From March 18th through March 24th, Row House Cinema will host its first annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival. Presented in part by the Pittsburgh Japanese Cultural Society and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, the event will include four handpicked historically and culturally significant films from Japan, all representing different eras and genres. See film descriptions and details below:
Tokyo Tribe (2015)
In a futuristic Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. When one of the gang leaders breaks the fragile peace, it triggers a brutal street war for supremacy. Based on a popular Manga series and told almost entirely in rap verse, the latest film from director Sion Sono is an ingenious mash-up of Yakuza gang violence, martial arts action and hip-hop musical.
The PJFF Opening Night presentation and Pittsburgh Premiere of Tokyo Tribe will begin at 7 p.m. and includes admission to pre-screening ceremonies and entertainment, complimentary Japanese snacks, and special treats designed for the festival by the bakery Yummyholic. Available at the concession stand will be Ramune marble soda, and Atlas Bottleworks will be selling rare craft Japanese beers. Tickets are $15 and are available for purchase at the Row House website.
Late Spring (1949)
Director Yasujiro Ozu‘s classic Japanese drama focuses on a young woman who is being pressured by her family and loved ones to marry, but is content caring for her widowed father.
Only Yesterday (1991)
It’s 1982, and Taeko (Daisy Ridley) is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her relatives in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys. At the station she is met by young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel), and the encounters with him begin to reconnect her to forgotten longings. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko contemplates the arc of her life, and wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self.
From Oscar-nominated director Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya) and producer Hayao Miyazaki, Only Yesterday is a masterpiece of time and tone, rich with humor and stirring emotion, and beautifully animated by one of the world’s most revered animation studios. Critically acclaimed but never before released in North America, the film is receiving a national theatrical release in a new, Studio Ghibli-produced, English-language version in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
Based on the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear, the gorgeous final epic by influential director Akira Kurosawa features powerful landscapes and some of the best costume work in the history of film.
All showtimes and ticket prices are available on the Row House website. Late Spring and Ran will both be shown in new 4k restorations. The festival will also include special audience Q&As and other additional events.