Wild Japanese cinema rarities on tap through August and September

Unknown Japan II, a six-week series of FREE screenings of little-seen Japanese films, begins this Wednesday, Aug. 10, with the nutso 1967 Age of Assassins (also known as The Epoch of Murder and Madness) . Tatsuya Nakadai stars as the target of a gang of Nazi hitwomen in this spy spoof from director Okamoto Kihachi.  Co-presented by Cinedelphia and the Japan Society of Greater Philadelphia, Unknown Japan II sets up in venues around town – Wednesday’s event, at 7:30pm, will be on the 7th floor of the Bellevue, Broad and walnut Streets.

In the following weeks, watch for The New Earth (1937), a Nippon-Nazi propaganda piece starring Setsuko Hara and co-directed by the Japanese Mansaku Itami and the German Arnold Fanck; Wicked Priest (1968), with Tomisaburo Wakayama as, well, a wicked priest; a 70-minute collection of Japanese anime dating from the 1920s to the 1950s, presented in the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount park; Typhoon Club (1985), inspired by John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, but set during a a huge storm, and The Man Who Stole the Sun (1979), about a high school science teacher who decides to build his own nuclear bomb.

For full schedule and location details, click on Unknown-Japan.