Shinoda’s Startling Avant-Garde Theatrical Adaptation Double Suicide Screens June 26 – New 35mm Print

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Tuesday, June 26 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by Masahiro Shinoda • 1969
In Japanese with English subtitles
Forbidden love between a married paper merchant (Kichiemon Nakamura) and a courtesan (Shima Iwashita) moves inevitably towards tragedy and annihilation in this startling adaptation of a famous 1721 bunraku (puppet drama) from Japan’s foremost playwright Monzaemon Chikamatsu. (When Double Suicide opened in New York concurrently with Kenji Mizoguchi’s more classically mounted Chikamatsu adaptation, The Crucified Lovers, The New York Times celebrated the unlikely development, observing that this 18th century legend had become “like Shakespeare, like Neil Simon, one of the better represented dramatists in the city … Unlike Neil Simon, his mode is tragedy.”) An early production of the Art Theatre Guild, the ribald studio that would incubate projects by such Japanese New Wave stalwarts as Shōhei Imamura, Nagisa Oshima, and Toshio Matsumoto, Double Suicide is anything but a staid and reverent treatment of a classic. In translating the story to cinema, Masahiro Shinoda (Pale Flower, Silence) achieves radical ends by affirming its theatrical roots, mixing the story proper with footage of puppets and sets and stagehands, effectively kicking and stomping across the fourth wall. With music by Toru Takemitsu, who also takes his first and only screenwriting credit. (KW)
104 min • Art Theatre Guild • 35mm from Janus
Short: “Budulinek and the Little Foxes” (Anna Vesela and Vaclav Zykmund, c. 1950) – 10 min – 35mm

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