The Denver Film Society's Focus on Japanese Cinema

Apr 7th 2010

The Denver Film Society's FOCUS ON JAPANESE CINEMA,

at the Starz FilmCenter April 8 – 11, will showcase 12 films from Japan's classic and contemporary master filmmakers including the overlooked anime gem MILLENIUM ACTRESS from director Satoshi Kon (PERFECT BLUE, PAPRIKA) and the wildest horror film you will ever see on the big screen, Nobuhiko Obayashi's HAUSU recently restored and presented for the first time in America by Janus Films. The four day focus will also feature great works from Akira Kurosawa, Mikio Naruse, Yasujiro Ozu, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Kiyoshi Kurasawa and Takeshi Kitano and is sponsored by the Japan Foundation In partnership with Consulate-General of Japan at Denver, UC Denver Live!, Japanese Association of Colorado and Asian American Student Services at UC Denver.

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS (Japan, 2001, 35mm, 87min) Plays Saturday, April 10 at 7:30pm. 35mm Presentation! In this unique epic adventure, the lines between the past and the present, truth and fiction, are blurred when a documentary filmmaker fulfills his quest to find the legendary actress Chiyoko Fujiwara, and learn why she mysteriously vanished at the height of her brilliant career. When Chiyoko grants the filmmaker's request, he, in turn, presents her with a token—a key she had lost and thought was gone forever. The filmmaker could not have imagined that the key would not only unlock the long-held secrets of Chiyoko's life…but also his own.

HAUSU (Japan, 1977, 35mm, 87min) Plays Friday & Saturday April 9 & 10 at 10pm. How to describe Nobuhiko Obayahshi's 1977 movie HAUSU? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt's creaky country home, only to come face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat. Too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic, HAUSU seems like it was beamed to Earth from another planet. Or perhaps the mind of a child: the director fashioned the script after the eccentric musings of his eleven-year-old daughter, then employed all the tricks in his analog arsenal (mattes, animation, and collage) to make them a visually astonishing, raucous reality. Never before released in the United States, HAUSU is one of the most exciting genre discoveries in years.

The Festival also features:

SEVEN SAMURAI Shichinin no samurai

(Japan, 1954, 203 Minute Running Time) PLAYS Sunday, April 11th at 12pm

BRAND NEW 35mm Presentation! - One of the most beloved movie epics of all time, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride—featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura—seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope.

DIRECTOR: Akira Kurosawa

Tickets for both films are available online at www.denverfilm.org or at the Starz FilmCenter box office. The Starz FilmCenter is located at 900 Auraria Parkway (9th & Auraria) in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus. Located across the street from the Pepsi Center. Validated parking is available in the surface parking lot on 9th St and Walnut.


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