University of Rochester

EVENT: "Coming of Age in Japan," film series from The Japan Foundation

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 7:30 p.m. on four consecutive Thursdays:

Boys! Be Ambitious!, March 16, Hoyt Auditorium on the University of Rochester's River Campus;

Night on the Galactic Railway, March 23, Hoyt Auditorium;

After Life, March 30, Hoyt Auditorium;

Muddy River, April 6, Hubbell Auditorium in Hutchison Hall on the River Campus;

Village of Dreams, April 13, Hoyt Auditorium.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public Note: Free parking is available on University lots after 7 p.m. weeknights.

March 13, 2000

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures is presenting a unique opportunity to see five recent films from Japan, some never before commercially released in the United States, that deal with the coming of age experience for Japanese youths.

Sponsored by The Japan Foundation, the "Coming of Age in Japan" series features five films that run on consecutive Thursdays from March 16 to April 13. All movies, which are free and open to the public, will contain English subtitles.

Boys! Be Ambitious! will shown on March 16. Set against the Osaka Exposition of 1970, the movie follows a high school gang that works out its own adolescent version of Fight Club, with some interesting twists.

Night on the Galactic Railway will be screened on March 23. An ethereally beautiful and deceptively simple animated adaptation of the famous story by poet Kenji Miyazawa, Night on the Galactic Railway is a magical fantasy about life and death. A young boy is swept aboard a magical train bound for the Milky Way. Representing the soul's transition to heaven, the train is a passage from this life to the next.

The series continues March 30 with After Life, an evocative mixture of fiction and documentary that explores the meaning of memory. The film follows a week in the lives of a group of caseworkers, seemingly employed by an ordinary social service agency but actually workers at a "metaphysical way station." Their clients are people who have just died, and each of these newly departed has three days to pick one memory to take with them into the next world.

Muddy River, playing on April 6, received an Oscar nomination in 1981 for best foreign film. Set in Osaka in 1956, Muddy River paints a delicate portrait of childhood against a background of depressing images and the aftermath of defeat during World War II.

Village of Dreams, the final film in the series, will play on April 13. Set in a rural village in 1948, a pair of mischievous identical twins experience the rhythms and moods of childhood, with an intensity that will transport the viewer back in time. Village of Dreams loses track of time the way a child does while playing on a spring afternoon that seems to last for days. It accurately captures how the world looms larger when you are small.

All five films will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Muddy River will be shown in Hubbell Auditorium. All other movies will be shown in Hoyt Auditorium. For more information contact (585) 275-4251.