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Japan Society’s May events begin on May 1 with French filmmaker Chris Marker’s influential 1983 documentary Sans Soleil presented on rare imported 35mm. Driven by the desire to “capture life in the process of becoming history,” Marker traveled the globe and made a sprawling body of work that ruminates on the nature of memory and time. Of the several films he made in Japan, Sans Soleil remains the late director’s greatest achievement. An unnamed woman narrates the poetic letters and philosophical reflections of an invisible world traveler accompanied by footage of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Iceland, Paris, San Francisco, and, most significantly, Tokyo—a city whose people, streets, malls, and temples inspire the traveler’s richest observations. This event is presented with film distributor and book publisher The Film Desk to celebrate the launch of the first English language edition of Chris Marker’s 1982 photo essay Le Dépays—a collection of Marker’s black-and-white photography in Japan tracing themes similar to Sans Soleil. The screening will be introduced by editor Sadie Starnes. Advance copies of Le Dépays will be available for purchase before and after the screening.
Japan Society then celebrates iconoclastic Japanese director Takashi Miike with the North American Premiere of Lumberjack the Monster on May 6. Opening in Japanese theaters just this past December, Lumberjack the Monster delivers the director’s trademark horror and humor in a cat-and-mouse chase between a serial killer and a psychopathic lawyer hot on his trail. Lumberjack the Monster is presented together with the upcoming Tribeca Festival’s Escape from Tribeca program in honor of the film’s forthcoming Netflix release. It will include a pre-screening reception featuring beverages generously donated by Sapporo-Stone Brewing and Brooklyn Kura.
Lastly, Japan Society will celebrate its 117th birthday with a members-only screening and reception on May 19 featuring Juzo Itami’s Tampopo, an essential foodie fever dream. Tampopo is an eclectic film about a woman’s journey to save her ramen shop featuring an eccentric all-star cast including a young Koji Yakusho and Ken Watanabe. Tampopo will conclude with a birthday reception featuring cupcakes, sparkling wine, and beverages generously donated by Sapporo-Stone Brewing and Brooklyn Kura.
“We’re honored to present three diverse screenings showcasing three very different elements of Japanese cinema,” said Peter Tatara, Japan Society's Director of Film. “We welcome audiences across New York to discover rare, new, and meaningful Japanese films together with us.” 

As previously announced, Japan Society will also launch the first John and Miyoko Davey Classic Film Series focused on Hiroshi Shimizu, one of the forgotten masters of Japanese cinema, from May 16 to June 1.
Tickets for all events are available now at

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