Silent film performances in Tokyo – again!

Just came back from my 2-week stay in Japan, and my goodness what an amazing trip it was!! I am still basking in the afterglow of the unforgettable moments, even days after I got back to NYC. :)

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who came to the screenings, as well as everyone I have met during my stay there. All the screenings at the Silent Film Renaissance 2013 at the National Film Center in Tokyo and the Kyoto Historica International Film Festival went extremely well, and I was humbled to receive many positive, some even raving, feedback to my performances!! :) It was truly a silent film accompanist’s dream to play for the master pieces by such renowned film directors as Weber, Hitchcock and Lubitsch within such a short period of time. While it was quite a challenge to match the tone of each performance to each film’s unique style and ‘feel’, it was at the same time such an exciting, and rewarding, musical adventure for me.

And I am happy to announce that I will be back in Japan again in 2 weeks!! This time, I’ll be joining a wonderful group of Japanese silent film pianists and benshis (silent film narrators) to accompany the legendary Yasujiro Ozu’s works in a special retrospective series at the Jimbocho Theater in Tokyo, that’s currently screening all of his existing works.

Ozu’s works have a very special place in my heart; it was by playing for his “But…” trilogy (“I Was Born, But…”, “I Graduated, But…”, and “I Flunked, But…”) back in 2003 at the NFC that I was introduced to this art of silent film accompaniment for the very first time. It’s an honor to revisit the trilogy after 10 years – I am myself very curious how my performance will be this time! :) – and I also look forward to accompanying “I Graduated, But…” and “I Flunked, But…” with Mr. Raiko Sakamoto as a benshi, with whom I will be performing for the first time. Another personal highlight would be to accompany “Passing Fancy” with Mr. Ichiro Kataoka as a benshi – he and I performed for this film together this past February at the Film Forum in New York, and it is our great pleasure to debut it to the Tokyo audience. :)

If you are in Tokyo on any of the following dates, please do come to the Jimbocho Theater!!


Yausjiro Ozu: 110th Anniversary of his birth/50th Anniversary of his death – Screening All His Existing Works (Japanese)

Where: Jimbocho Theater
1-23 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 604-8183
TEL: (03) 5281-5132
Directions (Japanese):

Admission: 1,500 yen (at the door only, no advance tickets available)
General admission – 99 seats, first-come, first-served

Saturday, December 28th @ 1:30PM

*Performing with benshi Raiko Sakamoto
I Graduated, But… (shortened version)
(1929, Black & White, Silent, 12 min)

I Flunked, But…
(1930, Black & White, Silent, 65 min)

Sunday, December 29th @ 1:30PM

I Was Born, But…
(1932, Black & White, Silent, 90 min)

Sunday, December 29th @ 4PM

I Graduated, But… (shortened version)
(1929, Black & White, Silent, 12 min)

I Flunked, But…
(1930, Black & White, Silent, 65 min)

Saturday, January 4th @ 1:30PM

*Performing with benshi Ichiro Kataoka
Passing Fancy
(1933, Black & White, Silent, 100 min)

Thursday December 12th, 2013 by Makia Matsumura
Categories: News | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *