International Premiere of 4K Restoration. Freely adapting Hyakken Uchida’s Disk of Sarasate and Yamataka boshi, Zigeunerweisen ushered in a late career renaissance for director Seijun Suzuki following his decade-long blacklisting and the commercial failure of 1977 comeback A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness. Aochi, a professor of German, relates the peculiar events that transpire in the months and then years following a chance gathering at a seaside ryokan with the devilish Nakasago (Yoshio Harada), a former colleague suspected of murder, and a geisha in mourning named Koine (Naoko Otani). Tied by the winds of fate, Aochi finds himself enveloped in the complicated affairs of their personal lives—from sexual dalliances to imagined encounters. Yozo Tanaka’s script unfolds a patchwork of episodic digressions, interludes and puzzling parables. One such is a gramophone record of Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen that is said to hold the voice of the composer himself within the recording—his words embedded yet unintelligible to the mortal ear in a strange voice that emanates when the record is played. Spinning tales beyond comprehension that cross into the afterlife, Suzuki’s independent comeback forms the bizarre, lyrical beginnings of his late career success.
Dir. Seijun Suzuki, 1980, 145 min. DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Yoshio Harada, Naoko Otani, Toshiya Fujita, Michiyo Okusu, Akaji Maro. Screenplay by Yozo Tanaka.
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.
© 1980 presented by LittleMore Co., Ltd.
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 16, 2023
- 5:00 pm
- In-Person Event
- Reserved Tickets
- $16 Nonmembers
- $12 Members
- $14 Seniors/Students
- $14 Person with Disability