火まつり (Fire Festival)
Friday, January 24, 2014
Introduction by Ian Buruma, Paul W. Williams Professor of Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College
Donald Richie on Himatsuri:
"A modern macho lumberjack faces vengeful nature—but such a one-line précis cannot begin to communicate the enormous potency of the film. With luminous photography by Masaki Tamura, a ravishing score by Toru Takemitsu, Kitaoji as the lumberjack, and Nakamoto as his shifty sidekick."
Following Mitsuo Yanagimachi's debut documentary God Speed You! Black Emperor (1976), Richie promoted this independent director by introducing his films and, in 1990, he presented a Yanagimachi retrospective at the Toronto International Film Festival. Himatsuri is set in the Kumano area, the locale of the Japanese myth of creation where the mountains meet the sea, and a lumberjack's love and despair merge with the fierce forces of nature surrounding him.
1985, 126 min., 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Mitsuo Yanagimachi. With Kinya Kitaoji, Ryota Nakamoto, Kiwako Taichi, Norihei Miki, Junko Miyashita.
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