Wednesday, February 10, 2010

High to Host Japanese Film Festival Highlighting Three Recent Releases

March 6–20, 2010

The High Museum of Art will present the Japanese Film Festival from Saturday, March 6, to Saturday, March 20. The series features three recent Japanese films, including the award-winning drama “Tokyo Sonata.” The festival is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta.

“This year’s Japanese Film Festival features a trio of films that explore the complexities of family relationships as well as the conflicts that arise when modernity collides with tradition,” said Linda Dubler, curator of media arts at the High. “Themes of honor, responsibility and individuality are common in Japanese cinema, and they appear here in films that should be especially meaningful to Americans as we endure the current economy and the accelerated pace of change in an increasingly interconnected world.”

The festival opens on Saturday, March 6, with American director Aaron Woolfolk’s “The Harimaya Bridge,” a gentle drama about forgiveness and cross-cultural understanding. When Daniel Holder receives news that his estranged son has been killed in a traffic accident in rural Japan, he must go abroad to retrieve the young artist’s belongings and face his long-held prejudice. Upon arrival Daniel realizes that, as an African American and a minority in Japan, he is not the only one to pass judgment based on stereotypes. This film is in Japanese and English with bilingual subtitles.

Hailed as one of the best foreign films of 2009, “Tokyo Sonata,” from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, premieres on Saturday, March 13. After Ryuhei loses his job, he hides his unemployment from his family and must find a new career to provide for them. Meanwhile, his wife and two sons conceal ambitions of their own, pushing the family toward a seemingly inevitable breakdown. Writing in Salon, Andrew O’Hehir called the film “a work of tremendous passion, daring and delicacy.” This film is in Japanese with subtitles.

The series comes to a close on Saturday, March 20, with director Kichitaro Negishi’s film “What the Snow Brings.” Manabu was once a successful businessman and loving husband, but when his life falls apart he contacts his estranged older brother Takeo, who puts him to work as a stable hand. Set in snowy Hokkaido, the film explores the brothers’ deeply conflicted relationship and Manabu’s effort to start his life anew. This film is in Japanese with subtitles.

Film Series Schedule
Unless otherwise noted, all films begin at 8 p.m. and are screened in the Richard H. Rich Theatre. The theatre is located in the Memorial Arts Building, adjacent to the High at Peachtree and 15th Streets in midtown Atlanta (MARTA stop N5.).

“The Harimaya Bridge”
Saturday, March 6
(Japan, 2009, 120 minutes.)

“Tokyo Sonata”
Saturday, March 13
(Japan, 2008, 120 minutes.)

“What the Snow Brings”
Saturday, March 20
(Japan, 2005, 112 minutes.)

This program is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta. 35mm projection facilities in the Rich Auditorium were provided by a gift from George Lefont.

To purchase tickets in advance go to, visit the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or call 404-733-5000. Tickets for all shows are $7 general admission and $6 for students, seniors and Museum members. Patron-level members enter free. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the night of the screening.

Film Information
The public may call the High’s film hotline at 404-733-4570 for up-to-the-minute information about visiting directors, receptions, changes or cancellations and for a free subscription to the quarterly film calendar.

The High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit

The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit
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