A Man Vanishes (one-week run!)

 

 

Widely recognized today as one of the most important directors to emerge from the Japanese New Wave of the 1960s, Shohei Imamura (director of Black Rain, Vengeance Is Mine and The Insect Woman) made films that were ribald, bawdy, and earthy, revealing and reveling in the underpinnings of Japanese society: not the code of the samurai or the rigor of the tea ceremony, but something more primal” (Harvard Film Archive.) While his work in the Sixties quickly gained recognition on the international festival circuit, box office success was not in the cards, and after the release of his groundbreaking 1967 fact-or-fiction docudrama A Man Vanishes, Imamura stayed his ground in the field of documentaries up through the mid-1970s. These works, while at times serene and mournful, dive into the darker side of Japanese life, and often deal with unresolved cultural issues stemming from the divide between the ancient code of honor and post-war guilt. Come discover these emotionally stirring works with us across a week’s worth of Imamura documentaries, all screened from newly-subtitled, high-definition masters (including a one-week run of A Man Vanishes!)

 

BUY TICKETS ($12/free for members. Showtimes subject to change):
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A Man Vanishes (1967)
Friday, November 16th – 7:30pm
Saturday, November 17th – 4:00pm
Sunday, November 18th – 3:00pm (shown with The Pirates of Bubuan)
Monday, November 19th – 10:00pm
Tuesday, November 20th – 5:00pm
Wednesday, November 21st – 9:45pm

 

Karayuki-san, The Making of a Prostitute (1975)
Friday, November 16th – 10:20pm

 

The Pirates of Bubuan (1972)
Sunday, November 18th – 3:00pm (shown w/ A Man Vanishes)

 

In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers in Thailand (1971) & Outlaw-Masu Returns Home (1973)
Wednesday, November 21st – 7:30pm

 

A MAN VANISHES
“Reality or fiction?  Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category.  Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

 

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

 

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year.  What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself.  Wow!   Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

 

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

 

A Man Vanishes (11/21, 9:45pm)

Brand-new HD restoration!
manvanishes4_website
11/21/2012 - 9:45PM

“Reality or fiction? Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category. Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year. What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself. Wow! Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

Watch the trailer for “A Man Vanishes”!
YouTube Preview Image

In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers In Thailand + Outlaw-Masu Returns Home

unreturned_website
11/21/2012 - 7:30PM

An emotional doc double feature diving deep into Japan’s emotional fallout from WWII at home and abroad. First, the head-spinning cross between My Dinner With Andre and Shoah, In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers In Thailand. In ‘71, Shohei Imamura uncovers an underground network of “rogue” Japanese soldiers who stayed put in Southeast Asia permanently. Was this exile voluntary? Three hardened ex-soldiers in their fifties answer the question over a reunion dinner, semi-nostalgically recounting an unending torrent of battle atrocities committed in the name of “victory”. Their resilience is a testament to human will — and the actions they divulge provide a lifetime of ethical debate. Imamura next filmed Outlaw-Masu Returns Home, featuring one of In Search of…’s ex-soldiers returning to Japan for the first time in the 33 years. Immediately prying open unhealed emotional scars from decades-old conflicts with his younger brother (now an ornery drunk), the ex-soldier finds that the peaceful Japan of the present is just as ambivalent towards what he represents as he is towards the Japan of his past. A remarkable, rare duo guaranteed not to leave any audience member unmoved.
In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers In Thailand Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1971, HD presentation, 46 min.
Outlaw-Masu Returns Home Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1973, HD presentation, 47 min.

Watch an excerpt from “In Search of the Unreturned Soldiers In Thailand”!

Watch an excerpt from “Outlaw-Masu Returns Home”!

