Japanese Masters Season at BFI: June/July 2012 Preview + Win Tickets!

Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozaburo Yoshimura
at BFI Southbank in June and July 2012

As Japanese director Kaneto Shindo celebrates his centenary, the BFI are presenting a two-month tribute both to Shindo and his close collaborator and fellow director, Kozaburo Yoshimura.


June’s programme focuses primarily on the 1950s, the period when their collaboration was closest. Yoshimura and Shindo’s work together constitute a revealing social history and include some of Japanese cinema’s most powerful and moving films. Beginning with a Season Introduction on Wed 6 June by the season’s curator Alexander Jacoby (Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Oxford Brookes University), Jacoby will explore the collaboration between Shindo and Yoshimura situating their work in the social, political and cinematic context of a rapidly changing post-war Japan.


Part Two of the season in July concentrates on Yoshimura’s output from his later years at Daiei. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he continued to explore his traditional theme of female experience in a changing Japan. While Shindo scripted many of his films, he also worked with other writers, including Yoshikata Yoda, whose script for Osaka Story had been left unrealised by Kenji Mizoguchi at his death. After leaving Daiei, Yoshimura made some films independently, including his final work, The Tattered Banner (1974). Though he lived for another quarter of a century, no more films were to follow. He died in 2000 in Kyoto, the city that had provided inspiration for much of his finest work.

To win some tickets to a screening, see the bottom of this article!

June Listings

Kozaburo Yoshimura & Kaneto Shindo: Season Introduction

• 6 Jun 18:20

Season curator Alexander Jacoby explores the collaboration between two leading talents in Japanese postwar film.

The Ball at the Anjo House

• 2 Jun 16:00
• 12 Jun 20:40

A haunting account of the decline of the pre-war aristocracy in Japan.

Cape Ashizuri

• 17 Jun 18:20
• 19 Jun 20:40

A stark account of the sufferings of left-wing Japanese students in the pre-war era.

Children of Hiroshima

• 5 Jun 20:50
• 16 Jun 18:20

A heartfelt account of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the last days of World War II.

Clothes of Deception

• 3 Jun 18:15
• 6 Jun 20:40

A searing account of female experience in post-war Kyoto.


• 9 Jun 20:20
• 28 Jun 18:00

A girl is forced by poverty to become a geisha in this dark story.

The Gutter

• 15 Jun 18:20
• 16 Jun 20:40

A bleak account of the underbelly of Japanese society, focusing on the tragic experiences of a prostitute.

The Island

• 24 Jun 18:15
• 29 Jun 20:40

This stark account of peasant life narrates its story entirely through imagery and sound.

Lucky Dragon No 5

• 23 Jun 20:45
• 29 Jun 18:20

In the aftermath of US nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll, a crew of tuna fisherman suffer from radioactive contamination.


• 28 Jun 20:50
• 30 Jun 18:10

Striking account of a Hiroshima survivor’s determination to become a mother.

Sisters of Nishijin

• 8 Jun 18:20
• 17 Jun 20:40

An elegant chronicle of female experience set in the Nishijin textile-making district of Kyoto.

The Tale of Genji

• 4 Jun 15:40
• 10 Jun 20:30

Kozaburo Yoshimura recreates the courtly life of ancient Kyoto.

Warm Current

• 1 Jun 20:40
• 10 Jun 15:15

This understated melodrama with a medical setting brought director Kozaburo Yoshimura commercial success and critical notice.


Two Masters of Japanese Cinema – BFI


Thanks to our friends at the BFI, we have 3 pairs of tickets to give away.

Winners can pick which film and at which time they would like to attend.


To count yourself with a chance of winning, join us on facebook then just send us an email with your name, contact details and the answer to this simple question:

Which birthday has Kaneto Shindo recently celebrated?
a) 99
b) 100
c) 101

Email you answer to competitions@frontrowreviews.co.uk Good luck!

View our competition Terms and Conditions

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