Japan Society Reintroduces the Filmmaker Kon Ichikawa

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In America, Kon Ichikawa has been the least visible of the great Japanese filmmakers, despite a prolific career that continued almost to his death at 92 in 2008. Individual movies have made their mark — his shattering antiwar picture “Fires on the Plain” (1959), an unqualified masterpiece; “The Makioka Sisters” (1983), the story of a family fallen on hard times in 1930s Kyoto and a film of surpassing visual splendor; or “Tokyo Olympiad” (1965), his cool, eccentric, innovative documentary about the 1964 Olympics. But perhaps because of the versatility these titles indicate, he’s never come into focus in the United States the way Kurosawa, Ozu and even Mizoguchi have. There hasn’t been a major Ichikawa retrospective in North America since 2002.

This weekend, the Japan Society in Manhattan is offering a chance to sample a few of his less familiar films with the short series “Kon Ichikawa Restorations,”i the United States premieres of three movies in new 4K ultrahigh-definition restorations, projected in 35 millimeter. It begins on Friday night with “Conflagration” (1958) and continues Saturday with “Her Brother” (1960) and the ravishing, wonderfully strange period thriller “An Actor’s Revenge” (1963).

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Japan Society Gallery Names Yukie Kamiya Next Director

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New York’s Japan Society is expected to announce tomorrow the appointment of Yukie Kamiya as the next director of the Japan Society Gallery. Ms. Kamiya, whose speciality is in Japanese contemporary art, will begin her new role at the beloved museum, which is known for its program featuring both timely and historical exhibitions, on November 16, 2015.

Ms. Kamiya has served as the chief curator of the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima MoCA) in Japan since 2007. Prior to working at Hiroshima MoCA, she was adjunct and associate curator at the New Museum in New York from 2003 to 2006. While at the Hiroshima MoCA, she has organized major solo exhibitions for prominent artists such as Yoko Ono, Cai Guo Qiang, and Do Ho Suh. Recently, she was selected as the 2016 curator of Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video at the Jewish Museum, a long-term series of screenings spotlighting artists from different regions of the world.

“I look forward to making the Gallery a venue for exploring visual arts which express Japan’s inherent global temperament—its links to the U.S., to its neighboring nations in Asia, as well as to Europe and Latin America,” said Ms. Kamiya in a statement. “With its unique position in New York City, Japan Society Gallery can present Japanese art—both traditional and contemporary – from a new perspective, one that considers the passing of time as a single, continuous flow of ideas.”

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