Contemporary Japanese cinema screening at USC, Feb 19-21

Contemporary Japanese Cinema

Contemporary Japanese cinema screening at USC, Feb 19-21

University of Southern California Visions and Voices program presents

Contemporary Japanese Cinema: Outside, Elsewhere, In the World

University Park Campus
Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre
Frank Sinatra Hall
Admission is free.

Friday, February 19

6 pm: Reception, in front of Norris Cinema Theatre

7 pm: Baton by Ryuhei Kitamura (2009, DVD, 50 min.)
8 pm: Hana and Alice by Shunji Iwai (2004, 35mm, 135 min.)
10 pm: Panel discussion featuring Shunji Iwai, Ryuhei Kitamura, Keisuke Kitano and Akira Mizuta Lippit

Saturday, February 20

3 pm: Air Doll by Hirokazu Kore-eda (2009, 35mm, 125 min.)
6 pm: Panel discussion featuring Youngmin Choe, Keisuke Kitano and Akira Mizuta Lippit
7 pm: Azumiby Ryuhei Kitamura (2003, 35mm, 128 min.)
9 pm: Panel discussion featuring Ryuhei Kitamura, Keisuke Kitano and Akira Mizuta Lippit
10 pm: Party, School of Cinematic Arts Courtyard

Sunday, February 21

12 pm: Eureka by Shinji Aoyama (2000, 35mm, 217 min.)
4 pm: Sad Vacation by Shinji Aoyama (2007, 35mm, 136 min.)
6:30 pm: Panel discussion featuring Shinji Aoyama, Keisuke Kitano and Akira Mizuta Lippit

All screenings and discussions will be held in the Norris Cinema Theatre on the USC campus.

All films will be screened in original formats (35mm and digital video), in Japanese with English subtitles.

Reservations required:

The resurgence of Japanese cinema in the 1990s dramatically reconfigured the aspirations, practices and reception of one of the largest and most continuous film cultures outside of the United States.

This three-day event features films by three contemporary Japanese filmmakers whose work has crossed national borders and been viewed outside of Japan, elsewhere, in the world: Shinji Aoyama, Shunji Iwai and Ryuhei Kitamura.

In the wake of the classical cinemas of the 1930 and ’40s, the colonial cinemas of the period, and the new-wave cinemas of the 1950s and ’60s, the Japanese cinema of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has entered into the world and been received internationally in unprecedented ways.

Contemporary Japanese Cinema: Outside, Elsewhere, In the World features the work of some of Japan’s most active filmmakers of the new generation-Shinji Aoyama, Shunji Iwai and Ryuhei Kitamura-as well as commentary by one of Japan’s most active film scholars and critics, the widely published Keisuke Kitano, who completed his graduate studies in the United States.

In different ways, each filmmaker has established complex relations to the national cinema of Japan, while also moving outside of national confines.

Shinji Aoyama, also an acclaimed novelist, is the internationally renowned director of Eureka (2000) and Sad Vacation (2007), both of which will be screened in this festival.

Shunji Iwai, who began his career as a visual artist and a maker of music videos, has enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout Asia, in his native Japan as well as South Korea, China and Taiwan.

Among Iwai’s remarkable films are Love Letter (1995) and his dark reflection on adolescence, All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001).

Ryuhei Kitamura, who also began his career as a visual artist, studied in Australia before becoming a prominent member of the film industries of both Japan and Hollywood with films such as Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and an adaptation of Clive Barker’s Midnight Meat Train (2008).

Iwai and Kitamura now reside in the United States, where they work across genres, languages and cultures.

Festival screenings include Shunji Iwai’s eccentric comedy Hana and Alice (2004, Hana toArisu); Baton (2009), a short animated feature written by Iwai and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura; Air Doll (2009, Kuki ningyo), the most recent film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, the director of After Life and Nobody Knows, among many other films; Kitamura’s female-ninja thriller, Azumi (2003), which is based on a manga; and two grippingly meditative dramas by Shinji Aoyama, Eureka (2000), an epic masterpiece on overcoming trauma, and Sad Vacation (2007), a haunting story of lost families.

Keisuke Kitano, one of Japan’s most energetic new film critics and scholars, will offer illuminating commentary throughout the festival.

Kitano is a professor of film and media studies at the School of Image Arts and Sciences at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, where he also serves as associate dean.

Joining the discussion of Kore-eda’s Air Doll will be Youngmin Choe, a professor of East Asian languages and cultures at USC who specializes in Korean film and transnational visual cultures.

Organized by the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Programmed by Akira Mizuta Lippit, professor and chair of critical studies in the School of Cinematic Arts, and co-directed by Nicky Schildkraut, a poet and PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at USC.

Reception hosted by the East Asian Studies Center.

For further information on this event: