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The Ballad of Narayama
Wed 22 March 2017, 18:30 – 20:30 GMT
The Ballad of Narayama (Dir. Shohei Imamura 1983)
The third in our series of Film Nights for 2017, selected and introduced by Howard Schuman.
In a remote 19th century Japanese village, the brutal hardships of daily life have resulted in an edict that at the age of 70 the inhabitants must climb to the top of nearby Mount Narayama to die. Shohei Imamura's film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is a powerful exploration of the ways in which people respond to a savage reality. The final half hour, in which an old woman is carried up Narayama, visualizes the possibility of transcendence in a cruel world and is among the greatest sequences in cinema history.
Brooklyn-born Howard Schuman has lived in London for nearly 50 years. He was a television writer and broadcaster for nearly 40 years. He is now retired. He also presented BBC2's award winning Moving Pictures from 1991-1996 and taught screenwriting/cinema history at the National School of Television and Film from 2007-2013