Eigasai presents Japanese film at Lucerna

The festival this year focuses on Akira Kurosawa and comedy

The 11th edition of the Japanese film and culture festival Eigasai 2018 begins in Prague’s Lucerna cinema Feb. 22. All films will have Czech and English subtitles.

This year marks 20 years since legendary director Akira Kurosawa passed away, and his work is one of the main focuses of the festival.

The second pillar is a collection of contemporary comedies selected by the Japan Foundation. The word comedy has a bit of a loose interpretation, though.

The accompanying program includes a full-day family event at Lucerna's Marble Hall where visitors can try Japanese calligraphy, board games and a variety of other disciplines, or to taste Japanese cuisine. There is also a workshop in drumming.

“When I finally started to devote myself seriously to my film, my main goal was to try to shake up Japanese cinema," said Akira Kurosawa in a 1993 interview with younger director Nagisa Oshima.

Kurosawa originally wanted to be a painter, and he painted the storyboards for most of his films. He looked at his films as paintings come to life.

When awarding him the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990, Steven Spielberg said Kurosawa was the greatest living director at the time.

The festival will present Rashomon (1950), which brought Kurosawa and the Japanese film to a global audience. The film tells the same story from different points of view.

High and Low (1963) is a modern crime story loosely based on the 1959 novel King's Ransom by Ed McBain.

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945/52) was originally banned when it was made in 1945, and couldn’t be shown for seven years. The film is based on a kabuki play.

The festival concludes with Dodes'ka-den (1970), the director’s first film in color. The film tells overlapping vignettes of people who live in a shanty town.

The festival launches with the 2016 film The Mohican Comes Home, a loud family drama with a punk rocker son returning to his rural home to cheer up his ailing father.

There is also the satirical sci-fi film The Projects (2016) from director Junji Sakamoto. The film is set in a cramped modern housing complex. Sakamoto’s work has been in the Eigasai festival before.

The 2012 film Key of Life shows us a failed actor who exchanges identities with an assassin in a bathhouse.

La La La at Rock Bottom, also called Misono Universe, has an amnesiac who comes the lead singer of a band. The 2015 film features a lot of J-pop music and stars real-life pop star Subaru Shibutani,

For more information visit www.eigasai.cz

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