Starting tomorrow, New York’s Japan Society will host a weekend-long celebration of actor Meiko Kaji, whose vigorous performances as outlaw women made her one of Japan’s biggest stars in the sixties and seventies. On Saturday, you can see her as Yuki Kashima, the sword-wielding heroine in Toshiya Fujita’s 1974 Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance. The second installment in an epic adaptation of Kazuo Koike’s manga series, this chanbara classic stands on its own, telling the turn-of-the-twentieth-century story of a young woman who becomes embroiled in a web of political scandal on her quest to avenge the violent deaths of her family members. Beloved for its spectacular fight scenes, Lady Snowblood showcases Kaji at her ferocious best and has gone on to influence the careers of filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, who directly references it in Kill Bill. For a more in-depth look at the series, read Howard Hampton’s liner notes on our release, and check out the clip below, which highlights the film’s mix of beauty and violence.
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.