Belvedere Road
London, England SE1 8XT

We welcome critics and film-makers from Japan including Tadao Sato into conversation with UK-based experts to map the key issues and illuminate a fascinating history of Japanese film-making and distribution.

Our special guests include:
Tadao Sato (critic)
Ryosuke Hashiguchi (director)
Kazuhiro Soda (director)
Alexander Jacoby
David Robinson
Jasper Sharp

The event will be in two parts:
I. Before and After Kurosawa - 14:00-15:30. It was the cinema of Akira Kurosawa that first brought Japanese film to the significant attention of UK audiences and began to change the parameters of the western film canon. Less well known was the story of Japanese film before Kurosawa, a story that became known to the West from the late 50s through the efforts of Kashiko Kawakita and John Gillett, notably through a series of trail-blazing seasons at the National Film Theatre. This panel will re-examine the history of early Japanese film exhibition in the UK, offering an insiders' view into the visionary individuals and organisations that changed the story we tell about the world's greatest film-making.

II. Today and Tomorrow in Japanese Cinema - 16:00-17:30. We appear to be at a turning point in Japanese cinema. Film-making is a booming industry, fuelled by TV and media capital, which bring with them ever-more pervasive entertainment models. Indie, oppositional, political film-making is on the decline, with even film-makers like Kitano shifting away from his customary position. Genre cinema is in the ascendant, audience demographics are changing, led by J-pop and TV, and the 'auteur' is perhaps losing currency as a way of selling Japanese film abroad. This panel will explore the shifting dynamics in film production, distribution and reception, evaluating what might be lost and what gained for film-makers and audiences.

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Added by BFI on July 11, 2008

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