Japanese Currents: UZUMASA LIMELIGHT

Uzumasa Limelight 1

In this loose remake of Charlie Chaplin’s LIMELIGHT (1952), Ochiai thrusts the viewer into the highly structured world of chanbara (samurai film) production, but with a very particular subject: kirare-yaku, or actors whose sole job is to die on camera, often spectacularly. Kamiyama (real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto), the elder statesman of the craft, is nearing retirement. When his studio decides to end production of chanbara films, citing the public’s waning interest, Kamiyama is faced with impending retirement. However, the arrival of a promising young actress (Chihiro Yamamoto), who seeks tutelage from Kamiyama, reinvigorates not only the studio’s interest, but also the mentor’s desire “to be cut” during the limelight of his career. Audience Award, 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and Best Film, Fantasia International Film Festival. (103 mins.)

UZUMASA LIMELIGHT screens Wednesday, December 10 at 8pm and Saturday, December 13 at 1:30pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our annual Japanese Currents series.  Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

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