Skip to content
Films

Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? / April Story

Love Letters: Four Films by Shunji Iwai

This is Tooltip!
December 10, 2022
This is Tooltip!
5:00 pm
Fireworks - 1920
This is Tooltip!

This screening features two films.

Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?

打ち上げ花火、下から見るか? 横から見るか?

U.S. Premiere of New Color Grading & Remaster. Originally broadcast as part of a Fuji TV anthology series in 1993, Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or Bottom? won the Japan Film Director’s Guild Newcomer Award that year—a rare achievement for a television film. Set during the last day of school as the imminent summer break brings promise of freedom, adventure and a much-anticipated fireworks display, Iwai’s unabashedly romantic and sentimental slice of life drama captures the day’s events through the eyes of a schoolboy. This shot-on-video feature brings forth a deluge of new experiences from youthful wonderment to first love—delivering an extraordinarily moving depiction of the occurrences of a single, unforgettable summer day.

Dir. Shunji Iwai, 1993, 45 min., DCP, Color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Megumi Okina, Yuta Yamazaki, Takayuki Sorita.

April Story

四月物語

Shy and meek Uzuki (pop star Takako Matsu) moves cross-country from rural, chilly Hokkaido to bustling Tokyo for college. Documenting the travails of settling down in a new environment that’s as equally liberating as it is overwhelming, April Story follows the quiet girl as she navigates the anxieties of making friends, creating a new home for herself, and managing her newfound independence—all for the yearnings of an innocuous crush. Shot in the peak bloom of cherry blossom season, April Story is perhaps Iwai’s most earnest depiction of first love, perfectly capturing a snapshot of life’s many wonders and mysteries.

Dir. Shunji Iwai, 1998, 67 min., DCP, Color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Takako Matsu, Seiichi Tanabe, Kahori Fujii.

Tickets
$15 General Admission / $10 Members
$12 Seniors and Students
$10 Person with Disability

This is Tooltip!

Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? © Rockwell Eyes Inc

April Story © Rockwell Eyes Inc

This is Tooltip!

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and Shiseido Americas. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and endowment support from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, Akiko Koide and Shohei Koide, Geoff and Fumi Matters, Laurel Gonsalves, and David S. Howe. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the exclusive Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film.