Film

Globus Film Series


SHINJUKU ECSTASY:
Independent Films from the Art Theatre Guild of Japan


February 18 - March 1, 2009


Founded in 1961 as a distributor of European art films in Japan, the Art Theater Guild (ATG) began co-producing independent films in 1967, and quickly established itself as the leading platform for highly experimental and innovative film.  For three decades, ATG played a decisive role in the development of art-house films in Japan, often dealing with the most controversial subjects from incest, anarchism, and gay culture to capital punishment.  Although many filmmakers such as Nagisa Oshima, Yoshishige Yoshida and Shuji Terayama gained international recognition through their films made in cooperation with ATG, the Art Theatre Guild is still little known outside of Japan.  This 12-film series curated by Roland Domenig and Go Hirasawa focuses on the first decade of ATG and on the Shinjuku Bunka, ATG's flagship theater, which formed a unique intersection of filmmakers and artists of all kind in Shinjuku, the center of Japan’s vibrant counterculture.


    • Throw Away Your Books, Let's Go into the Street
      Film

      Throw Away Your Books, Let's Go into the Street

      Wednesday, February 18, 2009
      Director Terayama's first film is a psychological study of alienation and a plea for sociopolitical revolution...
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    • Funeral Parade of Roses
      Film

      Funeral Parade of Roses

      Friday, February 20, 2009
      This milestone of Japanese queer cinema is a dizzying and sardonic version of Sophocles' Oedipus set in modern Tokyo's...
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    • Death by Hanging
      Film

      Death by Hanging

      Saturday, February 21, 2009
      Director Oshima's subversive and provocatively absurd reconstruction is an ingeniously conceived farce on intolerance,...
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    • Silence Has No Wings
      Film

      Silence Has No Wings

      Saturday, February 21, 2009
      This first feature film by director Kuroki depicts the journey of a caterpillar along the Japanese islands.
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    • Eros plus Massacre
      Film

      Eros plus Massacre

      Sunday, February 22, 2009
      Director Yoshida's dense and self-reflexive film explores the obscure intersection between reality and fiction,...
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    • The Inferno of First Love
      Film

      The Inferno of First Love

      Tuesday, February 24, 2009
      Director Hani employs a heterogeneity of styles that punctuate the complex psycho-sexual exploration of the film's...
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    • Double Suicide
      Film

      Double Suicide

      Wednesday, February 25, 2009
      Director Shinoda's film is a brilliant modernist adaptation of Monzaemon Chikamatsu’s famous 1720 bunraku...
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    • This Transient Life
      Film

      This Transient Life

      Friday, February 27, 2009
      Director Jissoji's feature film debut is a successful rendition of Buddhist thought in film and features captivating...
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    • A Man Vanishes
      Film

      A Man Vanishes

      Saturday, February 28, 2009
      Director Imamura creates an ingeniously constructed and subversively intellectual, yet captivating meditation on...
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    • Crazy Love
      Film

      Crazy Love

      Saturday, February 28, 2009
      Correlated with Susan Sontag's theorization of kitsch as well as employing the queer lingo of "camp,"...
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    • Pitfall
      Film

      Pitfall

      Sunday, March 1, 2009
      Based on a novel by Kobo Abe, ATG-co-founder Teshigahara's first feature film is a surreal and atmospheric study...
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    • Ecstasy of the Angels
      Film

      Ecstasy of the Angels

      Sunday, March 1, 2009
      Director Wakamatsu marries sexploitation with radical politics and anticipated the real-life bombing of the extreme...
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View curators' bios


Read A Brief History of Independent Cinema in Japan and the Role of the ATG by curator Roland Domenig (PDF)


The Film Program is now on FACEBOOK! Join our group and receive updates on all our screenings and events!

Shinjuku Ecstasy: Independent Films from the Art Theatre Guild of Japan is made possible through the generous support of the Globus Family.

Japan Society would also like to thank The Globus Family for underwriting free admission on February 20.

Japan Society 2007-08 Film Programs are generously supported by The Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund.

Additional support is provided by David S. Howe, Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

Acknowledgments
Keiji Matsumoto (Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive); Mikiko Nukimura (Hani Productions); Katsue Tomiyama , Takashi Sawa and (Image Forum); Hirosuke Imamura (Imamura Production); Sarah Finklea and Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Marie Suzuki, Yusuke Nakashima and Yukihiro Ohira (The Japan Foundation); Yuka Sakano and Atsuko Fukuda (Kawakita Memorial Film Institute); Noriyoshi Ikeya and Masanobu Suzuki (Kodai); Toshio Matsumoto (Matsumoto Production); Akira Tochigi (The National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo); Linda Duchin (New Yorker Films); Michio Okabe; Masaki Fujiwara (Toho Co., Ltd.); Hanae Hayashi (Toho Stella); Koji Wakamatsu (Wakamatsu Productions); and Kiju Yoshida.

Special thanks to: Kinshiro Kuzui; James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario; Mark Nornes; Steve Ridgley and Marc Walkow.

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