Lost in Japan: The Existential Comedies of Yuya Ishii
Thu, Jan 13, 7:30 pm: Sawako Decides
Fri, Jan 14, 7:30 pm: To Walk Beside You – US Premiere!
Sun, Jan 16, 1 pm: Sawako Decides
Sun, Jan 16, 4 pm: To Walk Beside You
Though still not well known in the West, Yuya Ishii is one of Japan’s most exciting and prolific young filmmakers, cranking out six remarkable features in the last five years. His films are perhaps best described as funky, rambling comedies, usually focusing on the lives of misfits. They also present a view of contemporary Japan in decline that we don’t often see. A very special artist (and only 27 years old), Yuya has a sincerity and compassion which is rare in most American independent cinema. We present his two newest films, never before seen in the Bay Area.
The best film released in 2010? Quite possibly. In this loopy tale of female empowerment, Sawako is a clueless young woman who embraces her own mediocrity. She quits her miserable, humiliating job in Tokyo to return to her hometown. Though pretty much everything that happens there is a disaster, she finally begins to make sense of her life and herself. It’s a bold claim, but the last scene is one of the most moving (and shocking) scenes in the history of cinema. Do not miss this film. (2010, 112 min, 35mm)
To Walk Beside You
In this offbeat and often beautiful film, Norio is 17 and wants to die. After his parents' suicide, he feels it's the only choice. But his teacher Akemi shows him a very different path: move to Tokyo and become a lawyer. But now that he has a benefactor and a reason to live, Norio has to figure out how to make that a life worth living. To Walk Beside You is absurdist tragicomedy at its most poignant. (2009, 90 min, digital)
Lost in Japan: The Existential Comedies of Yuya Ishii – 701 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103 – YBCA Screening Room
415-978-2787 or ybca.org
$8 regular; $6 students, seniors, teachers & YBCA members
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Added by ybcapr on December 16, 2010