Do you love Japanese film classics, anime or contemporary cinema stories? Do you miss Japan and want to see it at least on screen? Would you like to learn and discuss about Japanese culture and society? Join us for the Japan Society Film Club where we will chat online about films and Japan in an informal atmosphere.
For our first Film Club of the autumn we will return to classical Japanese cinema to discuss When a Woman Ascends the Stairs directed by Mikio Naruse in 1960.
An excellent example of classical Japanese cinema, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (女が階段を上る時) offers a subtle, devastating study of the life of a woman in postwar Japan. Keiko, played by film star Hideko Takamine, is a young widow who works as a hostess in Ginza. A woman on her own, she struggles to remain independent and find financial and emotional stability subsumed by family obligations, failed affairs and unfulfilled ambitions.
Mikio Naruse (1905-1969) is one of the most celebrated directors of Japanese cinema. Starting his career in the silent film industry in the 1930s, he directed more than 80 films working for different studios, from musical comedies to realist dramas and family stories. Naruse is particularly well known for his women’s films in the postwar era adapting female writer such as Fumiko Hayashi. Featuring wry dialogues and complex characters, Naruse’s films often present a reflective, pessimistic tone about the everyday life and problems of the common people.
Japan Society Film Club takes place on the first Wednesday of the month. We will recommend a film to watch in advance and meet online to discuss. Films are often available online for free, on DVD or on BFI player(*) which this year is celebrating Japan 2020, a special season on Japanese cinema. When possible, we will invite film experts to introduce and lead the discussion, but the event is open to all and we encourage participants to freely express their opinions and feelings about the films.
If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email email@example.com.
* Films on BFI player are available with a monthly subscription (£4.99/month after 14 day free trial). As a charity organisation, BFI helps to support films and the film industry in the UK.
Free - Booking essential
Priority for Japan Society Members
Please remember to watch the film in advance. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is available on BFI player with subscription.
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