Thursday, February 19, 2009


A big heads-up to NY City area viewers that Japan Society's tantalizing film series "Shinjuku Ecstasy: Independent Films from the Art Theatre Guild of Japan" has begun, with an amazing screening last night of the seminal Throw Away Your Books, Let's Go Into the Street by maverick playwright, filmmaker, poet and all-around avant-garde jack-of-all-trades Shuji Terayama, in a brand-new 35mm print, no less!

Organized by Roland Domenig, Go Hirasawa and JS film curator Ryo Nagasawa, the series runs until March 1st and will cover a dozen films made between 1962 and 1972 by some of the biggest names among the Japanese New Wave and underground / experimental cinema world, such as Koji Wakamatsu, Shohei Imamura, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Masahiro Shinoda, Akio Jissoji, Yoshishige Yoshida, and Nagisa Oshima. The linking factor between them is that they were made for the highly influential distribution / production entity Art Theater Guild (ATG), founded in 1961 to distribute foreign films, but soon to become one of the major powerhouses in the production of "independent cinema" in Japan throughout the 60s and 70s.

The full schedule is below. These films are rarely screened in the US, and all but two have no US distribution whatsover. Don't miss them!

Wed., Feb. 18
7:30 pm Throw Away Your Books, Let's Go into the Street

Fri., Feb. 20

7:30 pm Funeral Parade of Roses
Followed by SHINJUKU PARTY !

Sat., Feb. 21

3 pm Death by Hanging
5:30 pm Silence Has No Wings

Sun., Feb. 22

3 pm Eros plus Massacre

Tues., Feb.24

7:30 pm The Inferno of First Love

Wed., Feb. 25

7:30 pm Double Suicide

Fri., Feb. 27

7:30 pm This Transient Life

Sat., Feb. 28

3 pm A Man Vanishes
5:45 pm Crazy Love

Sun., Mar. 1

3 pm Pitfall
5:15 pm Ecstasy of the Angels