World Cinema Series: The Profound Desire of the Gods
||A Programme of the National Museum Cinémathèque.
Co-presented by the Singapore Film Society. World Cinema Series is a monthly screening of works by the boldest and most inventive auteurs in the history of cinema. This series charts both the significant and less discovered territories of cinema - from the early silent era to underground films, and new wave film movements around the world, by some of the greatest mavericks and artists of film.
||11 September 2007 (Tuesday), 7.30pm
||National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road
Tickets available now from www.nationalmuseum.sg or buy at the visitor service counters which are open from 10 am to 8 pm daily. $8 / $6.40 Concession. If there are tickets still left on actual day, you may buy from the visitor service counters.
Free admission for Singapore Film Society members.
World Cinema Series is a monthly screening of works by the boldest and most inventive auteurs in the history of cinema. This series charts both the significant and less discovered territories of cinema - from the early silent era to underground films, and new wave film movements around the world, by some of the greatest mavericks and artists of film.
Discover the wonders and possibilities of the art of cinema on the big screen – as it was meant to be seen – with the World Cinema Series, shown every second Tuesday of the month at the National Museum of Singapore.
The series kicks off in September with the screening of Imamura Shohei’s stunning epic, The Profound Desire of the Gods (1968). Look out for Youssef Chahine’s Cairo Station (1958) in October and King Hu’s A Touch of Zen (1971) in November.
The Profound Desire of the Gods
Director: Imamura Shohei
1968 / Japan / 175 min / R21 / 16 mm
Hailed by Cahiers du cinema as Imamura Shohei’s masterpiece, The Profound Desire of the Gods is the great Japanese director’s first colour feature and a searing look at the confrontation between modernity and primitive culture. Shot on location in the southern Ryukyu Islands, this stunning epic exudes an almost hallucinatory lushness as it tells the tale of an engineer who travels to a remote island to build a sugar factory. The villagers on the island regard him as a god and present him with a girl, Toriko, who is completely unfamiliar with modern society's complex rules of behaviour. The flight of the two lovers at the end of the film has been described as “one of cinema's most beautiful sequences”. Dealing with the themes of incest, paganism and madness, The Profound Desire of the Gods is a haunting and unforgettable meditation on the survival of primitive beliefs in civilised Japan.
Imamura Shohei (1926 – 2006)
A leading light of the Japan’s New Wave cinema, Imamura Shohei is one of five directors to have ever won the Cannes Palme d’Or twice. He rebelled against the classicism of his mentor, Ozu Yasujiro, and embraced the darker side of Japan – one that simmers beneath its shiny veneer of manners, order, and ceremony. Extravagant, visceral and brimming with creative anarchy; Imamura’s films focus on the carnality, squalor and violence within his country’s social periphery. Describing his own work, he once said that he was “interested in the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure".
Imamura joined the Shochiku movie company in 1951, after an apprenticeship with Ozu Yasujiro and Kawashima Yuzo. In 1961, he made Pigs and Battleships, his first film to be released abroad. From the late 1960s, Imamura immersed himself largely in the making of documentary films and made a series of important documentaries on controversial subjects such as the plight of Japanese soldiers and ‘comfort women’ in World War 2.
In 1982, he won the Palme d’Or for The Ballad of Narayama. Following that, he made the critically acclaimed Black Rain in 1989. Imamura got his second Palme d’Or in 1997 with The Eel, a movie about a young man who attempts to reintegrate himself into the Japanese society after brutally murdering his wife. Imamura passed away at the age of seventy-nine in May 2006.
A post-screening discussion will be led by Leong Chung Meng from the Singapore Film Society. The screening of The Profound Desire of the Gods is co-presented by the Singapore Film Society with the support of the Japan Foundation.
His works including The Ballad of Narayama and Black Rain, will be featured in this year’s Japanese Film Festival in September.
For more information, please visit www.nationalmuseum.sg