SciFi Japan

    Zatoichi and Nemuri Kyoshiro Screenings in NYC this Weekend

    Japan Society Continues "The Double-Edged Sword" Chambara Film Series on April 24th Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Joel Neville Anderson New York – Japan Society`s latest Monthly Classics film series "The Double-Edged Sword: The Chambara Films of Shintaro Katsu & Raizo Ichikawa" pays tribute to two Japanese screen legends in their most respected, representative and stylish chambara (sword fighting) films. Curated by film expert and author Chris D. (Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film), the series screens monthly through May 2010. Having opened in December 2009, this Saturday`s second-to-last screening marks the final appearance of Shintaro Katsu’s Zatoichi in the film series as well as the introduction of Raizo Ichikawa’s Nemuri Kyoshiro in THE SWORD OF SEDUCTION (aka SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH 4). Tickets are $11/$7 Japan Society members, students and seniors. NEW TALE OF ZATOICHI (Shin Zatoichi monogatari) Saturday April 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm 1963, 91 min, 35mm, in English with Japanese subtitles. Directed by Tokuzo Tanaka. With Shintaro Katsu, Mikiko Tsubouchi, Seizaburo Kawazu.

    The deadly masseur seeks an end to a life plagued by violence as he returns to his hometown in the hope of laying down his cane-sword and renouncing the wayward ways of his hack-and-slash life. Zatoichi reunites with his former sensei in the throes of his own moral dilemma, but this retreat is short-lived, as the familiar patterns of human chaos threaten to pull him back into the fray. A mysterious gang of marauders ravages the town, a fellow drifter thirsty for revenge lurks in the shadows, and a forbidden love threatens to stand between Ichi and his beloved mentor. NEMURI KYOSHIRO AT BAY: THE SWORD OF SEDUCTION (Nemuri Kyoshiro Joyo Ken, aka SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH 4) Saturday April 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm 1964, 87 min., 35mm, in Japanese, presented for the first time in the U.S. with new digital subtitles. Directed by Kazuo Ikehiro. With Raizo Ichikawa, Michiko Ai, Akira Amemiya, Shinjiro Asano, Saburo Date, and Tomisaburo Wakayama. Widely considered to be the strongest entry in the wonderfully perverse and violent samurai Nemuri saga, THE SWORD OF SEDUCTION finds the shadowy outcast mixed up in a labyrinthine intrigue involving persecuted Christians, opium smuggling, a drug-addled princess, and a search for a holy Madonna. Half-breed warrior Kyoshiro Nemuri (“Sleepy-Eyed”), the other most popular swordsman of all time alongside Zatoichi, and the self-proclaimed "Son of the Black Mask," was the archetypal anti-hero: dark, romantic and desperate. This film offers perhaps the best introduction to this wandering half-breed warrior masterfully played by Ichikawa, as well as two of the most intriguing female chambara roles of the time: a Japanese Madonna and monstrous killer princess!

    About Japan Society

    The Japan Society Film Program offers a diverse selection of Japanese films, from classics to contemporary independent productions. Its aim is to entertain, educate and support activities in the Society`s Arts & Culture programs. The Film Program has included retrospectives of great directors, thematic series and many U.S. premieres. Some original film series curated by Japan Society have traveled to other U.S. venues in tours organized by the Film Program. Since 2007, the Program has presented the annual summer JAPAN CUTS Festival of New Japanese Film in collaboration with the New York Asian Film Festival. The Monthly Classics series are yearly events inviting guest curators to organize film series with once-a-month screenings. Established in 1907, Japan Society has evolved into North America`s major producer of high-quality content on Japan for an English-speaking audience. Presenting over 100 events annually through well established Corporate, Education, Film, Gallery, Language, Lectures, Performing Arts and Innovators Network programs, the Society is an internationally recognized nonprofit, nonpolitical organization that provides access to information on Japan, offers opportunities to experience Japanese culture, and fosters sustained and open dialogue on issues important to the U.S., Japan, and East Asia. Japan Society 2009-10 Film Programs are generously supported by the Lila Wallace-Reader`s Digest Endowment Fund. Additional support is provided by the Globus Family, Yoshiko and Tim Schilt, David S. Howe, Dr. Tatsuji Namba, Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

    About Chris D.

    Chris D. (aka Chris Desjardins) is the author of Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film (2005, I.B. Tauris), which features essays and interviews with Japanese genre film directors from the `60s to the `90s. He recently completed work on two forthcoming books: an exhaustive study of yakuza films titled Gun And Sword – An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980, and an anthology of prose and poetry entitled A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die (New Texture Books, due Dec. 9). Chris worked as a film programmer at The American Cinematheque in Los Angeles 1999-2005 and was the main programmer of the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre from 2006-09. Chris was also a singer/songwriter/producer for The Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen between 1978 and 2003. As an actor, Chris has appeared in BORDER RADIO (1987), NO WAY OUT (1987), TWEEKED (1999) and DOUBLE DECEPTION (2001). I PASS FOR HUMAN (2004) was his feature film debut behind the camera. Japan Society`s presentation of The Double-Edged Sword is an updated edition of a series he presented in Los Angeles in 2002.

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