Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 270: Thursday Sept 29

Ballad of Narayama (Imamura, 1983): ICA Cinema, 8.45pm 

This is part of the Scala Forever season, a programme of 111 films and events at 26 venues through to October 2 that will celebrate the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross which closed in 1993. Here is an article I wrote in the Guardian on the history of the cinema and the season and here are the details of all the movies and special events on offer, via the Scala Forever website.

Chicago Reader review:

'This harsh and beautiful 1983 film by Shohei Imamura (Pigs and Battleships) marks a turning point in his career, away from the violence and confrontationalism of his earlier films and toward an almost Ozu-like acceptance of human fate. The story is set in an impoverished mountain village, where the law of survival requires that every citizen over 70 be put to death to make room for new mouths at the table. Orin (Sumiko Sakamoto in a sublime performance) is approaching the limit but doesn't want to die until she finds a new wife for her widowed son Tatsuhei (Ken Ogata). Imamura's rough sexual humor is still in evidence, but now it has taken on a dark tone: to make love is to flirt with death. The snow that falls in the final scene is a blanket of oblivion, a complex image that offers hope through loss. In Japanese with subtitles.' Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

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