Grass Labyrinth

December 9, 2023
past event image
FilmTaisho Roman past event

Special Discount Price! This film is also screening as part of a double-bill with A Page of Madness on December 15!

Grass Labyrinth
Kusa Meikyu

Imported 35mm Print. Shuji Terayama’s haunting childhood melancholia finds young Akira deep within reminiscences of his youth, searching for the forgotten verses of a lullaby his mother once sang to him. Originally released as part of the three-film erotic omnibus Private Collections (featuring the work of Walerian Borowcyzk and Just Jaeckin), Terayama’s short adapts famed writer Kyoka Izumi’s story into garish psychosexual hysteria with suitably oedipal undertones—resulting in a metaphysical journey that emboldens the traumas of adolescence to take on new forms. Akira’s labyrinthine voyage resurfaces past figures and memories—from a tryst with a powder-faced nymphomaniac to the shifting threads of his mother’s weaving loom. A transient wanderer lost within his subconscious, Akira inevitably draws closer to childhood’s end in his ceaseless quest for the lyrics of a lilting melody.

Dir. Shuji Terayama, 1979, 35mm, 40 min., color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Takeshi Wakamatsu, Hiroshi Mikami.

Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation.

Part of Taisho Roman: Fever Dreams of the Great Rectitude
December 9—16, 2023

Taisho Roman offers transgressive visions of Japan’s own belle epoque, featuring films from some of Japan’s most radical and outré filmmakers.

© 1979 Les Films du Jeudi-Toei

Special Thanks to Bret Berg (AGFA); Laurence Braunberger & Frédérique Ros (Films du Jeudi); Mako Fukata; Beth Rennie (George Eastman Museum); Shun Inoue & Akinaru Rokkaku (Japan Foundation); Daniel Joseph; Carl Morano (Media Blasters); Rikako Kosugiyama & Jo Osawa (National Film Archive of Japan); Shuji Shibata, producer of Dogra Magra.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 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 Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Kitano Hotel, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

  • Saturday, December 9, 2023
  • 8:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $10 Nonmembers
  • $5 Members
  • $8 Seniors/Students
  • $8 Person with Disability