THE FILMS OF KOBAYASHI AND TESHIGAHARA, THE MUSIC OF TAKEMITSU by LENA LIE
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, 18 & 19 July 8:00PM at SINKEH, 105 Lebuh Melayu
Lena Lie is a musicologist and Japan Foundation Fellow (2009) specialising in Toru Takemitsu’s film music and Malaysian contemporary art music. Her lecture will be followed by the screening of 2 selected Japanese art films that feature Toru Takemitsu’s compositions as soundtracks.
Harakiri (1962) 切腹
Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi’s clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a new position, try to force his hand and get him to eviscerate himself—but they have underestimated his beliefs and his personal brand of honor. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize, Harakiri, directed by Masaki Kobayashi is a fierce evocation of individual agency in the face of a corrupt and hypocritical system. [Synopsis taken from The Criterion Collection]
Woman in the Dunes (1964) 砂の女
One of the sixties’ great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic worldview of Hiroshi Teshigahara. Eiji Okada plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle that resides in a remote, vast desert; when he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night in the home of a young widow (Kyoko Kishida) who lives in a hut at the bottom of a sand dune. What results is one of cinema’s most bristling, unnerving, and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of everyday Sisyphean struggle, for which Teshigahara received an Academy Award nomination for best director. [Synopsis taken from The Criterion Collection]