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Wednesday, November 07, 2018, 19:00 - 21:30

A samurai grapples with the moral implications of swinging the mighty sword

 Sneak Preview Screening: "KILLING (Zan)" followed by a Q&A with
director Shinya Tsukamoto

Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 pmKilling Zan Updated 356p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2018 80 minutes
Please note this event will be at our new FCCJ home
(please double check new address at the bottom)*

Written, directed and edited by: Shinya Tsukamoto
Produced by: Shinya Tsukamoto
Starring: Sosuke Ikematsu, Yu Aoi, Tatsuya
Nakamura, Shinya Tsukamoto, Ryusei Maeda

Film courtesy of Shin Nippon Films and Kaijyu Theater

No filmmaker delivers short, sharp shocks like Shinya Tsukamoto.

The acclaimed indie writer-director-producer-cinematographer-editor-actor returns with another raw, visually frenetic masterwork, the second in his explorations of the moral implications of war. "Killing" may be a jidaigeki period film (his first), but the parallels between Japan's bloody past and modern-day militarism cannot be ignored.

Following the world premiere of "Killing" in Competition at the Venice International Film Festival in August, critics were quick to call Tsukamoto's protagonist a "pacifist samurai." But he is a far more complex creation.

In mid-19th century Japan, after 250 years of peace, masterless samurai roam the countryside in search of work and sustenance. Young ronin Mokunoshin Tsuzuki (Ikematsu) is helping villagers prepare for the harvest, and has found a friend and sparring partner in Ichisuke (Maeda), a farmer's son. But word has spread about Commodore Perry's demands and the black ships along the coast. As civil unrest builds in Edo, Mokunoshin knows that he must go there to "prove my worth." Ichisuke's sister Yu (Aoi) silently watches the two men training, pining for Mokunoshin. "Will you die?" she later asks him. "No," he answers, "I won't."

When a more seasoned ronin, Jirozaemon Sawamura (Tsukamoto), observes his sword skills and tries to recruit him for an elite squad that will help "keep the peace" in the capital, Mokunoshin sees it as his duty to join him. But first, he must protect the farmers from a gang of brigands led by ruthless outlaw Sezaemon Genda (Nakamura). Despite promising "We only make trouble for people who deserve it," they target the hot-headed Ichisuke. What starts as a bout of bullying soon escalates into an ongoing eruption of violence... and through it all, Mokunoshin cannot - or will not - raise his sword to kill.

Following the critical and commercial success of his previous antiwar film, "Fires on the Plain" (2014), Tsukamoto was struck by the idea that pacifist samurai must surely have existed. The director says he "inhaled the current state of the world and had an urge to let it out like a scream." And so he has.

Please join us for this sneak preview of Shinya Tsukamoto's scream, "Killing," before its Japanese release on November 24.

For more (in Japanese):

After a quarter-century in the business, SHINYA TSUKAMOTO remains Japan's most independent filmmaker, having written, directed, produced, shot, edited, distributed and sometimes starred in 15 thoroughly unforgettable feature films. His 1989 cyberpunk masterpiece "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" established his credentials at major festivals overseas, and he has won awards and a huge fanbase for his ensuing work, including "Tokyo Fist" (1995), "Bullet Ballet" (1998), "A Snake of June" (2002), "Nightmare Detective" (2006), "Kotoko" (2011) and "Fires on the Plain" (2014). Tsukamoto has an active parallel career as an actor in a diversity of films by other filmmakers, including key roles in Martin Scorsese's "Silence" and "Shin Godzilla," both in 2016.

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.

*The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (new address): official use by members will start, October 29, 2018
5F (screening venue) & 6F Marunouchi Nijubashi Bldg., 3-2-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005

- Karen Severns, Film Committee


Killing (Zan) Updated 290.jpg
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