Japanese Horror Faves At NYC’s Film Forum

If Godzilla Minus One whetted your appetite for Asian genre cinema, wait till you see what’s coming at New York City’s Film Forum www.filmforum.org (209 West Houston; [212] 727-8110).

Film Forum just announced Japanese Horror, an awesome and spine-tingly 25-film festival of Japanese genre classics and rarities, many in 35mm prints imported from their home country and gorgeous DCP restorations. The fest will run from Friday, March 1 through Thursday, March 14. The comprehensive retrospective, a co-presentation of The Japan Foundation, spans over 90 years of Japanese cinema, from the silent era to the early 21st century. Masterworks by the likes of Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Kaneto Shindō, Ishirō Honda, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Takashi Miike, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hideo Nakata will unspool.

Decades-spanning titles include prime samplings of the kaidan (ghost and horror stories) and kaiju eiga (monster movies) genres. You can also catch these special events and introductions in the series: 

Shindō’s Onibaba introduced by Akinaru RokkakuandShun Inoue of The Japan Foundation on Friday, March 1 (opening night of festival) at 6:30 pm.

Film Forum staffer Tristan Pollack, grandson of director Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman in the Dunes), will introduce Teshigahara’s bizarre The Face of Another on Saturday, March 2 at 4:20 pm.

Film Forum repertory chief Bruce Goldstein will compare director Ishirō Honda’s original Japanese version of Godzilla, with its strong anti-nuclear bomb message, with the heavily edited, sanitized, and Americanized “Raymond Burr version,” following the 6:40 show on Sunday, March 3.

“We’re very excited and proud to be collaborating with Film Forum on the Japanese Horror festival,” says Masaya Shimoyama, Director General of The Japan Foundation, New York. “From among the genre’s wide variety of vengeful ghosts, sadistic killers, and rampaging monsters, we’ve chosen some of the best and most influential J-Horror titles, spanning from the mid-1920s to the early 2000s, including rare films from the Japan Foundation library in Tokyo. We invite fans to join us on this terrifying look back at some of the most deranged works by many of Japan’s most prominent directors.”

Goldstein says that additional titles and screenings may be added, but for now, here is the lineup for Film Forum’s Japanese Horror:

ONIBABA

Japan, 1964

Directed by Kaneto Shindō

With Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satō

Music by Hikaru Hayashi

Approx. 102 min. 35mm.

Friday, March 1 at 12:15, 6:30*

Saturday, March 2 at 6:50

Monday, March 4 at 3:00

Saturday, March 9 at 12:20

Thursday, March 14 at 7:00

*Introduced by Akinaru Rokkaku and Shun Inoue of The Japan Foundation, New York

THE GHOST OF YOTSUYA

Japan, 1959

Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa

With Shigeru Amachi, Katsuko Wakasugi, Noriko Kitazawa

Based on the play by Tsuruya Nanboku IV

Cinematography Tadashi Nishimoto

Approx. 76 min. 35mm print courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

Friday, March 1 at 2:30

Saturday, March 2 at 12:20

Thursday, March 7 at 5:40

Thursday, March 14 at 5:20

KURONEKO (BLACK CAT)

Japan, 1968

Directed by Kaneto Shindō

With Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi, Kichiemon Nakamura

Approx. 99 min. 35mm.

Friday, March 1 at 4:20

Tuesday, March 5 at 1:00

Monday, March 11 at 7:40

Thursday, March 14 at 9:10

AUDITION

Japan, 1999

Directed by Takashi Miike

With Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina

Based on the novel by Ryū Murakami

Approx. 113 min. DCP restoration.

Friday, March 1 at 8:40

Sunday, March 10 at 6:10

UGETSU

Japan, 1953

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

With Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori, Kinuyo Tanaka

Based on the novel by Ueda Akinari

Approx. 97 min. DCP restoration.

Sunday, March 3 at 12:40

Wednesday, March 6 at 2:20

Tuesday, March 12 at 2:40

THE FACE OF ANOTHER

Japan, 1966

Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Based on the novel by Kōbō Abe

With Tatsuya Nakadai, Machiko Kyō

Approx. 124 min. 35mm print courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

Saturday, March 2 at 4:20*

Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30

*Introduced by Tristan Pollack, grandson of director Hiroshi Teshigahara

RINGU

Japan, 1998

Directed by Hideo Nakata

With Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rikiya Otaka, Miki Nakatani

Based on the novel by Koji Suzuki

Approx. 95 min. 4K DCP restoration.

