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NH Tit-Bits
13 August 2011
Jasper Sharp dives down the rabbit hole of Japanese Sasori-za

Japanese Art Theatre Guild opened Theatre Scorpio – Sasori za in Shinjuku (Tokyo district) in August 1967. This theatre is a legendary artistic scene, the gallery of art, and the place of underground cinema projection. The name of the theatre referred to the famous film of Kenneth Anger Scorpio Rising (1964) and the originator of this name was Mishima Yukio - enfant terrible of the Japanese literary circle. Art Theatre Guild, opened in 1961, was at that time the distributor and exhibitor of the foreign performances and art-house films, and slowly became one of few independent producer of new Japanese post-war wave of cinema. First films shown at the theatre were: A Man Vanishes (1967) of Imamura Shoheia and Death by Hanging (1968) of Oshima Nagisa.

The August cycle of projection and discussion organised in London by Close-Up Film Centre together with BFI is devoted for Sasori-za’s activity. It is the first retrospective of this kind in Great Britain.

Jasper Sharp: Down the Bunka, Japanese underground cinema of the 1960s (Sight&Sound)

Shinjuku Diaries: Films from The Art Theatre Guild of Japan

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