BFI follow their anime season with classic Japanese cinema


Ghost of Animes
Rapidly following on from their <a href="">currently running anime season</a>, the <a href=""><strong>BFI Southbank</strong></a> are planning to screen 24 live action classic "<strong>Japanese gems</strong>" through-out July. The following introduction is an excerpt from the BFI's press release:
"<em>The West's discovery of Japanese cinema is usually dated from 1951, the year when Kurosawa's Rashomon won its Golden Lion in Venice. Actually, the story began much earlier: in 1928, a young man named Nagamasa Kawakita brought a fine selection of Japanese movies to Europe. He then went on to concentrate on importing the best of European cinema into Japan, while his remarkable wife, Kashiko, founded a philanthropic organisation to bridge the culture gap between Japan and the West.&nbsp; Madame Kawakita sadly died in 1993, but the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute lives on as a valuable resource.</em>"
"<em>The eight directors represented in this treasure-chest of a programme lived through Japan's post-war economic and social upheavals and played a big part in transforming its culture. Often they responded directly to what they saw in the streets or read in their newspapers: all eight of them made brilliant social commentaries which we will screen throughout July</em>."
"Japanese Gems" will present the movies of influential Japanese film directors, like Akira Kurosawa, Nagisa Oshima and Seijun Suzuki. Anime UK News will provide you with more information as it becomes available.
Does anyone here actually follow classic Japanese cinema? I must admit, my knowledge of it is sketchy at best. The only Akira Kurosawa movie I've seen is Seven Samurai (it was great), but I don't really feel the compulsion to follow that up. I guess I'm just more excited by modern Japanese films like Ping Pong, Go and Blue Spring.
I do! And I equally enjoy modern Japanese cinema.

Sadly this is happening a bit far from me but I could be tempted down there if there's anything that particularly catches my eye.

But in the meantime I have Sadao Yamanaka's 'Humanity and Paper Balloons' to watch on DVD.

Paul, if you liked 'Ping Pong' you should try and check out 'Linda Linda Linda' or maybe 'Swing Girls' if you haven't already. And try another Kurosawa film. Yojimbo would be my suggestion.
I have seen a few Akira Kurosawa films and they have all been great. Seven Samurai has got to be a classic in anyones book, also it inspired The Magnificant 7. Yojimbo inspired A Fist Full Of Dollars and Sanjiro A Few Dollars More (I think). The only film I can think of where the inspiration went the other way was Throne Of Blood which is Macbeth and it works so well because of the similarities in the histories of the fuedal systems of Scotland and Japan.
I've seen all Akira Kurasawa's movies I could put my dirty pawns on.... I've seen a few others, but no classic cinema that's easily accessible to westeners. Modern directors I like Takeshi Kitani.