April 8—15, 2024


Japan 1954: A Year of Miracles

The lens through which we will look at the 1950s, Japanese cinema’s truly amazing decade, is a single year: 1954. In 1954 Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi, as critical consensus has it, made their greatest works (Seven Samurai and Sansho the Bailiff), Mikio Naruse (still unknown in Poland) directed Sound of the Mountain (Yasunari Kawabata’s novel is translated into Polish) and Godzilla thrilled and terrified Japanese viewers. In 1954, Keinosuke Kinoshita released Twenty-Four Eyes, a drama spanning several decades that remains one of Japanese viewers’ most beloved films. To top it all, the only woman director of the 1950s, Kinuyo Tanaka, was shooting her highly accomplished romantic comedy The Moon Has Risen in the same year. The section is a tribute to timeless works made by these great directors and to the variety of stories produced with the Japanese studio system.