American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Series Programmed by: Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Sarah Finklea/JANUS FILMS; Kenji Sato & Shozo Watanabe/TOHO; Hideyuki Baba/TOEI; Yasue Nobusawa/NIKKATSU; Kaai Nishida & Tomoko Libertus/THE JAPAN FOUNDATION.

 

 

SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

 

 

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< September 9 - 11, 2005 >>>

Japanese Outlaw Masters

 

There will be one screening in this series at the Aero Theatre (Sept. 16, 2005).

 

After taking a one-year hiatus from our "Japanese Outlaw Masters Series," we’re are back again with a steel-edged vengeance! One of the most gratifying results of this series, first started in 1997, is that many of the films we’ve unearthed have gone on to be released theatrically and on DVD in the US, and directors such as Kinji Fukasaku, Hideo Gosha, Kihachi Okamoto and others have finally received their long-overdue recognition as true masters of Japanese cinema. We’re doubly thrilled to celebrate the publication of series founder and Cinematheque programmer Chris D.’s companionOutlawMasterscolorcover.jpg (15350 bytes) volume Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film (available at all of the screenings), which features profiles and interviews with many of these classic directors as well as modern masters such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Takashi Miike, and genre icons Sonny Chiba and Meiko Kaji.

For this year’s film series we’re going back to the basics -- samurai, yakuza and action classics from the 1960’s and early 1970’s -- including Hideo Gosha’s swordplay gems GOYOKIN and THE WOLVES; Kihachi Okamoto’s tongue-in-cheek masterpieces, KILL! and AGE OF ASSASSINS; Kinji Fukasaku’s ferocious crime film WOLVES, PIGS AND PEOPLE; and last, but not least, Seijun Suzuki’s mind-altering BRANDED TO KILL. Plus, we’re thrilled to present two impossibly rare and glorious chanbara treasures: Hideo Gosha’s THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI and Masahiro Shinoda’s ASSASSINATION, both long-unavailable in 35 mm. and screening here for the first time in decades!

 

This series is dedicated to the memory of director Kihachi Okamoto, who passed away in February, 2005. Over the course of a long and brilliant career, Okamoto exemplified the true spirit of outlaw filmmaking at its best, constantly challenging and critiquing the status quo in films like AGE OF ASSASSINS, THE HUMAN BULLET and DESPERADO OUTPOST, while creating stunning genre period masterpieces such as the savage SWORD OF DOOM and KILL! We were honored to welcome Mr. Okamoto as our guest for the very first "Outlaw Masters Series" in 1997 at the Cinematheque. He will be sorely missed.

Cinematheque programmer and writer Chris D. will be present at all screenings during the series for booksignings celebrating the release of his new book Outlaw Masters Of Japanese Film-!!

 

 

 

Friday, September 9 – 7:30 PM

Hideo Gosha Double Feature:

New 35 mm. Print! THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI (SANBIKI NO SAMURAI) 1964, Janus Films, 95 min. Director Hideo Gosha’s first feature film is not only one of the most-assured directorial debuts ever, it is also something of a holy-grail for samurai movie aficionados, as it’s been notoriously hard-to-see outside of Japan since its initial release – until now. Our enormous thanks to Janus Films for striking a glorious new 35 mm. print of this treasure in time for our series! Wandering samurai Tetsuro Tanba is swayed into helping those who can’t fend for themselves, in this case starving farmers who have kidnapped a local lord’s daughter in protest over unfair taxes. In the process, much blood is shed, and two other swords-for-hire (Mikijiro Hira, Isamu Nagato) become reluctant draftees into Tanba’s band of rebels. Gosha’s use of the B&W Cinemascope frame is astonishing, with a down-to-earth, hardboiled ambience rarely seen in early 1960s samurai pictures. Add to that Toshiaki Tsushima’s atmospheric score and you have a certifiable classic. NOT ON VIDEO!

GOYOKIN (aka OFFICIAL GOLD aka STEEL EDGE OF REVENGE),1969, Toho, 121 min. Director Hideo Gosha’s samurai masterpiece is an unrelenting vision of snow and fire, ravens screeching and swords flashing in the darkness. Tatsuya Nakadai stars as a conscience-stricken samurai tortured by his involvement in a past massacre and determined to prevent another. Gosha was forced to reshoot half the film when original co-star Toshiro Mifune walked out (apparently because of the fierce cold!) – and the cold in GOYOKIN is, in truth, all-consuming, freezing hands to swords. A bold, beautifully-shot film. With Tetsuro Tanba, Ruriko Asaoka. NOT ON VIDEO!

