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Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

The best films come in 13s


Staff writer

The 13th anniversary of the death of celebrated filmmaker Juzo Itami seems as good a time as any for a retrospective — after all, his first name, Juzo, is written in Japanese with kanji that means "13." From Oct. 22 to 24, in conjunction with the Tokyo International Film Festival, just such a commemoration will take place, with an event titled Juzo Again at two venues in the capital.

Itami first entered the movie industry in 1960 as an actor. While also appearing in American films, he became recognized as a unique and individual actor in Japan. Since making his directorial debut in 1984, Itami's movies — deeply tinged by his sharp perspective on social issues and human nature — won a number of awards and built a strong reputation at home and overseas.

All 10 of his feature films, including 1984's "Ososhiki (The Funeral)" and 1987's "Marusa no Onna (A Taxing Woman)" — both of which won multiple Japan Academy awards — will be shown with English subtitles at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall. On Oct. 23, Nobuko Miyamoto, Itami's widow, who also starred in many of his films, will be joined there by other actors for a special appearance. Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills will screen three titles from 10 p.m. on Oct. 22.

Juzo Again will be held Oct. 22-24 at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall (nearest station: Shin-Nihonbashi, Sobu Line) and Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills (Roppongi Station, Hibiya and Oedo lines). For more information, visit www.juzo-again.com or call (03) 5405-8686 (in English).

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