Shuji Terayama’s Pastoral: To Die in the Country
This month we will screen Shuji Terayama’s experimental 1974 film, Pastoral: To Die in the Country (田園に死す, Den-en ni shisu). Terayama is considered one Japan’s most important creative figures of the 20th century. Although certainly an essential figure to the Japanese New Wave in film, he is actually more famous for his work in theatre and poetry.
This evening we will enjoy Terayama’s exploration, through film, of his own childhood/adolescence spent in the foothills of Mount Osore (Terror Mountain). As one might guess, life in the shadow of this haunted peak turns out to be a little bit eccentric. And, as the director makes us very much aware, this is also a film of his own imagination and recollection…not an exact picture. The result is a surreal and colorful collection of memories populated by witches, carnival people, an overbearing mother and lots of white face make-up. And, as in the case of most coming-of-age-tales, there is an undercurrent of confused and budding sexuality throughout. The result is a deeply layered film that touches on themes of time, sex, death, memory, and the limits of filmmaking.
Please join us and we will discuss the film together!
Also note there are scenes of nudity, sexuality, and other images that may be disturbing to some and not appropriate for younger audiences (although the film is not rated).
Here is a Japanese-only preview (the film we show will have English subtitles):
Read more about the film here:
Please arrive on time so we can start on time! It’s okay to show up a little bit early if you like.
We’ll use our projector and screen for watching the film. All films are in Japanese with English subtitles. This is a free event, but we ask for donations for food and tea. Hope to see you there!
5:30-5:50pm — members arrive, remarks on the film by Erin and Masaki
5:50 pm — film starts
7:35 pm — film ends
7:45 pm — post-film discussion
8:15pm-8:30pm — event ends