Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wild Japanese cinema rarities on tap through August and September

Nazi hitwomen, vintage anime, A-bomb paranoia, rock and roll and Setsuko Hara are all a part of "Unknown Japan II," a FREE series of rare and forgotten Japanese films from the '20s through the '80s.

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.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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