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Lost Treasures of Japanese Genre Filmmaking
February 16, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Very little of Japan’s vast cinematic output has made it onto foreign shores, perhaps not too surprising given that its industry stretches right back to the genesis of the medium and turns out on average about 500 titles a year. Genres such as sci-fi, horror and fantasy have generally been well represented abroad, but the boom in J-horror films in the wake of titles such as The Ring (1998) and Audition (1999) have crowded out discussions about how and when the fantastique first took root in Japanese cinema.
In this illustrated talk Jasper Sharp will explore the out reaches of Japanese fantasy cinema, from the embryonic trick films of “The Father of Japanese Film” Shozo Makino through oddball homegrown sub-genres such as the prewar “ghost cat” (bakeneko or kaibyô) films and the ama cycle of sexy pearl diver films such as Girl Divers at Spook Mansion (1959), some long-lost Japanese takes on the movie monsters of Universal Studios, the pink film-horror of directors like Tetsuji Takechi and Kinya Ogawa and much, much more, all peppered with a liberal amount of clips of some truly bizarre titles that remain either unseen or unseeable to modern audiences outside of the country.