This weekend, Row House Cinema will launch the first-ever Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival, featuring four diverse films by some of Japan’s most beloved filmmakers—including Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu. Among the films screening during the festival is Ozu’s 1949 masterpiece Late Spring, a melancholy family drama starring the late, beloved Japanese actor Setsuko Hara in her first of six collaborations with the director. Set in postwar Japan, the film was the first in what became known as Ozu’s Noriko Trilogy, which would also comprise Early Summer and Tokyo Story. In this film, Hara plays a twenty-seven-year-old woman caring for her widower father—played by fellow Ozu favorite Chishu Ryu—who is anxious to find her a husband. Row House is presenting this timeless father-daughter portrait in a new 4K restoration, screening each day of the festival (starting with a matinee showing tomorrow). As you await viewing it on the big screen, you can read a moving essay by film historian Donald Richie on Hara and Ozu’s work together, and watch an insightful video on the Japanese director’s signature style.
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.