Film Comment Back Issues 728x90 Film Society of Lincoln Center

Tanograms: Art Theater Guild

By Violet Lucca on January 07, 2013

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It's tempting but ultimately myopic to try to neatly characterize any wave of experimental or national cinema. The imprints of larger themes—postwar trauma, gender and sexuality, nationalism—may be present across movements, but every angry manifestation remains unique, and is rarely respected as such. Case in point is the output of the Art Theater Guild in Japan, screening at the Museum of Modern Art through February 10. The films produced by the ATG, which gave virtually free rein to directors such as Nagisa Oshima and Masao Adachi, were decidedly lo-fi but just as formally ambitious as Shochiku's slick yakuza flicks (minus the reheated machismo). But even that's saying too much—let the images speak for themselves.

Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969)

Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (Nagisa Oshima, 1968)

The Youth Killer (Kazuhiko Hasegawa, 1976)

Pastoral Hide and Seek (Shûji Terayama, 1974)

Silence Has No Wings (Kazuo Kuroki, 1966)

AKA Serial Killer (Masao Adachi, 1969)

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