Film

The Ceremony
FILM

The Ceremony

儀式 (Gishiki)
Saturday, March 29, 6 PM

Image: The Ceremony © 1971 Shochiku Co., Ltd

Introduction by Richard Peña, Director Emeritus, New York Film Festival, and Professor of Film Studies, Columbia University. A special screening commemorating Nagisa Oshima (1932-2013).

Donald Richie on The Ceremony:
"One of Oshima's most startling films--whole generations of a single family seen only during such ceremonies as funerals and weddings. With a big cast, luminous photography by Toichiro Narushima, music by Toru Takemitsu.... The 25-year period of postwar history, which somewhat resembles Oshima's own early years, is seen as both personal and as an allegory of postwar Japan. Each ceremony is carefully timed to coincide with a year significant in the postwar history of Japan. Each marks a stage of a downward spiral, for it is the 'spiritual death' of Japan that Oshima is chronicling." (Excerpted from Richie's A Hundred Years of Japanese Film.)

Nagisa Oshima audaciously views the important events of postwar Japanese history through the lens of one family's ceremonial and social gatherings. The doomed family itself is a symbol of Japanese military aggression in Manchuria, and complicated intra-family relationships illustrate the effects of corrupt and patriarchal abuse.

1971, 123 min., color, new 35mm print, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Nagisa Oshima. With Kenzo Kawarazaki, Atsuko Kaku, Kei Sato, Nobuko Otowa, Akiko Koyama, Hosei Komatsu, Fumio Watanabe, Atsuo Nakamura.

Part of Richie's Electric Eight: A Tribute to Donald Richie (1924-2013), Part 2


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