In making a film based on the life of a renowned eighteenth-century painter and woodblock portraitist, the great Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi created one of his most autobiographical statements on the artistic process as well as another of his trenchant observations about the place of women in Japanese society. Focusing on the artist’s relationship with five of his female models, some of whom were found in brothels, Utamaro and His Five Women is a tender, erotic, and provocative story of the difficulties and rewards of creation. The film’s depiction of the artist getting into trouble with the authorities was intended as a commentary on the governmental control Mizoguchi felt both during and immediately following World War II.
Janus Films is proud to present a touring retrospective spanning Abbas Kiarostami’s nearly five-decade career. This series includes new restorations, undertaken by the Criterion Collection and MK2, of The Koker Trilogy, Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us, and rarely screened shorts and documentaries.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray
This widely acclaimed film from Soviet director Elem Klimov is a stunning, senses-shattering plunge into the dehumanizing horrors of war. As Nazi forces encroach on his small village in present-day Belarus, teenage Flyora (Aleksei Kravchenko, in one of the screen’s most searing depictions of anguish since Renée Falconetti’s Joan of Arc) eagerly joins the Soviet resistance.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
Seattle, 1984. Taking their camera to the streets of what was supposedly America’s most livable city, filmmaker Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall set out to tell the stories of those society had left behind: homeless and runaway teenagers living on the city’s margins
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD