49th NYFF Masterworks Series Will Honor Nikkatsu Corporation

Posted by Nicholas Kemp on 8.4.2011

Japan's oldest major studio, the Nikkatsu Corporation, was founded in 1912 by the consolidation of several production companies and theater chains.  Since then it has enjoyed a rich history of filmmaking, playing home to such notable directors as Kenji Mizoguchi, Kon Ichikawa, Shozo Makino and his son Masahiro Makino, Ko Nakahira, Shohei Imamura and Seijun Suzuki.

During World War II, the studio was forcibly combined with several others to form a large, government-influenced entity, but eventually regained autonomy in 1954.  The success of Shintaro Ishihara's Season of the Sun (1956) prompted Nikkatsu to produce a series of popular youth films through the late 50s and early 60s.  It then moved towards making hard-boiled action films in the mid-60s, during which it saw perhaps its greatest period of international renown.  In the 70s the studio shifted again, this times towards "Roman Porno," a genre of romantic soft-core erotic cinema with an often bizarre twist.

The diversity of Nikkatsu's productions is sure to make for a surprising and fascinating retrospective.  This fact, combined with the monumental occasion of the studio's 100th anniversary, is why Film Society is excited to be featuring Nikkatsu in the Masterworks series of the 49th New York Film Festival.

Nikkatsu 100th Anniversary Retrospective Lineup

AKANISHI KAKITA (1936) 77min
Director: Mansaku Itami

THE BURMESE HARP (Biruma no Tategoto) (1956) 115min
Director: Kon Ichikawa

CHARISMA (Karisuma) (1999) 103min
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

COLD FISH (Tsumetai Nettaigyo) (2010) 144min
Director: Sion Sono

A COLT IS MY PASSPORT (Colt ha Oreno Passport) (1967) 85min
Director: Takashi Nomura

CRAZED FRUIT (Kurutta Kajitsu) (1956) 86min
Director: Ko Nakahira

DANCER IN IZU (Izo no Odoriko) (1963) 87min
Director: Katsumi Nisikawa

A DIARY OF CHUJI’S TRAVELS (Chiji Tabi Nikki: Part 1 and Part 2) (1927) 107min
Director: Daisuke Ito

EARTH (1939) 92min
Director: Tomu Uchida

GATE OF FLESH (Nikutai no Mon) (1964) 90min
Director: Seijun Suzuki

THE HELL-FATED COURTESAN (Maruhi: Joro Seme Jigoku) (1973) 77min
Director: Noboru Tanaka

HOMETOWN (1930) 86min
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

I LOOK UP WHEN I WALK (aka KEEP YOUR CHIN UP) (Uewo Muite Arukou) (1962) 91min
Director: Toshio Masuda

INTENTIONS OF MURDER (Akai Satsui) (1964) 150min
Director: Shohei Imamura

INTIMIDATION (Aru Kyohaku) (1960) 65min
Director: Koreyosji Kurahara

LOVE HOTEL (1985) 88min
Director: Shinji Somae

MADE TO ORDER CLOTH (aka JIROKICHI THE RAT) (Oatsurae Jirokichi Koshi) (1931) 70min
Director: Daisuke Ito
**Screening with:
JIRAIYA THE NINJA (Goketsu Jiraiya) (1921) 30min
Director: Shozo Makino

MUD AND SOLDIERS (Tsuchi to Heitai) (1936) 120min
Director: Tomotaka Tasaka

THE OLDEST PROFESSION (Maruhi: Shikiyo Mesu Ichiba) (1974) 83min
Director: Noboru Tanaka

PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS (Buta to Gunkan) (1961) 108min
Director: Shohei Imamura

A POT WORTH A MILLION RYO (Tange Sazen Hyakuman Ryou no Tsubo) (1935) 92min
Director: Sadao Yamanaka

RETALIATION (Shima ha Moratta) (1967) 94min
Director: Yasuharu Hasebe

RUSTY KNIFE (Sabita Knife) (1958) 90min
Director: Toshio Masuda

SEASON OF THE SUN (Taiyo no Kisetsu) (1956) 89min
Director: Takumi Furukawa

SINGING LOVE BIRDS (Oshidori Uta Gassen) (1936) 69min
Director: Masahiro Makino

STRAY CAT ROCK: SEX HUNTER (Noraneko Rock: Sex Hunter) (1970) 86min
Director: Yasuharu Hasebe

SUN IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE SHOGUNATE (aka Shinagawa Path) (Bakumatsu Taiyoden) (1957) 110min
Director: Yuzo Kawashima

SUZUKI PARADISE: RED LIGHT (Suzuki Paradise: Aka Shingo) (1956) 81min
Director: Yuzo Kawashima

TAKE AIM AT THE POLICE VAN (Jusango Taihisen Yori: Sono Gososha wo Nerae) (1960) 79min
Director: Seijun Suzuki

THE TATTOOED FLOWER VASE (Kashinno Irezumi: Ureta Tsubo) (1979) 74min
Director: Masaru Konuma

TEN NIGHTS OF DREAMS (Yume Juya) (2007) 110min
Director: Various

TILL WE MEET AGAIN (Ashita Kuru Hito) (1955) 115min
Director: Yuzo Kawashima

TOKYO DRIFTER (Tokyo Nagaremono) (1966) 83min
Director: Seijun Suzuki

THE WARPED ONES (1960) 108min
Director: Koreyoshi Kurahara

THE WOMAN WITH RED HAIR (Akai Kami no Onna) (1979) 73min
Director: Tatsumi Kumashiro

A WORLD OF GEISHA (Yojyohan Fusuma no Urabari) (1973) 77min
Director: Tatsumi Kumashiro

The 49th New York Film Festival will run from September 30 to October 16.  Film Society members and patrons will have the opportunity to buy advance and discount tickets to the festival.  To enjoy these special benefits, join today by clicking here.  Tickets will be on sale to the general public starting September 12.

Check back for more updates and information about the 49th New York Film Festival here.

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