A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness

February 11, 2023
A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness

A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness
『悲愁物語』

Introduced by series curator William Carroll, author of Suzuki Seijun and Postwar Japanese Cinema.

Imported 35mm Print. Fired from Nikkatsu studio for making “incomprehensible” films, Seijun Suzuki returned to the director’s chair after a decade of exile working in television with A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness, a characteristically bizarre critique of advertising and celebrity culture based on a story by sports manga legend Ikki Kajiwara (Ashita no Joe). In need of a new cover girl to boost advertising sales, the top brass of a large sports magazine manufacture the latest Japanese sports star—an amateur golfer who looks good in a bikini. When the golfer’s fame attracts the unwanted attention of a crazed housewife stalker, however, she finds herself terrorized by a blackmail scheme and Suzuki makes a sharp turn into surreal psychological thriller territory.

Dir. Seijun Suzuki, 1977, 93 min., 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Yoko Shiraki, Yoshio Harada, Masumi Okada, Koji Wada. Photo credit: A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness © 1977 “Story of Sorrow and Sadness” Film Partners.

Tickets
$15 General Admission / $10 Members

Series Pass
Purchase tickets for all films in the same transaction and receive $2 off each ticket.

Part of the Seijun Suzuki Centennial
February 3—11, 2023

Celebrating 100 years of iconoclast director Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017), a singular force in Japanese cinema whose radical stylistic vision and unpredictable narratives shaped the B-movie genre, Japanese cinephilia and the political New Left, Japan Society and The Japan Foundation present a selection of six films from across the filmmaker’s nearly 60-film body of work, all on imported 35mm prints straight from Japan. Covering ground from his earliest yakuza feature (Satan’s Town) to his unbridled return to studio filmmaking after being blacklisted for 10 years (A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness) and his subsequent independent success (Kagero-za), this special series offers a rare glimpse into the core of Suzuki’s creative genius.

Series guest programmed by William Carroll, Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta. Co-presented by The Japan Foundation.



Image: A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness © 1977 “Story of Sorrow and Sadness” Film Partners

Co-presented by the Japan Foundation.


Special Thanks to William Carroll; Shun Inoue and Maya Sato (Japan Foundation).

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and Shiseido Americas. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and endowment support from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, Akiko Koide and Shohei Koide, Geoff and Fumi Matters, Laurel Gonsalves, and David S. Howe. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the exclusive Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film.


  • February 11, 2023
  • 7:00 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Timed Tickets
  • $15 General Admission
  • $10 Members
  • $12 Students / Seniors
  • $10 Person with Disability