Saturday, March 2 at 9:00

Thursday, March 7 at 7:20

MOTHRA

Japan, 1961

Directed by Ishirō Honda

With Frankie Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyōko Kagawa, Jerry Ito

Approx. 101 min. DCP restoration

Saturday, March 2 at 2:10

Tuesday, March 12 at 9:00

Wednesday, March 13 at 4:20

A PAGE OF MADNESS

Japan, 1926

Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa

With Masao Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa

Approx. 71 min. DCP restoration.

Sunday, March 3 at 2:40

Live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner

THRONE OF BLOOD

Japan, 1957

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

With Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura

Approx. 110 min. 35mm.

Sunday, March 3 at 4:20

Monday, March 4 at 12:30, 7:40

Tuesday, March 12 at 12:20

GODZILLA

Japan, 1954

Directed by Ishirō Honda

With Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura

Approx. 96 min. DCP restoration.

Sunday, March 3 at 6:40*

Monday, March 4 at 4:50

Friday, March 8 at 4:40

Tuesday, March 12 at 5:10

*Followed by post-film presentation comparing Honda’s original version and the Americanized release.

HAUSU

Japan, 1977

Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi

With Kimiko Ikegami, Yōko Minamida

Approx. 88 min. 35mm.

Sunday, March 3 at 8:50

Wednesday, March 6 at 12:20

Friday, March 8 at 2:40

Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00

Wednesday, March 13 at 2:20

KWAIDAN

Japan, 1964

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi

With Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe

Based on a collection of folk tales by Lafcadio Hearn

Approx. 182 min. 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation.

Tuesday, March 5 at 3:10

Sunday, March 10 at 3:00

CURE

Japan, 1997

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

With Kōji Yakusho, Masato Hagiwara, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa

Approx. 112 min. 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation.

Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30

Thursday, March 14 at 2:40

PULSE

Japan, 2001

Directed and written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

With Kumiko Asō, Haruhiko Kato, Koyuki Kato

Approx. 119 min. 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation

Tuesday, March 5 at 8:40

Thursday, March 7 at 2:40

BLIND BEAST

Japan, 1969

Directed by Yasuzo Masumura

With Eiji Funakoshi, Mako Midori, Noriko Sengoku

Based on the novel by Edogawa Ranpo

Approx. 86 min. 35mm print courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

Wednesday, March 6 at 4:30

Saturday, March 9 at 7:10

Monday, March 11 at 5:30

THE INVISIBLE MAN VS. THE HUMAN FLY

Japan, 1957

Directed by Mitsuo Murayama

With Ryuji Shinagawa, Yoshiro Kitahara, Junko Kano, Yoshihiro Hamaguchi

Approx. 96 min. DCP.

Wednesday, March 6 at 9:00

Monday, March 11 at 1:00

BLIND WOMAN’S CURSE

Japan, 1970

Directed by Teruo Ishii

With Meiko Kaji, Hoki Tokuda, Makoto Satō, Ryōhei Uchida,

Approx. 84 min. DCP.

Tuesday, March 7 at 9:20

DEMON POND

Japan, 1979

Directed by Masahiro Shinoda

With Tsutomu Yamazaki, Go Kato, Tamasaburo Bando

Based on the play by Kyoka Izumi

Approx. 123 min. DCP restoration.

Friday, March 8 at 12:15, 8:50

Saturday, March 9 at 4:40

DARK WATER

Japan, 2002

Directed by Hideo Nakata

With Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata

Based on short story collection by Koji Suzuki

Approx. 101 min. DCP restoration.

Friday, March 8 at 6:40

Saturday, March 9 at 2:30

JIGOKU

Japan, 1960

Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa

With Shigeru Amachi, Yoichi Numata, Utako Mitsuya

Approx. 100 min. 35mm print courtesy The Japan Foundation.

Saturday, March 9 at 9:10

Wednesday, March 13 at 12:15, 6:30

YOTSUYA KAIDAN

Japan, 1959

Directed by Kenji Misumi

Written by Fuji Yahiro

With Kazuo Hasegawa, Yasuko Nakada

Approx. 85 min. 35mm print courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

Sunday, March 10 at 1:10

Monday, March 11 at 3:10

HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN

Japan, 1969

Directed by Teruo Ishii

Based on the novels by Edogawa Rampo

With Teruo Yoshida, Tatsumi Hijikata, Yukie Kagawa, Teruko Yumi

Approx. 99 min. DCP.

Wednesday, March 13 at 8:40

ICHI THE KILLER

Japan, 2001

Directed by Takashi Miike

Based on the manga series by Hideo Yamamoto

With Tadanobu Asano, Nao Omori

Approx. 130 min. DCP restoration.

Sunday, March 10 at 8:30

Now more than ever, support repertory cinema at Manhattan’s essential Film Forum!

Tony Timpone