An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

 

 

Saturday, September 10 – 5:00 PM

New 35mm Print!!

KILL! (KIRU) 1968, Janus Films, 115 min. The synchronicity of Italy’s spaghetti westerns with Japan’s samurai genre is nowhere more evident than in this superb, action-packed gem from Kihachi Okamoto (SWORD OF DOOM). Masaru Sato’s Morricone-inflected theme, the super-gritty sequences in a dust-blown ghost town and the sparring of friendly rivals – ex-samurai-turned-gambler Tatsuya Nakadai and wannabe swordsman Etsushi Takahashi – meld together in an exhilarating brew, comparable in pure movie-watching enjoyment to the best of Kurosawa and Sergio Leone. Nakadai’s loose comic performance is 180 degrees from his demonic turn in SWORD OF DOOM and testament to his spectacular versatility as a performer. NOT ON VIDEO!

An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

 

 

Saturday, September 10 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

ASSASSINATION (ANSATSU),1964, Janus Films, 104 min. Director Masahiro Shinoda’s (PALE FLOWER) samurai masterwork is a desolate portrait of a respected swordsman (Tetsuro Tanba) fighting to restore the emperor to power amidst the turmoil of the 1860’s, who suddenly becomes aware of the absurdity of the struggle. Through a maze of flashbacks, we’re left to wonder what has spurred his disillusion, convincing him to slyly manipulate the opposing factions. Tanba’s cynicism leads his new shogunate allies to distrust him, and a master swordsman is sent to take him by surprise. Cinematographer Masao Kosugi and composer Toru Takemitsu (both veterans of PALE FLOWER) return to deliver their stark, atonal purity to the proceedings. NOT ON VIDEO!

WOLVES, PIGS & PEOPLE (OKAMI TO BUTA TO NINGEN) 1964, Toei, 95 min. One of director Kinji Fukasaku’s (GRAVEYARD OF HONOR) first critically-acclaimed efforts is also one of the grittiest, angriest yakuza thrillers ever made. Legendary tough guy Ken Takakura plays a lone-wolf hood who convinces his younger sibling (Kinya Kitaoji) to recruit his youth gang to help rob elder brother Rentaro Mikuni’s mob. Events spiral out-of-control as filial ties crumble in noirishly downbeat fashion. Awe-inspiring, topped off with Isao Tomita’s amazing hybrid score of lounge jazz, Coltrane-esque squawk and distorted surf guitar. NOT ON VIDEO!

An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

 

 

Sunday, September 11 – 6:00 PM

Double Feature:

AGE OF ASSASSINS (SATSUJIN KYOJIDAI), 1967, Toho, 99 min. Director Kihachi Okamoto’s (KILL!) sharp-edged, action lampoon compares favorably with such other mod 1960s treasures as Elio Petri’s THE 10TH VICTIM and Seijun Suzuki’s BRANDED TO KILL. Tatsuya Nakadai, a glasses-wearing nebbish who is magically transformed into a suave secret agent, is stuck with limited resources, including a smog-belching junkheap of an automobile, as he does battle with a maniacal asylum director (Eisei Amamoto) dispatching unhinged killers to bring Japan to its knees. NOT ON VIDEO!

BRANDED TO KILL (KOROSHI NO RAKUIN), 1967, Janus Films, 91 min. Director Seijun Suzuki’s tour-de-force magnum opus is a jawdropping, Pop Art deconstruction of not only gangster films but, more specifically, Nikkatsu Studio’sBRANDED-TO-KILL-1cover.jpg (9059 bytes) own hitman subgenre. Excessive violence as well as dreamlike surrealism envelops an assassin (Joe Shishido) known as Number Three Killer after he botches a job, and both his mercenary wife (Mariko Ogawa) and a stoic hitwoman (Annu Mari) start trying to kill him. When Number One Killer (Koji Nanbara) steps in, the mind games escalate to a terrifyingly absurd level.

An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!