January 23

wednesday 20:15

January 24

thursday 20:30

January 25
friday 18:30

January 25
friday 20:30

January 26
saturday 21:00

January 27
sunday 19:00

January 28
monday 18:00

    Imamura Shōhei 1926 – 2006





Imamura Shōhei is one of the key names of Japanese cinema of the second half of the 20th century, and is often mentioned among leading figures of the sixtieth’s and seventieth’s so-called New Wave. Unlike directors such as Ōshima Nagisa or Yoshida Yoshishige, who worked outside the scope of major studios and more than often made and promoted their films in collaboration with the progressive Art Theatre Guild, a company guaranteeing their author’s freedom, Imamura was for most of his creative career tied to Nikkatsu, one of the largest studio of that era. This fact nevertheless didn’t have any negative impact on the modernist style of his movies, his distinct personal vision, or his desire to shoot different themes in a different style than that of the other usual masters such as Mizoguchi Kenji or Ozu Yasujirō. In the 60’s, when Nikkatsu provided theatres with a steady supply of genre flicks aimed at young audiences, Imamura was one of the few directors who managed to defy the studio policies and kept their own creative style.

Imamura entered the film industry in 1951 as an assistant director at the Shōchiku studios, where he became an apprentice to no other than Ozu Yasujirō himself. However in 1954 he left the studio for a better paid career at the competing Nikkatsu. While Ozu was rather a negative role model for young Imamura who detested his dignified middle-class melodramas celebrating traditional values, Nikkatsu provided him with his ideal mentor, who managed to give a proper direction to his fascination with folk culture and a superficially physical nature of human existence. Kawashima Yūzō, director of earthy comedies, become Imamura’s teacher as well as close friend. Imamura worked as his assistant director and took part in scripts for several of his films, including Bakumatsu Taiyōden (The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate, 1957), nowadays considered to be one of the most important Japanese films ever. Imamura’s own debut came in 1958 with his film Nusumareta Yokujō (Stolen Desire), in which Kawashima’s influence mixes with the crystallizing motifs typical for his later work.

Imamura’s work may be divided into three periods. The first decade is characterized by feature films shot mostly on black-and-white wide screen material, in which he examined instinctive and animal aspects of human beings as well as societies through characters hailing from the lowest classes. Those films often use animal symbols, which is sometimes reflected in the titles, such as Buta to gunkan (Pigs and Battleships, 1961) or Nippon konchūki (The Insect Woman, 1963). Following his masterpieces of Akai satsui (Unholy Desire, 1964) and Erogotoshitachi yori Jinruigaku nyūmon (The Pornographers, 1966), in which he used documentary or even news style of work, he ventured into the issues of capturing reality in a documentary experiment Ningen jōhatsu (A Man Vanishes, 1967).

After a demanding shooting spanning several months and a commercial failure of his costly anthropological epic Kamigami no fukaki yokujō (The Profound Desire of the Gods, 1968), which brought Nikkatsu to the brink of bankruptcy, Imamura stopped making feature films and concentrated on documentary work, which represent second period of his work. In those films he dealt with history from the viewpoint of ordinary people in contrast with the great history as presented by major historians, and at the same time attempted to expose taboo aspects of the war machine as well as contemporary Japanese society.

He returned to feature film in 1979 with a fictitious discourse on a pilgrimage of a real serial killer across Japan Fukushū suru wa ware ni ari (Vengeance Is Mine). This film also started off the final period of his work. Besides the chaos of the end of the Tokugawa period in his film snímku Eejanaika (Why Not?, 1981) he concentrated mainly on the events of early modern history (the Meiji and Taisho era) and the World War II. He presented them through the lives of eccentric figures forgotten by the official history, such as Zegen (Zegen, 1987) and Kanzō Sensei (Dr. Akagi, 1998), and also from the position of  common people in the Kuroi Ame (Black Rain, 1989). In 1983 he was awarded with the Palm d’Or prize at the Cannes films festival for his naturalist adaptation of Fukazawy Shichirō’s novel Narayama bushikō (The Ballad of Narayama, 1983). As the only Japanese film director and one of the few directors world-wide he received this price once more for his symbolistic film Unagi (The Eel, 1997). He ended his film-making career in most dignified manner, with a mildly erotic film Akai Hashi no Shita no Nurui Mizu (Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, 2001).

 
IMAMURA Shōhei   Retrospektive 1958–2001
YEAR 2012 →http://eigasai.cz/2012/eigasai-2012/eigasai-2012-intro-EN.htmlshapeimage_19_link_0
kino Lucerna, Prahahttp://www.lucerna.cz/kino.phpshapeimage_21_link_0
Japan Foundation Archiveseigasai-2013-poklady-z-archivu-en.htmlshapeimage_23_link_0
IMAMURA Shōhei retrospective 1958 – 2001shapeimage_24_link_0
Laughter Goes through the Stomacheigasai-2013-smich-prochazi-zaludkem-en.htmlshapeimage_25_link_0
Lucerna Cinema, Praguehttp://www.lucerna.cz/kino.phpshapeimage_27_link_0
6th festival of
japanese film
22 - 28 / 1 / 2013
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echoes of the festival Plzeň   6. - 10. 2.  |  Opava  12. - 16. 2.  |  Hodonín  8. - 10. 3.http://www.eigasai.cz/plzen/eigasai-2013-plzen/eigasai-2013-home-plzen.htmlshapeimage_33_link_0