A Man Vanishes (11/20, 5:00pm)

Brand-new HD restoration!
manvanishes2_website
11/20/2012 - 5PM

“Reality or fiction? Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category. Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year. What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself. Wow! Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

Watch the trailer for “A Man Vanishes”!
YouTube Preview Image

A Man Vanishes (11/19, 10:00pm)

Brand-new HD restoration!
manvanishes1_website
11/19/2012 - 10PM

“Reality or fiction? Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category. Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year. What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself. Wow! Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

Watch the trailer for “A Man Vanishes”!
YouTube Preview Image

A Man Vanishes + The Pirates of Bubuan (11/18, 3:00pm)

Brand-new HD restoration!
manvanishes3_website
11/18/2012 - 3PM

The Pirates of Bubuan – 3:00pm
In ballsy, proto-Nick Broomfield fashion, Shohei Imamura puts himself directly in the line of danger to film The Pirates of Bubuan, a startling documentary glimpse of shady activity on the Phillipine high seas in the early 1970s. As an unintended side effect of bringing a camera crew into relatively unknown territory, Imamura also captures the experiences of native islanders eking out their day-to-day lives on both the poverty line and the idyllic shoreline.
The Pirates of Bubuan Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1972, HD presentation, 46 min.

A Man Vanishes – 4:00pm
“Reality or fiction? Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category. Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year. What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself. Wow! Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

Watch the trailer for “A Man Vanishes”!
YouTube Preview Image

Watch the trailer for “The Pirates of Bubuan”!

A Man Vanishes (11/17, 4:00pm)

Brand-new HD restoration!
manvanishes4_website
11/17/2012 - 4PM

“Reality or fiction? Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category. Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year. What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself. Wow! Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

Watch the trailer for “A Man Vanishes”!
YouTube Preview Image

Karayuki-San: The Making of a Prostitute

The most heartrending of Imamura docs!
karayukisan_prostitute_website
11/16/2012 - 10:20PM

“Perhaps the most brilliant and feeling of Imamura’s fine documentaries.” — Joan Mellen, “The Waves At Genji’s Door: Japan Through Its Cinema”

After covering in his previous ‘70s docs the tribulations of “unreturned” WWII Japanese soldiers in exile, Shohei Imamura turns to a different, even more invisible brand of exile altogether: the countless Japanese women who were kidnapped or otherwise sold into sexual slavery, in order to service Japanese military men in Southeast Asia. At this heartrending tale’s center is Kikuyo Zendo, a 74-year-old who offers frank, harrowing testimony of her horrific wartime experiences, and runs down the factors that have led her to choose exile in Malaysia over repatriation. Still living in relative poverty, Kikuyo’s positive attitude throughout this captivating first-person tale is a marvel to behold.

“While researching the project, I met around twenty old ladies who had been Karayuki-san, but none of them seemed right for the film. And then I met Kikuyo Zendo, a gentle old lady of seventy, who came from the family of a poor fanner in the Hiroshima area. She was very open with us from the start, but I had to ask her a series of shockingly direct questions: “How many men did you have to sleep with every night?” “Did you enjoy sex with your clients?” and so on. Despite everything, she remained astonishingly kind and tolerant towards us.” — Shohei Imamura
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1975, HD presentation, 70 min.

Watch an excerpt of “Karayuki-San: The Making of a Prostitute”!

A Man Vanishes (11/16, 7:30pm)

Brand-new HD restoration!
manvanishes1_website
11/16/2012 - 7:30PM

“Reality or fiction? Imamura’s documentary (or is it?) blurs the line so well it deserves a new category. Let’s call it friction.” — Kinnemaniac

“In a coup de cinéma that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Close-Up’, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into a tenuous fabrication.” –James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

One of his greatest, most challenging works, A Man Vanishes begins as a filmic investigation by Shohei Imamura (director of Vengeance Is Mine, The Pornographers, Insect Woman) into one of Japan’s thousands of missing persons cases that occur each year. What starts as stylish, yet straightforward reportage quickly balloons into a grand octopus of a docudrama, as Imamura teases the audience with: a) hiring an actor to pose as the film’s private dick; b) giving up on the main thread, and instead going down the rabbit-hole of tale-within-a-tale tangential obsessions, Saragossa Manuscript-style; and c) the real-life fiancée of the missing salaryman taking a “greater interest” in Imamura himself. Wow! Radical in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A Man Vanishes distills many of Imamura’s central themes and obsessions (shining a light onto Japan’s uptight underbelly, and its second-class treatment of women), and pulls the rug out from underneath the audience multiple times, to create a mosaic as throbbing with electricity and ambiguity as modern life itself.
Dir. Shohei Imamura, 1967, HD presentation, 130 min.

For more info on A Man Vanishes, read Kinnemaniac’s lovingly detailed review here.

Watch the trailer for “A Man Vanishes”!
YouTube Preview Image

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