Some of this season’s screenings are sponsored by portoluz, an organization formed to provide sustainable environments for innovative artistic exploration and a wide range of progressive discourse. In 2012, their theme is WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal [PDF]. They are interested in reexamining the conditions that gave rise to the New Deal reforms and exploring parallels that might be relevant today.
Wednesday, July 18th @ 7:30pm
HOUSE OF BAMBOO
Directed by Samuel Fuller • 1955
Part Oriental travelogue, part gangster noir, totally Sam Fuller. A respectable idea (the first images of Japan in color and Cinemascope, courtesy 20th Century-Fox) receives totally gonzo treatment from Fuller, whose idea of cultural exchange is an empire of Pachinko graft overseen by sullen ex-GI Robert Ryan and a murder with a Mount Fuji backdrop. Counterespionage stiff Robert Stack infiltrates the Americanized yakuza ring and pursues Shirley Yamaguchi in a surprisingly progressive cross-cultural romance. Working with the biggest budget of his career, Fuller upped the ante of Fox’s docu-crime aesthetic by staging panoramic mayhem on the tourist-friendly streets of Tokyo. A dense pulp delicacy that demands to be seen on the big screen, especially in this brand new print. (KW)
102 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures USA
Short: “My Japan” (US Office of War Information, 1945) – 16mm – 20 min