The Aesthetics of Discordance: Kawashima Yuzo

Before his premature death at the age of 45, Kawashima Yuzo directed, with great commercial and critical success, 51 films in 19 years and was a major influence on future generations of Japanese auteurs, including new wave legend Imamura Shohei, who credited Kawashima as his greatest mentor. But for many years, he was surprisingly overlooked internationally. This retrospective, shown on exquisitely restored prints, aims to correct that and introduce new audiences to the delights of Kawashima’s world.

Born in 1918 in Aomori, Kawashima apprenticed as a Shochiku Studio assistant under masters such as Ozu Yasujiro and Kinoshita Keisuke. Later, as director, he developed a reputation for finely textured tragicomedies that explore the lives and landscapes of working-class Tokyoites. But across his oeuvre, Kawashima’s characters are complex, spirited humans torn between desire and duty, even in the bourgeois family satire Burden of Love and the period burlesque The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate, which is regularly chosen by critics as one of the 10 best Japanese films of all time. Kawashima’s gravestone bears the line from one of his films: “Saying goodbye is all life is.” But perhaps, through his cinema, we can make our acquaintance with this master once again.

Our Doctor, Our Chief

Kawashima Yuzo

Sano Shuji, Miyama Reiko, Tsushima Keiko

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2:30 PM

06SP4M2

Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall

Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

Kawashima Yuzo

Tsuruta Koji, Tsukioka Yumeji, Awashima Chikage

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4:30 PM

06SP4M3

Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall

Burden of Love

Kawashima Yuzo

Yamamura So, Mihashi Tatsuya, Kitahara Mie

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7:00 PM

06SP4E1

Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall

Suzaki Paradise: Red Light

Kawashima Yuzo

Aratama Michiyo, Mihashi Tatsuya, Todoroki Yukiko

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9:30 PM

06SP4E2

Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall

The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate

Kawashima Yuzo

Frankie Sakai, Hidari Sachiko, Minamida Yoko

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6:45 PM

04SP4E1

Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall

Elegant Beast

Kawashima Yuzo

Wakao Ayako, Funakishi Eiji, Ito Yunosuke

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9:30 PM

07SP4E2

Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall