The University of Hawaii hosted two conferences in early October, the Second Cultura Conference on October 10 & 11 and the Language Learning in Computer Mediated Communities between October 11-13. Additional information on these conferences can be found on the National Foreign Language Resource Center website. The Second Cultura Conference brought together language educators from different areas of the country and abroad. The Language Learning in Computer Mediated Communities examined recent developments in distance education and technology-mediated instruction.
The NRCEA proudly presents A TRIBUTE TO MADAME KAWAKITA along with co-sponsor, the Center for Japanese Studies. The screenings of these four films are free to the public. However, tickets must be ordered through the HIFF Box Office to guarantee a seat. See the HIFF website for information on how to obtain tickets either online or in person at the box office.
1. RASHOMON (1950), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
October 16 (Friday) at 7 pm at Dole Cannery Theaters
Based on two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, this landmark film is an exploration of truth and human weakness. A priest, a woodcutter, and a peasant take refuge from a downpour beneath a ruined gate in 12-century Japan. The priest and the woodcutter, each looking stricken, discuss the trial of a notorious bandit for rape and murder. As the retelling of the trial unfolds, the participants in the crime–the bandit, the rape victim,and the murdered man–tell their plausible though completely contradictory versions of the story. Rashomon is considered one of Kurosawa’s masterpieces. Introduction and after-film discussion lead by the film critic, Ms. Kyoko Hirano.
2. TO LIVE/IKIRU (1952), Directed by Akira Kurosawa
October 17 (Saturday) at 5:45 pm at Dole Cannery Theaters
IKIRU details the struggle of one ordinary man in his desperate search for purpose. Upon learning he has terminal stomach cancer, a government bureaucrat temporarily goes on a pleasure spree only to find that these experiences do not fill a lifetime void. Returning to the office, he finds his life work in building a community park. IKIRU is considered one of Kurosawa’s greatest achievements. Introduction and after-film discussion lead by Ms.Kyoko Hirano.
3. BLACK RAIN/KUROI AME (1989), Directed by Shohei Imamura
October 18 (Sunday) at 2:45 pm at Dole Cannery Theaters
Based on the novel BLACK RAIN by Masuji Ibuse, the film follows the life of the Tanaka family who lived in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. The title refers to the radioactive fall out (or black rain) that fell on the city after the bombing. Introduction and after-film discussion lead by Ms. Kyoko Hirano.
4. ZIGEUNERWEISEN (1980), Directed by Seijun Suzuki
October 18 (Sunday) at 6 pm at Dole Cannery Theaters
While on vacation, a professor of German encounters his childhood friend who has turned into a drifter down on his luck. Both men fall in love with a geisha, and though they go on to marry other women, their passions for this woman grow into all-consuming obsession. Suzuki’s film was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the 1981 Japanese Academy Awards, and is the first in his Taisho Trilogy. Introduction by Dr. Victor Kobayashi, UHM Professor Emeritus, and after-film discussion lead by Dr. Kobayashi and Dr. John Szostak, UHM Art History Professor.
A Conversation about Madame Kawakita’s Influence on Cinema with Kyoko Hirano
Oct. 17 (Saturday) at 3:30 pm at Dole Cannery Theaters. Free and open to the public.
It was Madame Kawakita who carried the film prints of Ozu and Kurosawa under her arm to far away places such as Venice, Cannes and Montreal, insisting that the important film festivals of the world take seriously the cinema art of Japan. She knew that film could promote cultural understanding, and she gave her life to that mission. She would be 100 years old this year, and we salute Madame Kawakita’s memory by the screening of four of the hundreds of films she championed and introduced to the West.
Registration for the Japanese-Langauge Proficiency Test (JLPT, 日本語能力試験) is now open.