Pop trade and culture of the avant-garde.
This year, the Festival du nouveau cinéma is honouring Japan. Operation seduction, post Fukushima and other disasters, far from the media stereotypes of a culture and a country that have always fascinated the West. It is the ideal opportunity for public and journalists alike to reflect on a film industry that is among the most important, dynamic and influential in the world.
On this occasion 10 films will be presented as part of a prestigious retrospective on the Nikkatsu film studio (in operation for 100 years, it is the oldest production house in Japan), presented by the Festival du nouveau cinéma and the Fantasia International Film Festival, in collaboration with the Cinémathèque québécoise (access to Nikkatsu’s archives is made possible thanks to the kind collaboration of the Cinémathèque québécoise).
After New York, Paris, London and Tokyo, this retrospective is now coming to Montreal. It is the opportunity to discover some of Japanese cinema’s great classics, many of whom have been restored. Among them: Japan’s first fiction film, a 6-minute short entitled MOMIJIGARI (1897), an ode to autumn; two key discoveries featuring Japan’s answer to Elvis, Yujiro Ishihara, I HATE BUT LOVE (1962) and RUSTY KNIFE (1958); a rare film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, CHARISMA (1999); a famous musical comedy SINGING LOVEBIRDS (1939); the seminal THE SUN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE SHOGUNATE (1957), co-authored by Shohei Imamura, revered at the time by Akira Kurosawa and considered one of the country’s top 5 films; one of Kenji Mizoguchi first talking films HOMETOWN (1930); and Noboru Tanaka’s masterpiece of avant-garde erotic cinema SECRET CHRONICLE: SHE-BEAST MARKET (1974), presented in collaboration with Perle. And that’s just for starters…
The retrospective will open with a special presentation of THE NINJA JIRAIYA, an amazing silent classic of which unfortunately only parts remain, directed by Shozo Makino, the founding father of Japanese cinema and the alter ego of Georges Méliès. It was the first time that special effects had been used in a Japanese film! The film will be presented with a live musical accompaniment by the renowned Japanese drum troupe, Arashi Daiko. Not to be missed!
Another event of note is HERE IS TO JAPAN!, a Japanese evening at 7 pm on September 12 at the Festival Headquarters (Agora Hydro-Québec in UQÀM’s Cœur des sciences / 175, Président-Kennedy Ave). In honour of the Nikkatsu retrospective, the Festival du nouveau cinéma, the Japan Foundation and the Consulate General of Japan at Montreal is having a reception to celebrate cinematic Japan-québécoise creativity. On the menu: sake, drums and a Japanese flute, and a surprise with a very special Quebec flavour… the opportunity to taste a multicultural world not often seen on the Montreal landscape. Come one, come all!
And then there is the free showing of THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS: DO NOT THINK (2012), an immersive and exceptional concert projected on 3 screens. The Chemical Brothers are the uncontested masters of techno madness and here they have been filmed at the legendary Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. The film is already considered one of the greatest concerts filmed in the history of cinema and is certainly one of the highlights of this year’s program.
Finally, the Festival program includes some of Japan’s most anticipated films of this year and includes Takeshi Kitano’s CONTEMPT BEYOND; Sion Sono’s THE LAND OF HOPE on the Fukushima disaster (winner of the Asian Film Prize at the Toronto Film Festival); PENANCE by Kiyoshi Kurosawa; the North American premiere of Koji Wakamatsu’s new film, THE MILLENIAL RAPTURE; the documentary INORI, produced by Naomi Kawase; and the Canadian premiere of the magnificent WOLF CHILDREN, the latest film by the icon of Japanese animation, Mamoru Hosoda, presented exceptionally in its original version in the section TEMPS 0, and dubbed into French in the P’TITS LOUPS section.