VenueWalter Reade Theater
A fascinating transitional film for Yoshida, Farewell to the Summer Light finds the restless iconoclast heading to Europe to tell the tale of an on-again-off-again romance between Naoko, a married expat who specializes in import-export (Mariko Okada), and Makoto (Tadashi Yokouchi), a Japanese scholar who is searching for a cathedral that served as the architectural inspiration for a church built in Nagasaki by Portuguese missionaries. Naoko’s family was itself a victim of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, and her burgeoning affair with Makoto is haunted by the memory of that historic atrocity, but also by the ravages of global capitalism, with Yoshida taking a Godard-like interest in the aesthetic textures of a landscape littered with billboards and other forms of advertisement. A singular experiment rendered in bold color, Farewell to the Summer Light presages the uncompromisingly political and formally audacious films to come for Yoshida. Print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.