This week we’re excited to present two conversations, the first a panel discussion centered around the films of the late Japanese filmmaker Kijū Yoshida, whose films we will be screening beginning this Friday in the new series, The Radical Cinema of Kijū Yoshida, through December 8,  followed by a Q&A with The Sweet East director Sean Price Williams, screenwriter Nick Pinkerton, and cast members Talia Ryder, Simon Rex, Jeremy O. Harris, Rish Shah, and Earl Cave from the 61st New York Film Festival. 

The above conversation about the celebrated filmmaker features Japanese director Atsushi Funahashi, whose films include Echoes, Big River, and Nuclear Nation, Ethan Spigland, a filmmaker and Professor in the Humanities and Media Studies Department at Pratt Institute, and FLC Programmer Dan Sullivan. 

Of the iconoclastic Japanese filmmakers who rose to prominence in the 1960s, perhaps none worked as fearlessly and concertedly toward crafting an unapologetically subversive body of work than Kijū Yoshida (1933–2022). Starting his career as a young recruit to Shochiku’s directing apprenticeship system (alongside fellow enfant terrible Nagisa Ōshima), Yoshida’s earliest work finds him radically politicizing the commercially minded projects to which he was assigned, frequently in collaboration with the actress Mariko Okada, who would become his wife and lifelong creative partner. They soon moved away from the mainstream film industry entirely in order to create increasingly ambitious, eminently political films together, exemplified by their epochal Eros + Massacre (1969), a legendary work that traces a visionary counter-history of radical art and politics in Japan. An intrepid experimentalist whose films confront the political issues of his day with a keen interest in the taboo and a staunch refusal to be confined to any one formal approach, Yoshida’s oeuvre endures as one of Japanese cinema’s wildest and most intellectually stirring.

Get tickets to The Radical Cinema of Kijū Yoshida here.

Smack in the middle of a high school trip to our nation’s capital, self-possessed teen Lillian (the remarkably poised Talia Ryder) breaks off from her classmates, kicking off a journey straight down the rabbit hole of the New Weird America. The directorial debut for cinematographer Sean Price Williams and screenwriter Nick Pinkerton, the NYFF61 Spotlight selection The Sweet East is unlike any American movie you’ve experienced before. 

The Sweet East is playing in select theaters this Friday.

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