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With a body of work ranging from experimental short films, to candy commercials, to mind-bending horror, director Nobuhiko Obayashi has blazed a technicolored trail through Japanese cinema to the point where directors that came of age during the 70s and 80s are today known as “Obayashi’s Children.” Unfortunately the director has received little attention in the West until the last few years, when his premier 1977 film, House, garnered cult status and now makes regular midnight movie circuits. But House is only the tip of Obayashi’s cinematic iceberg, which is full of romance, adventure, self discovery, and reveling in the outlandish. The Japan Society (333 E 47th St. NY, NY) will be exhibiting Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective, from November 20 to December 6, featuring ten of his films, along with shorts and lectures from Obayashi.
Opening the series on November 20th is a screening of House, a horror film that defies description and needs to be seen to be believed. I like to say it’s Evil Dead by way of Hello Kitty, with a soundtrack by Japanese pop-group, Godiego.The screening will include a Q&A with Obayashi himself, and a showing of his 1964 short film, Complexe.
I Are You, You Am Me (aka Exchange Student) is a twist on the Freaky Friday formula in which a teenage boy and girl switch minds. Along with being an examination of Japanese gender roles in society, the film is also a love letter to Obayashi’s hometown of Onomichi, located in Hiroshima.Along with more films, Obayashi will be doing a lecture and career retrospective, Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Conversation, on Saturday November 21.
Other films being screened include:
Obayashi's films deal with themes of loss, nostalgia, coming of age and identity, but with a deftness to his craft and a zeal for practical effects and exceptional camera work that flips between "Old Hollywood" and Ozu at the blink of an eye. This is a not to miss series of films if you want to see one of the most interesting directors to come out of Japan.
To learn more, go to: http://www.japansociety.org/
Nobuhiko Obayashi: A RetrospectiveNovember 20 - December 6, 2015
Japan Society333 E 47th St.New York, NY 10017
The Other Israel Film Festival is currently underway in New York City. Running from November 5th to 12th at the JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY ) and at Cinema Village (22 East 12th St, New York, NY), the festival explores Israeli society, culture, and controversy through documentary and narrative film.
Closing the festival and having its New York City premiere, is Woman in the Sink, directed by Iris Zaki:
“At “Fifi’s”, a hair salon in the heart of Haifa’s Arab community, Iris Zaki installs a mini film set over the washbasin. While she washes their hair, Zaki speaks candidly and freely with the salon’s Arab and Jewish clients, who share their views on politics, history, and love. What emerges from these conversations is an honest and nuanced portrait of contemporary Israel.”
Other films at the festival include:
To learn more, go to: http://otherisrael.org/
The Other Israel Film FestivalNovember 5 - 12, 2015
JCC Manhattan334 Amsterdam Ave.New York, NY 10023
Cinema Village22 E 12th St.New York, NY 10003
Comprised of films from Hawaii, across Asia, and representing Pacific Islanders, the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) has grown from it’s humble beginnings in 1981, to now feature over a hundred films and events from November 12 to the 22nd. Presented at theaters across Honolulu, the HIFF includes special segments focusing on films and filmmakers from Hawaii, Japan, China, Korea, India, and Europe along with shorts, documentaries, and the Eat Drink Film showcase focusing on films about food.
Opening the festival is the South Korean court drama, The Throne, directed by Joon-ik Lee. Set in 1762 during the Joseon dynasty, King Yeongjo (played by Kang-ho Song from Snowpiercer and The Host), must tangle with the dilemma of having to execute his son, Prince Sado, who has been accused of treason.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s (Tokyo Sonata, Cure) film, Journey to the Shore, is about Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu), who is greeted one day by her husband, Yusuke (Tadanobu Asano), who she thought was dead for the last three years. Yusuke takes Mizuki on a trip to help her understand where he has been these last three years. Present at the festival will be Asano, who will be presented with the Maverick award for his work in film (Ichi the Killer, Zatoichi, Survive Style 5+, and even Marvel's Thor).
As part of the Centerpiece section of the festival, the Todd Haynes (Mildred Pierce, Velvet Goldmine) film Carol is a drama set in 1950’s New York starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett engage in a tangled relationship that is threatened by jealousy.
The New American Filmmakers showcase highlights the work of foreign born directors and reflects the impact of immigrant cultures on the lingua-franca that is American cinema. Films include the Zoe Bell vehicle from New Zealand, Camino, the Indian film Margarita, With a Straw, and the Korean film, Seoul Searching.
To learn more, go to: http://www.hiff.org/
Hawaii International Film FestivalNovember 12 - 22, 2015
Various locations throughout Honolulu
The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave, New York, NY) is playing host to a series of Korea’s finest films with the 13th Annual Korean Film Festival (November 6 - 11, 2015). Organized by Subway Cinema, the same people that bring you the New York Asian Film Fest every summer, the NY Korean FF brings together some of Korea’s fascinating, strange, and dynamic films that have been captivating audiences in the US since Oldboy hit the scene in 2003. Along with a wide selection of films, the festival also has special guest speakers from the Korean film industry.
Films scheduled to be in the festival include:
To learn more, go to: http://koreanfilmfestival.org/
The New York Korean Film FestivalNovember 6 - 11, 2015
The Museum of the Moving Image36-01 35th Ave.New York, NY 11106
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