Thursday, October 24
STRAY DOG (1949, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
野良犬 (Nora inu)
Toshirō Mifune
12:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m.

KIGEKI: NIPPON NO OBAACHAN (1962, Tadashi Imai) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
喜劇:日本のお婆ちゃん
2:50 p.m.

THE DISCARNATES (1988, Nobuhiko Ōbayashi) 35mm
異人たちとの夏 (Ijin-tachi to no natsu)
Morio Kazama
7:35 p.m.

IKIRU (1952, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
生きる
Takashi Shimura
4:50 p.m.

 

Friday, October 25
NOBODY KNOWS (2004, Hirokazu Kore-eda) 35mm
誰も知らない (Dare mo shiranai)
4:40 p.m.

KANTO WANDERER (1963, Seijun Suzuki) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
関東無宿 (Kantō mushuku)
Akira Kobayashi
2:40 p.m., 7:20 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 26
KANTO WANDERER (1963, Seijun Suzuki) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
関東無宿 (Kantō mushuku)
Akira Kobayashi
1:00 p.m.

SHITAMACHI (1957, Yasuki Chiba) 35mm print courtesy National Film Archive of Japan
下町 ダウンタウン
Toshirō Mifune, Isuzu Yamada
2:50 p.m.

LOVE LETTER (1953, Kinuyo Tanaka) 16mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
恋文 (Koibumi)
Masayuki Mori
4:10 p.m.

FLOWING (1956, Mikio Naruse) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
流れる (Nagareru)
6:15 p.m.

GODZILLA (1954, Ishirō Honda) 35mm
ゴジラ (Gojira)
8:45 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 27
SOMETHING LIKE IT (1981, Yoshimitsu Morita) DCP
の・ようなもの (No yohna mono)
Kumiko Akiyoshi
3:35 p.m.

TOKYO STORY (1953, Yasujirō Ozu) New DCP restoration
東京物語 (Tōkyō monogatari)
Setsuko Hara
1:00 p.m., 7:35 p.m.

MOTHER (1952, Mikio Naruse) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
おかあさん (Okāsan)
Kyoko Kagawa, Kinuyo Tanaka
5:35 p.m.

 

Monday, October 28
FLOWING (1956, Mikio Naruse) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
流れる (Nagareru)
12:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m.

HER BROTHER (1960, Kon Ichikawa) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
おとうと (Otôto)
Masayuki Mori, Kinuyo Tanaka, Keiko Kishi
2:45 p.m., 8:55 p.m.

WOMAN OF TOKYO (1933, Yasujirō Ozu) 35mm
東京の女 (Tōkyō no onna)
Kinuyo Tanaka

Plus TOKKAN KOZO (1929, Yasujirō Ozu) 35mm
突貫小僧
Tomio Aoki (aka “Tokkankozō”)
7:00 p.m.
Live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner

 

Tuesday, October 29
MOTHER (1952, Mikio Naruse) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
おかあさん (Okāsan)
Kyōko Kagawa, Kinuyo Tanaka
2:40 p.m.

JUBILATION STREET (1944, Keisuke Kinoshita) 35mm print courtesy NFAJ
歓呼の町 (Kanko no machi)
6:00 p.m.

REASON (2004, Nobuhiko Ōbayashi) 35mm
理由 (Riyū)
7:35 p.m.

 

Wednesday, October 30
HER BROTHER (1960, Kon Ichikawa) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
おとうと (Otōto)
Masayuki Mori, Kinuyo Tanaka, Keiko Kishi
6:00 p.m.

REASON (2004, Nobuhiko Ōbayashi) 35mm
理由 (Riyū)
12:30 p.m.

WHERE CIMNEYS ARE SEEN (1953, Heinosuke Gosho) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
煙突の見える場所 (Entotsu no mieru basho)
Ken Uehara, Kinuyo Tanaka
3:30 p.m., 8:15 p.m.

 

Thursday, October 31
TOKYO STORY (1953, Yasujirō Ozu) New DCP restoration
東京物語 (Tōkyō monogatari)
Setsuko Hara
12:30 p.m., 5:20 p.m.

GODZILLA (1954, Ishirō Honda) 35mm
ゴジラ (Gojira)
3:10 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
Outro by Bruce Goldstein at the 8:00 p.m. show

 

Friday, November 1
SUZAKI PARADISE (1956, Yūzō Kawashima) DCP
洲崎パラダイス 赤信号 (Suzaki Paradaisu: Akashingō)
Tatsuya Mihashi, Michiyo Aratama
2:15 p.m., 6:00 p.m.

STREET OF SHAME (1956, Kenji Mizoguchi) New 4K DCP restoration
赤線地帯 (Akasen chitai)
Michiyo Kogure, Ayako Wakao, Machiko Kyō
12:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:40 p.m.

DRUNKEN ANGEL (1948, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
醉いどれ天使 (Yoidore tenshi)
Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura
9:30

 

Saturday, November 2
THE LOWER DEPTHS (1957, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
どん底 (Donzoko)
Toshirō Mifune
12:50 p.m., 8:40 p.m.

NOBODY KNOWS (2004, Hirokazu Kore-eda) 35mm
誰も知らない (Dare mo shiranai)
3:30 p.m.

A CLASS TO REMEMBER (1993, Yōji Yamada) Digital
学校 (Gakko)
6:10 p.m.

 

Sunday, November 3
OHAYŌ (1959, Yasujirō Ozu) DCP
お早よう
12:50 p.m.

THE CAT LEAVES HOME (2004, Nami Iguchi) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
犬猫 (Inuneko)
Yōko Fujita, Kanako Enomoto
5:20 p.m., 9:25 p.m.

 

Monday, November 4
KIGEKI: NIPPON NO OBAACHAN (1962, Tadashi Imai) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
喜劇:日本のお婆ちゃん
2:35 p.m., 6:35 p.m.

THE CAT LEAVES HOME (2004, Nami Iguchi) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
犬猫 (Inuneko)
Yōko Fujita, Kanako Enomoto
4:35 p.m.

 

Tuesday, November 5
SUN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE SHOGUNATE (1957, Yūzō Kawashima) DCP
幕末太陽傳 (Bakumatsu taiyōden)
Frankie Sakai
4:35 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

TOKYO LULLABY (1997, Jun Ichikawa) Digital
東京夜曲 (Tōkyō yakyoku)
6:45 p.m.

 

Wednesday, November 6
KIKUJIRO (1999, Takeshi Kitano) 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation Film Library
菊次郎の夏 (Kikujirō no natsu)
3:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

SUN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE SHOGUNATE (1957, Yūzō Kawashima) DCP
幕末太陽傳 (Bakumatsu taiyōden)
Frankie Sakai
6:00 p.m.

TOKYO STORY (1953, Yasujirō Ozu) New DCP restoration
東京物語 (Tōkyō monogatari)
Setsuko Hara
12:30 p.m.

 

Thursday, November 7
TOKYO STORY (1953, Yasujirō Ozu) New DCP restoration
東京物語 (Tōkyō monogatari)
Setsuko Hara
2:30 p.m.

OHAYŌ (1959, Yasujirō Ozu) DCP
お早よう
12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m.

SHITAMACHI SUNSHINE (1963, Yōji Yamada) 35mm
下町の太陽 (Shitamachi no taiyō)
Chieko Baishō
7:05 p.m.

STRAY DOG (1949, Akira Kurosawa) 35mm
野良犬 (Nora inu)
Toshirō Mifune
8:50 p.m.