Riding the Shōchiku New Wave at Filmmuseum

Societal upheaval, as shown by Japanese cinema.

Influenced by the French nouvelle vague and a budding generation gap as postwar children came of age, Japanese cinema underwent tectonic changes during the late 1950s and 1960s. Facing commercial and cultural irrelevance after youth-oriented blockbusters by rivals, Shōchiku, Japan’s oldest film studio, decided to break tradition by proclaiming a “new wave” of movies, giving junior directors like Nagisa Ōshima, Masahiro Shinoda and Yoshishige Yoshida a chance to emulate their heroes Godard and Truffaut in their feature film debjauts.

While not financially successful, their movies reevaluated established studio conventions, influenced by Japan’s changing society and the societal conflicts raging at the time. The film series will focus on ten Shōchiku productions – all from the seminal year 1960 – including two movies in the established Shōchiku style for contrast to show the differences and stylistic breaks between the generations.

Jun 8-19, Filmmuseum


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