Introduced by Miryam Sas. Welcome to the color-filtered, cross-dressing, orgiastic, surrealist realms of Pastoral, which reimagines a directors childhood through a screen of pastel colors, group sex, and looming adults. One of the key underground films of the 1970s, from the same planet of Kuchar, Jodorowsky, and early John Waters. (102 mins)
Presented in conjunction with our film series Chronicles of Inferno: Japans Art Theater Guild
Originally created in 1961 to distribute European art films, Japan's Art Theater Guild (or ATG) began producing their own independent films in 1967, and soon unleashed a string of experimental, innovative, and highly controversial works that would challenge not only postwar Japanese society, but cinema itself. ATG captured the pulse of Japan's blistering underground movements and cultural schisms, tackling everything from queer pride to the after-effects of World War II, communist radicalism to Situationist theater, pornography to politics. We are going to war! Smash it all! cries a revolutionary in Koji Wakamatsu's incendiary cine-assault, Ecstasy of the Angels; ATG aimed to do just that, with film as its main weapon.
The company's roster encompasses a who's who of Japanese filmmaking talent: New Wave icons like Shohei Imamura, Nagisa Oshima, and Masahiro Shinoda; genre masters such as Kihachi Okamoto; veterans of independent cinema like Kaneto Shindo; and more extremist firebrands like Toshio Matsumoto, Shuji Terayama, and Koji Wakamatsu (who tragically passed away this October). Each brought their own unique style to ATG, from Kazuo Kuroki's modernist Silence Has No Wings to the frenzied chaos of Kihachi Okamoto's Human Bullet, from the documentary realism of Susumu Hani to the surrealist richness of Shuji Terayama. While some directors and titles became well known outside of Japan, other ATG masterpieces remain sadly little seen, an oversight this series happily corrects.
$9.50 Adults, $5.50 BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley Students, $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, non UCB students, seniors, youth, and disabled