One of our favourite film events of last year has a sequel this September, as HOME follow up the success of Japan ’70: Cinema on the Edge with an expanded season of Japanese films from the early to mid-1970s. In broadening the net, Cinema on the Edge: Japanese Film in the 1970s finds room for some of the most distinguished and well-regarded films from the Japanese new wave, underground and exploitation cinemas, alongside some overlooked classics and hidden gems.
Billed as a time when “young (and not so young), daring and dangerous filmmakers were offered exciting opportunities to push the boundaries of cinematic language and challenge outdated notions of good taste”, the work on show here is thrilling. From gutsy genre pieces, to experimental art house classics, and challenging underground fare, the featured films come from a time of taboo-busting, where social issues met radical new aesthetics, and were made commercially appealing through generous helpings of on-screen sex and violence.
The season starts on Saturday 3 September with Masao Adachi’s political and formally radical Gushing Prayer: A 15-Year Old Prostitute, as the opening night feature. There are nine films total showing as part of the season (including a Lone Wolf and Cub double bill at Chapeltown Picture House on Sun 18 Sep), plus numerous expert introductions and several supplemental lectures allowing audiences to immerse themselves in the history of the period.
In a season packed with hoodlums, ronin, boxers and outcasts, our highlights include Kimiyoshi Yasuda’s blind samurai classic, Zatoichi and the One-Armed Swordsman on Sunday 4 September, Battle Royale director Kinji Fukasaku’s abrasive gangster flick Street Mobster (Sat 1o Sep), and Japanese New Wave titan Nagisa Oshima’s controversial reinterpretation of Japan’s most infamous sex crime, In the Realm of the Senses (Tue 20 Sep).