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View other events for the week of 1/12/2005
Kinuyo Tanaka Film Series
Date Wednesday January 12
Time 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location Details
Cubberley Auditorium
School of Education
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorJim Reichert
This winter quarter, a rare and beautiful treat is coming to Cubberley Auditorium on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm. Asian Languages will be sponsoring a Tanaka Kinuyo film series of 8 movies, free of charge and open to the general public. These are masterpieces of Japanese cinema, many of them never before screened outside of Japan, and you may never have another chance to see these again. All 35mm prints with English subtitles, these incredible films will be accessible to all movie-lovers.

The movie series features Tanaka Kinuyo, one of the most amazing actresses of all time. Her career is exceptional in its longevity, breadth of genres and depth of character portrayal. She is a major star actress exemplifying Japan during the tumultuous changing times of pre-, during, and post-war Japan through her long career spanning from the 20’s to the 70’s. The following films will be shown, starting on January 12th and on every following Wednesday: Dragnet Girl, Tale of Shunkin, The Army, Ugetsu, The Moon Has Risen, Flowing, Red Beard, and Sandakan 8.

In the 20’s and 30’s, in such movies as the “Dragnet Girl,” Tanaka was a cultural icon for young females as a “modern girl,” representing a new sense of femininity for her fans. With the coming of the war, she fits herself into the nationalistic tones of the wartime era, establishing herself as the ideal wartime heroine, such as the self-sacrificing mother of a young soldier in the patriotic movie, “The Army.” The famous last scene in this movie, though perhaps manipulative, cannot fail to move the audience as a mother holds back her tears and runs after her son as he marches off to war. Amazingly enough, as the war ended and the American occupation began, this beautiful actress who had been the icon of patriotic wife and mother during the war was chosen by the Japanese government as the first public relations delegate from Japan to the United States. In the 1950’s, Tanaka Kinuyo starred in one of the most hauntingly beautiful films ever made, Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu.” Tanaka as a murdered wife who returns as a ghost to see her husband and child one last time takes the audience to a different world. Tanaka Kinuyo is also the first female director in Japan, her greatest masterpiece being “The Moon Has Risen,” a gentle domestic comedy, directed in collaboration with Ozu.

By focusing on Tanaka Kinuyo, a leading actress of this era starring in many films by the top directors of Japanese cinema, this film series also allows us to sample films by the famed “great masters” of Japanese cinema: Ozu (Dragnet Girl), Mizoguchi (Ugetsu), Naruse (Flowing), Kinoshita (The Army) and Kurosawa (Red Beard). Shimazu is also a great master of cinema, though not as well-known, and his film “The Tale of Shunkin” offers a beautiful adaptation of a Tanizaki Junichiro novel. The films themselves are hailed as great cinema on an international scale, especially “Flowing” and “Ugetsu,” Tanaka Kinuyo films from the 50’s, recognized as two of the greatest films in world cinema.

Towards the end of her career, Tanaka Kinuyo purposefully sought out fringe productions dealing with counter-culture and controversial topics, such as the movie “Sandakan 8,” directed by Kei Kumai. Kei Kumai is known for other provocative films offering critical looks at Japanese society, and this film won Tanaka Kinuyo the prestigious Golden Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival. In “Sandakan 8,” Tanaka Kinuyo touchingly portrays the conflicted life of a karayuki-san, Japanese women coerced into prostitution in Southeast Asia during the Japanese occupation.
The film series is a must-see for all; the movies are outstanding on an international level, directed by superb directors, showcasing world-class performances by remarkable actors, especially Tanaka Kinuyo. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of these movies since they are so rarely screened outside of Japan, and a shame to miss it as they are all movies of such incredible caliber, with some of the best actors and directors that world cinema has to offer.

Please go to the following website on this movie series for more detailed information on Tanaka Kinuyo and her films.
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/asianlang/events/film/
Added to the calendar on Saturday Jan 8th, 2005 9:44 PM
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