By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Beginning July 27th, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janerio (CCBB-RJ) will screen the films of Japanese filmmaker Kō Nakahira. Continuing through August 1st, the screenings will be the first festival of Nakahira’s work in Brazil.
Born in Tokyo in 1926, Nakahira directed a total of thrity-four films during his career. Active as a director between 1956 and 1975, Nakahira’s career began as an apprentice at the Shōchiku Studio. There he worked as an assistant for well-known directors of the time including Kurosawa Akira and Kawashima Yūzō.
Nakahira is arguably best known for his 1956 debut “Kurutta kajitsu” (Crazed Fruit), a film adaptation of the controversial novel by Shintarô Ishihara about two young brothers competing for the affections of the same woman in seaside town. With its focus on the rebellious youth movement, the film helped to establish Nakahira as an important name in the Japanese New Wave cinema and to make him a pioneer of the Japanese “taiyozoku” (sun tribe) subgenre of film.
Nakahira made a name for himself with his avant-garde style of directing and “Crazed Fruit” was even said to have influenced French New Wave directors François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. Nakahira was praised by critics as well. His 1971 film “Yami no naka no chimimoryo” (A Soul to Devil) earned a Palme d’Or nomination at the Cannes Film Festival.
The CCBB-Rio screenings, curated by the Fundação Japão (Japan Foundation), will include eight full-length films by Nakahira: “Kurutta kajitsu/Crazed Fruit” (1956); Gyūnyū-ya furanki (1956); Bitoku no yoromeki (1957); Sono kabe o kudake (1959); “Ryojin nikki” /The Hunter’s Diary (1964); “Suna no ue no shokubutsu-gun”/ Plants from the Dunes (1964); “Getsuyôbi no Yuka” / Only on Mondays (1964); and “Yarō ni kokkyô wa nai” (1965).
All screenings will be free admission. For complete programming, screening times, and additional information, see the CCBB-Rio website.
What: The Films of Kō Nakahira
When: July 27th – August 1st
Where: Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janerio, R. Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro