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Posted: Sat 2 Oct


This November The Ultimate Picture Palace is taking part in the BFI’s extensive Japan 2021 Season. We are incredibly excited to be showing 12 classic films across four consecutive weekends this November, each weekend focussing on a theme celebrating the brilliance of Japanese cinema.

We are showing some of the most celebrated classics of Japanese cinema, including films by Akira Kurosawa, Yasujirō Ozu, and Hirokazu Kore-eda. We have also teamed up with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities for a one-off screening of 1930 silent film Walking Cheerfully accompanied by a specially composed live score is by musician Sylvia Hallett and live narration courtesy of actress and Benshi artist Tomoko Komura. More info and booking info for this event can be found here.

Tickets for this season are now on sale, including a 15% discount if you purchase tickets for all three screenings on any given weekend. For films showing back-to-back on the same day, there will be at least one hour between performances so there is plenty of time to get food and drink if you’re planning to watch as many films as possible!

Samurai Sunday
On Sunday 7th November we will be devoting a full day to some of the most acclaimed samurai classics by legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. We will be showing his atmospheric Macbeth adaptation Throne of Blood at 1.30pm, legendary action epic Seven Samurai at 4.30pm, and finishing the day with hugely influential thriller Yojimbo at 9pm.

More info and booking for Samurai Sunday.

Noriko Trilogy
On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th, we will be showing Yasujirō Ozu’s much loved Noriko Trilogy – three moving domestic dramas about family dynamics, all focussing on a young woman called Noriko, played by Setsuko Hara. All three films have been heralded as some of the finest examples of Japanese cinema, with the final film in the series – Tokyo Story – regularly touted by filmmakers and critics as the greatest film ever made. Both Late Spring (3pm) and Early Summer (6pm) will be shown on Saturday 13th November, and Tokyo Story (3pm) will be screened on Sunday 14th November.

More info and booking for The Noriko Trilogy

Animated Future
Japanese filmmakers and animators have been responsible for some of the most ground-breaking and visually stunning features in cinema history. On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th November, we will be screening three sci-fi infused anime classics. Watch the colossal cyberpunk classic Akira on Friday 19th November (9pm), and on Saturday 20th November we will be screening family-friendly eco-adventure Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (3.15pm) and the mind-bending sci-fi Paprika (9pm).

More info and booking for Animated Future

Modern Master: Kore-eda
For our final weekend of the season, we will be celebrating 30 years of one of the greats of modern Japanese cinema – Hirokazu Kore-eda. We will show three films, each of which was released at ten-year intervals, offering a 30-year scope of one of our favourite filmmakers working today. We will be showing the high-concept After Life on Friday 26th November (8.45pm), the exquisite family drama Still Walking on Saturday 27th November (6.30pm), and finally his Palme d’Or-winning masterstroke Shoplifters on Sunday 28th November (6pm).

More info and booking for Modern Master: Kore-eda

All screenings are part of Japan 2020: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.

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