Spurred on by the success of the 1970 Donald Richie-curated MoMA retrospective The Japanese Film: 1896-1969, Japan Society committed to making film one of its key programs in the early seventies—quickly becoming the premier venue for the exhibition of new Japanese cinema as well as career-spanning retrospectives on seminal directors and actors. In 1979, Japan Society established the Japan Film Center, formalizing film as a full-fledged, year-round program aimed at cultivating a deep appreciation and understanding of Japanese film culture among American audiences. Over the years, Japan Society Film has hosted numerous high-profile premieres and programs that include visits from Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Hideko Takamine, and Nobuhiko Obayashi. In 2007, Japan Society Film launched JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, the largest festival of its kind in North America. Follow Japan Society Film on Letterboxd, Twitter and Instagram for Japanese cinema content and news about upcoming screenings.

Directors Company x2
April 19—20, 2024

Japan Society offers a two-film focus on pioneering 1980s production outfit The Directors Company—featuring rare theatrical revivals of Sogo Ishii’s The Crazy Family and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Bumpkin Soup.

Artwork by Tony Stella.

Artwork by Tony Stella.

The John and Miyoko Davey Classic Film Series
Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Postwar and Independent Years
May 16—June 1, 2024

Declared a genius by Kenji Mizoguchi, Hiroshi Shimizu remains one of the forgotten masters of Japanese cinema. Distinguished by his loosely sketched plots and roaming camera, Shimizu’s worlds are suffused with an innate naturalism and a lyrical humanism that observes the journeys of children, outcasts and travelers alike.

Kinema Essentials
The Film Desk Presents: Sans Soleil
May 1, 2024

Imported 35mm Print.. Of the several films the enigmatic and influential French filmmaker Chris Marker made in Japan, Sans Soleil remains the late director’s greatest achievement.

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Top Image: © Daphne Youree.

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, Anime NYC 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 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 Prince Kitano New York, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.