Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The museum and the movie theatre

Over the new year break, I headed out to Tokyo's Ueno Park to see producer Arato Genjiro's latest controversial work "The Whispering of the Gods" (Gerumaniumu no Yoru). It's one of those films that censorship advocates instinctively swarm over, and perhaps even justifiably so, but Arato is never one to let the protectors of the common good get in the way of artistic expression. He's completely avoided the problem of finding a distributor by simply building his own cinema, the Ikkaku-za, within the grounds of the very prim and proper Tokyo National Museum. Asahi.com explains how this strangely symbiotic relationship came about.

By the way, all screenings of "The Whispering of the Gods" on Fridays at Ikkaku-za are English-subtitled. For reasons that will become painfully clear after watching the movie, this quirky little cinema could be of the few places in the world where you can see it on the big screen, so don't miss out.

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