Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:29 pm 
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Press release. I will feature reviews of some of these films here if I can. It's a wide-ranging selection to which I've kindly been granted screener access by Michael Lieberman of Metrograph.

February 5-25, 2021


A selection of 30 films celebrating the past 20 years of Japanese cinema streams online throughout the U.S. on Japan Society’s virtual cinema, including films by Hirokazu
Kore-eda, Naomi Kawase and Takashi Miike

Plus, online U.S. premieres of Sion Sono’s Red Post on Escher Street and Yukiko Mishima’s Shape of Red, a special focus on Kiyoshi Kurosawa and a selection of breakout films by up-and-coming filmmakers


Japan Society and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan (ACA), in collaboration with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO), will present the inaugural ACA Cinema Project online film series 21st Century Japan: Films from 2001-2020, streaming nationwide on" Japan Society’s Virtual Cinema from February 5-25, 2021.

As Japan’s film industry enters the third decade of the new millennium, this 30-film online series takes a look back at the last 20 years of Japanese cinema to celebrate some of the most remarkable narrative fiction films and filmmakers that define the era. Covering a wide range of production styles and genres—from small budget independent debuts to festival favorites and award-winning major studio releases—this diverse slate of feature and short films offers a guided tour of modern Japanese cinema, including special spotlights dedicated to the work of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and a selection of breakout films by up-and-coming filmmakers. A large majority of the films included are streaming in the U.S. exclusively on Japan Society’s Virtual Cinema.

Series highlights include the online U.S. Premiere of Red Post on Escher Street, the latest film by cult favorite director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, 2009)—a comically reflexive, wildly unhinged, return-to-roots feature about a talented young director undergoing the production of a new film. Red Post on Escher Street is co-presented with Grasshopper Film, who will screen the title in tandem with Japan Society as part of the newly launched Projectr Movie Club from February 5-18. In addition, director Yukiko Mishima’s female-driven romantic drama Shape of Red makes its online U.S. premiere—a steamy tearjerker about a tenuous love affair adapted from the novel by Naoki Prize-winning author Rio Shimamoto featuring popular stars Kaho and Satoshi Tsumabuki. Billed as “Special Screenings,” these titles are planned to include pre-recorded video Q&As with the respective film’s director.

Other highlights include harder-to-see gems by some of Japan’s most internationally prominent filmmakers, including: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 2009 Doona Bae-starring fantasy drama Air Doll; Naomi Kawase’s 2014 Cannes competition title and self-proclaimed masterpiece Still the Water; Takashi Miike’s 2005 family-friendly monster adventure film The Great Yokai War; Shinya Tsukamoto’s 2015 adaptation of Shohei Ooka’s famous anti-war novel Fires on the Plain; trailblazing gay director Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s 2001 LGBT-themed comedic drama Hush!; and the award-winning 2006 murder mystery drama Sway by Miwa Nishikawa, whose latest film Under the Open Sky (2020) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

$99 All-Access Passes with a 21-day rental window go on sale January 29 through February 4. $8 individual tickets with a 3-day rental window go on sale February 5. Individual tickets for Red Post on Escher Street and Shape of Red are $12. Japan Society members receive a 20% discount on all tickets via coupon code.

All films screen online here in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise noted. All titles available within the U.S. from February 5-25 unless sold out or otherwise noted. Titles also available beyond the U.S. are noted below. Lineup and other details are subject to change. For complete information visit

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