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July 22 – August 13th

TOKYO 2021

Six films, 60 years of cinema. To coincide with the Tokyo Olympiad we’ve selected a program around themes of infamy, obsession, consumerism, individualism and passion.

PLEASE NOTE: due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions all film dates have changed. If you’ve already bought tickets and haven’t received an email about a refund please get in touch with us via our Facebook page

Presented in collaboration with the Japan Foundation


THURS JULY 22 8PM (DOORS 7:30) / tickets $10 on the door (unwaged/concession $5)

(1961, dir. Shōhei Imamura, 108 min, Japanese w/Eng sub)

Pigs & Battleships (‘豚と軍艦’) is freewheeling portrait of postwar Japan’s underbelly, based in part on Imamura’s own experiences as a black market liaison between yakuza and the occupying US forces. In the heaving port city of Yokosuka, Kinta and his lover Haruko fight against the expectations of family and a rapidly changing society to build a life for themselves. Cultural imperialism, social satire and 400 stampeding pigs.
Audience note: this film contains a scene involving sexual assault. A resource with further information on film content can be found here


THURS JULY 29 8PM (DOORS 7:30) tickets $10 on the door (unwaged/concession $5)

(1976, dir. Nagisa Ōshima, 105 min, Japanese w/Eng sub)

“The concept of “obscenity” is tested when we dare to look at something that we desire to see but have forbidden ourselves to look at. When we feel that everything has been revealed, “obscenity” disappears and there is a certain liberation.”

A sumptuous and richly atmospheric rendition of the infamous (and true) Sada Abe story that has been almost as controversial as its subject: censored or outright banned in several countries for the depiction of unsimulated sex, and exploration of taboo. One of Nagisa Ōshima’s most provocative works, the increasingly claustrophobic and obsessive world of two lovers is set against the backdrop of a mounting nationalistic fervour in 1930s Tokyo.


THURS AUGUST 5 8PM (DOORS 7:30) tickets $10 on the door (unwaged/concession $5)

(1985, dir. Makoto Tezuka, 98 min, Japanese w/Eng sub)

In 1985, Makoto Tezka (son of the great manga artist Osamu Tezuka) met musician and TV personality Haruo Chikada who had made a soundtrack to a movie which didn’t actually exist: The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (‘星くず兄弟の伝説’ ), an unruly, unpredictable candy coloured musical about friendship and fame. Pretty-boy punk Kan and New Wave-poser Shingo get the opportunity of a lifetime when a shady Bryan Ferry lookalike offers them the chance to sell out- all they have to do is make it through the fickle and brutal machinery of pop Idol stardom. Presented with the kind assistance of Third Window Films

TOKYO FIST (東京フィスト)

WED AUGUST 11 8PM (DOORS 7:30) tickets $10 on the door (unwaged/concession $5)

(1995, dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, 87 min, Japanese w/Eng sub)

The director of Tetsuo: The Iron Man brings his characteristic twitching, jolting handheld energy to this exploration of salary culture and frustration in a post-“Economic Miracle” Tokyo. After responsible businessman Tsuda (played by Tsukamoto) runs into an old school friend turned semi-pro boxer his life and that of his fiancee Hizuru begin to unravel. Equal parts bleak and bitingly funny, it achieves transcendence through hyperviolence, dissecting concepts of filial duty and entrenched gender roles.

PULSE (回路)

THURS AUGUST 12 8PM (DOORS 7:30) tickets $10 on the door (unwaged/concession $5)

(2001, dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 119 min, Japanese w/Eng subs)

Shot through with a palpable sense of unease, Pulse is a haunting vision of alienation in the modern world and the life beyond. A group of young professionals in Tokyo are connected by shared tragedy, a seemingly inescapable fate and a mysterious website that asks, “would you like to meet a ghost?”

Kurosawa’s chilly formalism initially acts as a buffer to the horror unfolding, gradually eroding under the weight of existential dread. A true standout among the crop of early 00’s Japanese horror, despite premiering in Un Certain Regard at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival this film unfortunately saw only limited international release but has taken on new life as audiences gradually discover this eerily prescient digital ghost story.

Audience note: this film contains scenes depicting suicide


FRIDAY AUGUST 13 8PM (DOORS 7:30) tickets $10 on the door (unwaged/concession $5)

(2020, 60 min + 2019, 17 min), dir. Toshiaki Toyoda, Japanese w/Eng subs

A bold and angry vision of contemporary Japan from one of its most undersung filmmakers. Seven years ago, a mysterious monster was found deep in a rural coal mine. Since then, rumors of a plague spread through the small town, and people experience an unexplainable mental illness. A young Shugendo practitioner goes missing only to resurface transformed, intent on exorcising the world from the monsters haunting it. With this blistering feature, director Toshiaki Toyoda sets out to “exorcise a society obsessed with the monstrosity of self-interest and greed.” Presented with the kind assistance of Third Window Films.

Screening with accompanying short Wolf’s Calling, an atmospheric Edo period piece which lays thematic work for the feature.