Japan Cuts 2015
July 9-19 at Japan Society
This year’s edition of Japan Cuts marks a few changes for the Japan Society’s yearly showcase of contemporary Japanese film, cutting ties with the New York Asian Film Festival and adding a focus on restorations, documentary, and a new experimental film spotlight screening. The changes are for the best, with the new categories providing the most interesting elements of an always diverse festival, which now swings even more vigorously between the mainstream Japanese film landscape (sometimes a tough find in NYC) and the various currents of the Japanese independent and avant garde world.
Prince of Broadway (2008)
Directed by Sean Baker
Many of the most acclaimed micro-budget directors working in America today—Joel Potrykus, Alex Ross Perry, Rick Alverson—create films centered on hostile narcissists. Not Baker. His films look at marginalized communities with a sympathetic eye, aided by the casting of non-professional actors. Here, that eye is turned toward an illegal Ghanaian immigrant who sells counterfeit merchandise and suddenly finds himself forced to care for an 18-month-old. Baker’s shooting places you alongside the characters while his cross-cutting forces examination of how seemingly disparate experiences are shaped by the same system, generating insight through observation and epiphany through experience. Forrest Cardamenis (July 9, 5:30pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Baker series preceding the theatrical release of Tangerine)