American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of June Schedule!
Series compiled by Chris D & Dennis Bartok.
Special Thanks to: Anthony Timpson; Matthew Timpson; Tomoko Suzuki/KADOKAWA-DAIEI; Carl Morano/MEDIA BLASTERS; Mitsuhiko Fujita/LITTLE MORE; David Shultz/ VITAGRAPH FILMS/AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS; Hideyuki Baba/TOEI; Naoko Watanabe/THE JAPAN FOUNDATION; Yasue Nobusawa/NIKKATSU; David Geiger; Ai Kennedy; TITRA; TLA Entertainment; Akiko Funatsu; Yoshiki Hayashi
Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise. Programs listed as double features are two films for one admission price.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date. Available tickets will be released at the door.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< June 19-22, 2003 >>>

Japanese Outlaw Masters 5

Sponsored by the Japan Foundation.

Since we initiated our first "Japanese Outlaw Masters Series" back in the summer of 1997, Japanese genre films, both from the classic era of the 1960’s and 70’s and from the present, have enjoyed a massive upsurge in popularity in the U.S., with directors like Takashi Miike, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Kinji Fukasaku, Seijun Suzuki and Yasuzo Masumura finally receiving long-overdue recognition. Despite challenging economic conditions in the Japanese movie industry, "outlaw" filmmaking continues stronger than ever. We’re thrilled to include new films from directors Takashi Miike (GRAVEYARD OF HONOR, VISITOR Q) and Takashi Ishii (BLACK ANGEL 2), along with newcomers Shion Sono (the gleefully subversive horror film SUICIDE CLUB) and Toshiaki Toyoda (surreal cinema verite yakuza pic PORNO STAR). The first wave of outlaw directors are represented by the U.S. Premieres of long-lost classics by Kinji Fukasaku (BLACKMAIL IS MY LIFE), Yasuharu Hasebe (STRAY CAT ROCK -- SEX HUNTER) and Seijun Suzuki (UNDERWORLD BEAUTY).

Photos and more information on some of these titles are available at: www.midnighteye.com

 

Thursday, June 19 – 7:00 PM

L.A. Premiere!

SUICIDE CLUB (JISATSU CIRCLE), 2002, Kadokawa-Daiei/Omega, 99 min. Dir. Shion Sono. When there’s a sudden epidemic of mass teen suicides, police detectives Ryo Ishibashi (AUDITION) and Masatoshi Nagase (Japanese TV’s "Mike Hama") begin to think they’re all somehow connected. Is it an internet plot or a bizarre secret cult that’s responsible? And why does the perky innocence of that incredibly popular teen girl band seem progressively more and more ominous? A delightfully gruesome horror film as well as a satire on peer pressure and pop culture – and prepare yourself for one of the most jawdropping opening sequences you will ever see!

 

Thursday, June 19 – 9:15 PM

L.A. Premiere -- New from Takashi Miike!!

GRAVEYARD OF HONOR (SHIN JINGI NO HAKABA), 2002, Daiei, 131 min. Director and enfant terrible Takashi Miike (AUDITION) goes back to the original source novel by Goro Fujita for this remake of the 1976 Kinji Fukasaku-helmed classic, and makes it his own. Goro Kishitani portrays the legendary real life gangster, a sociopathic loser who can’t even get along with his fellow hoodlums and meticulously, if unconsciously, brings on his own blood-drenched destruction. Miike’s gritty cinema-verite style continually impressses with its effortless versatility and painful honesty. Highly recommended.

 

Friday, June 20 – 7:00 PM

L.A. Premiere!

BOUNCE KO GALS, 1997, Media Blasters, 110 min. Dir. Masato Harada. A simultaneously charming and harrowing fly-on-the-wall tour following four teen schoolgirls who moonlight as thieving hookers to make extra cash. When Lisa (Yukiko Okamoto), one of the more innocent girls who, so far, has only stooped to selling her used panties, has her NYC college tuition money stolen, her friends band together to help her make it all back in one night. They have to contend with lovestruck teenage boys, psychotic salarymen, brutal yakuza and, last but not least, rich neighborhood gang boss Koji Yakusho (CURE, THE EEL), who is alternately compassionate and coldblooded about the young girls’ plight. With Hitomi Sato, Yasue Sato.

 

Friday, June 20 – 9:30 PM

Double Feature -- L.A. Theatrical Premieres!!

PORNO STAR, 1998, Little More, 98 min. Dir. Toshiaki Toyoda. Koji Chihara is Arano, an amoral youth who hates yakuza and sees nothing wrong with killing them. Prowling Tokyo’s Shibuya district, he secures himself a reputation that attracts a crew of young mob wannabes with a scheme to trick him into assassinating their own gangster target. Things go as planned, but the young hoods’ alliance with loose cannon Arano may just end up backfiring. A notorious underground hit that’s generated a mushrooming word-of-mouth for its violence, savage social observations and unorthodox, often surreal style. (Note: PORNO STAR is not about the Japanese porn industry!)

BLACK ANGEL 2 (KURO NO TENSHI VOL. 2), 1999, Media Blasters, 105 min. Director Takashi Ishii (GONIN, FREEZE ME) returns with more of his own intoxicating brand of melancholic, noirish poetry. A sequel in name only to the first film, this focuses on beautiful, intense Mayo, a different Black Angel, who is ordered to assassinate an ultra-powerful yakuza boss. But things go awry when the boss’s bodyguard turns out to be the man who’d rescued her from a brutal rape. With Yuki Amami, Reiko Kataoka.

