MoMI Plans Massive Mizoguchi Retrospective

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Fans of the great Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi will have quite a treat on their hands next month should they live in or around the New York City area. In partnership with the Japan Foundation and the National Film Center in Tokyo, New York’s Museum of the Moving Image will hold a thirty-film series of Mizoguchi’s works starting on May 2nd and concluding on June 8th.

The retro—the first such series in North American in nearly twenty years—will include rare titles imported from Japan but will also feature some of Mizoguchi’s greatest cinematic achievements. All films will be screened on celluloid with the majority in 35mm and some in 16mm prints.

Among the very rare films that will be screened include Mizoguchi’s earliest surviving work, Song of Home, with live musical accompaniment by Makia Matsumura; Oyuki the Virgin, an adaptation of a short story by Guy de Maupassant which also inspired John Ford’s Stagecoach; Straits of Love and Hate, singled out by critic Tony Rayns as one of Mizoguchi’s best; and The Lady of Musashino.

Others looking for the greatest hits can see Ugestu, Sansho the Bailiff (which will be introduced by film scholar David Bordwell), Utamaro and His Five Women, The Life of Oharu, Osaka Elegy, and Sisters of the Gion among many more in all their celluloid glory.

David Schwartz, Chief Curator of the Museum, said “For anyone truly interested in the art of cinema, the Mizoguchi retrospective is essential, a very rare opportunity to see his remarkable body of work.” The series was co-organized with Aliza Ma, the Museum’s Assistant Film Curator.

More information, including a full schedule and showtimes, can be found here.

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