Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Friday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Japan Society – 333 E. 47th Street (between First and Second Avenues)
Admission: $13/$10 seniors & students/$5 Japan Society members
As part of its Monthly Classics series of year-round screenings of beloved classics, hidden gems and recent discoveries of Japanese cinema, Japan Society presents Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, groundbreaking director Nagisa Oshima’s only English-language film.
Based on “The Seed and the Sower,” Sir Laurens van der Post’s autobiographical novellas, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence features David Bowie as Major Jack Celliers, a rebellious British officer imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp during World War II who draws the intense fascination of the camp’s conflicted commandant, Captain Yanoi, played by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, who also composed the musical score and produced the soundtrack. Divided by language and incongruous understandings of duty and honor, the fraught relationship between prisoners and captors slowly builds towards tragedy. Also featuring a breakout performance by Takeshi Kitano in his first dramatic role, Oshima’s film is an entrancing, brutal examination of the absurdities of war punctuated by moments of tenderness and poetry.
Japan Society is dedicating this screening in memory of Oshima (March 31, 1932-January 15, 2013) and Bowie (January 8, 1947-January 10, 2016).
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website.