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Pigs and Battleships + Kokutai (15*)

Japanese Avant-garde & Experimental Film Festival

girl looking angry

The film that launched Shohei Imamura’s career, this is an agile, whip-smart mockery of a greed-driven, post-occupation Japan.

Much of Imamura’s breakout film concerns itself with the activities of a gang operating in Yokosuka. With piercing, CinemaScope shots, Pigs and Battleships explores the real-world consequences of American control, and its continued military presence in Japan.

Imamura’s gangsters are involved in every aspect of life in the impoverished town, allowing the director to wryly follow along; peering into doorways and down alleyways to give us a cinematic time capsule of 1960s Japan. Exploring high and low, Imamura’s film captures the very breath of the city.

Pigs and Battleships is paired with Ryushi Lindsay’s Kokutai, an exploration of fascist aesthetics in high school baseball.

Japan 1961 Dir Shohei Imamura 108 min 35mm presentation

Japan/UK 2019 Dir Ryushi Lindsay 11 min Digital presentation

In partnership with the Japan Foundation


* = recommended classification

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Barbican Cinema 3