 

Saturday, June 21 – 5:00 PM

U.S. Premiere!!

STRAY CAT ROCK – SEX HUNTER (NORA NEKO ROKKU – SEKKUSU HAANTAA), 1970, Vitagraph Films/American Cinematheque Presents, 85 min. Director Yasuharu Hasebe (BLACK TIGHT KILLERS) delivers the third and best in the five part STRAY CAT ROCK series, with phenomenal femme action star Meiko Kaji (FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION) as Mako, a girl gang leader who has her social conscience awakened when her hip yakuza beau, The Baron (Tatsuya Fuji) not only starts shanghaiing her girls as sex slaves, but also begins persecuting mixed race teenagers. There’s a surplus of kinetic knifefights, hip nightclub atmosphere and smart-aleck dialogue in this mod delinquent classic.

 

Saturday, June 21 – 7:00 PM

Seijun Suzuki Double Header – New 35 mm. Prints!!

U.S. Premiere! UNDERWORLD BEAUTY (ANKOKUGAI NO BIJO), 1958, Vitagraph Films/American Cinematheque Presents, 87 min. Famed outlaw auteur Seijun Suzuki (BRANDED TO KILL, GATE OF FLESH) proves he was already operating on all cylinders in the late 1950’s, in this riproaring crime thriller, his first feature to be shot in stunning black and white Scope. Michitaro Mizushima is the solitary black clad anti-hero trying to retrieve a cache of stolen diamonds while dodging double-crossers and homicidal yakuza, all the while abetted by the feisty, no nonsense sister (Mari Shiraki) of one of his murdered comrades.

TATTOOED LIFE (IREZUMI ICHIDAI), 1965, Vitagraph Films/American Cinematheque Presents, 87 min. Dir. Seijun Suzuki. Hideki Takahashi kills a rival gang boss, then goes on the run with his younger artist brother, finally settling in a rural mining community where he finds love in the form of precocious Masako Izumi. Soon, however, a corrupt private detective and the indigenous yakuza clan, led by Seizaburo Kawazu, start closing in. The climactic rain- and thunder-lit swordfight was so stylized, director Suzuki received his first warning from the Nikkatsu bosses to stop pushing the envelope. Beautiful and wildly exhilarating.

 

Saturday, June 21 – 10:30 PM

L.A. Theatrical Premiere!!

VISITOR Q (BIZITA Q), 2001, Media Blasters, 84 min. Bad boy director Takashi Miike creates a merciless satire on the Japanese family with this shocking direct-to-video feature. Washed-up TV reporter Kenichi Endo visits his teen hooker daughter, tries to pitch harebrained news projects to his former colleague/lover, decides to film a documentary about his teen son who is constantly harassed by neighborhhod bullies, all the while ignoring his depressed, prodigiously lactating wife (Shungiku Uchida) who secretly works as a prostitute to support her drug habit! Enter Visitor Q (Kazushi Watanabe), a psychedelic zen hipster who, in his ambivalent freeloading way, may just be the key to reuniting what’s left of this damaged, "average Japanese family." Note: VISITOR Q contains scenes of graphic violence and sexuality. No one under 18 will be admitted to this screening!

 

Sunday, June 22 – 5:00 PM

U.S. Premiere!!

BLACKMAIL IS MY LIFE (KYOKATSU KOSO WA GA JINSEI), 1968, Vitagraph Films/American Cinematheque Presents, 90 min. A rare 1960’s yakuza film that master Kinji Fukasaku directed outside of Toei Studios (this time at Shochiku), BLACKMAIL IS MY LIFE follows the exploits of up-from-the-slums Hiroki Matsukata, a young swinger who will do anything to keep his freewheeling lifestyle intact. His lucky streak of blackmailing unravels in brutal fashion when he unwisely targets business allies of powerful gang boss Tetsuro Tanba.

 

Sunday, June 22 – 7:00 PM

Junko Fuji/Ken Takakura Double Bill!!

RED PEONY GAMBLER – FLOWER CARDS MATCH (HIBOTAN BAKUTO – HANA FUDA SHOBU), 1969, Toei, 98 min. Dir. Tai Kato. (Number 3 in an 8 film series). An encore presentation from our 1998 Tai Kato Retrospective, starring the luminously beautiful Junko Fuji (imagine Audrey Hepburn with a sword and a tattoo) as Oryu, the Red Peony Gambler, a traveling card-player who wanders into the bitter fight between two yakuza clans in 1920’s Japan. One of Kato’s most acclaimed films, RED PEONY GAMBLER lingers on in a series of bold poetic images, Fuji’s snow-white kimono, the blue and black robes of the gangster chieftains. With Ken Takakura.

THEATRE OF LIFE – HISHAKAKU & KIRATSUNE (JINSEI-GEKIJO – HISHAKAKU TO KIRATSUNE), 1968, Toei, 109 min. Legendary director Tomu Uchida gives us his version of one of the most filmed literary sagas in Japan, as Kiratsune (Ken Takakura) inadvertently becomes involved with the vulnerable wife (Junko Fuji) of his best friend, Hishakaku (Koji Tsuruta) while the latter is in prison. A tapestry of gang war swordfights and crisscrossing destinies is set against the turn-of-the-century ambience of a bygone era. Mesmerizing!