A Man Vanishes
A brilliantly layered documentary masterpiece from 1967, New Wave Japanese director Shohei Imamura investigates a seemingly commonplace occurrence in Japanese society: the disappearance of hundreds of ordinary people.
June 2, 2013
|5:30 PM||SIFF Cinema Uptown||Date has passed|
One of the most important and complex works by two-time Palme d'Or-winning director Shôhei Imamura, A Man Vanishes begins as an investigation into one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in Japan each year. The documentary opens with newsreel footage recounting the case of Tadashi Oshima, a 32-year-old plastics salesman who inexplicably vanished two years earlier. Imamura and his crew set out to discover what happened to Tadashi by interviewing those who knew him best—his co-workers, friends, and his fiancée Yoshie—all the while gathering contradictory information concerning his character. But as their investigation delves deeper into Tadashi's dubious business ventures and his enigmatic relationship with Yoshie and, possibly, her sister, the line between filmmaker and subject, fact and fiction, blur in perilous fashion. Radical in its scope, aesthetic, and technique, A Man Vanishes showcases many of Imamura's central themes and obsessions, all of which culminate in a stunning sequence that transforms the film's reality into an ever more mercurial mystery.
Shohei Imamura is the only Japanese director to twice win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1983’s The Ballad of Narayama and 1987’s The Eel). He has been described by The New York Times as “one of the most significant Japanese filmmakers of the postwar generation.” Imamura began his career as an assistant to legendary director Yasujiro Ozu, but, like his colleagues in the New Wave Nagisa Oshima and Masahiro Shinoda, came to reject the restraint and refinement that characterized the masters of the Japanese studio system, saying “I like to make messy films.”
Sponsored in part by Delta Air Lines, The Japan Foundation Los Angeles
|Running Time:||130 minutes|
|Screenplay:||Shôhei Imamura, Kirio Urayama|
|Filmography:||Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001); Dr. Akagi (1988); The Eel (1997); Black Rain (1989); The Ballad of Narayama (1983); Eijanaika (1981); Vengeance is Mine (1979); Karayuki-San: The Making of a Prostitute (1975); The Pirates of Bubuan (1972); The Profound Desire of the Gods (1967); The Pornographers (1966); The Insect Woman (1963); Pigs and Battleships (1961); Stolen Desire (1958)|
|US Distributor:||Icarus Films|