After you’ve seen the outdoor fireworks, enjoy some summer events in the cool indoors, whether it’s catching one of 20 films in Japan Society‘s annual festival or firing up the newest home video release from Aerosmith that documents the band’s triumphant return to Japan following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
This month’s highlights include:
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
$12 general/$9 Japan Society members, seniors and students. I’M FLASH! prices $15 general/$12 Japan Society members
Now in its seventh season, with 10 days of screenings and over 20 titles, JAPAN CUTS 2013 presents the roughest, sharpest, and smoothest of today’s cutting-edge Japanese film scene, encompassing bigger-than-life blockbusters, high-concept art house titles, moving and provoking documentaries, delirious rom-coms, refined melodramas and a handful of UFOs—unidentified film objects. Dovetailing with the New York Asian Film Festival, this year’s highlights include the smash-hit samurai blockbuster Rurouni Kenshin; Eiki Takahashi’s absorbing glimpse into the glitzy world of Japanese pop music, DOCUMENTARY OF AKB48: Show Must Go On; the winner of the 36th Japan Academy Prize for Best Picture and Best Director, The Kirishima Thing; plus the new film from the wildly prolific auteur Takashi Miike, the psycho killer-teacher horror film Lesson of the Evil, a return to the director’s signature gonzo schlockmeister approach.
Gerald W. Lynch Theater, 524 West 59th Street
Harmonious sounds and haunting songs converge in this exquisite production of Matsukaze (Japanese for “wind in the pines”). Inspired by a popular 15th-century play crafted in part by Noh master Zeami, the opera features a spare, ethereal score by Toshio Hosokawa, one of Japan’s most prominent living composers of contemporary classical music. Matsukaze tells the story of two sisters, two lingering spirits, who wander the porous boundary of the living and the dead in hopes of being freed from a former mortal lover. John Kennedy conducts the Talea Ensemble and a cast of soloists and chorus in this arresting, dreamlike performance set in the shadowy place where the wall between the ephemeral and the corporeal disappears. Sung in German with English supertitles.
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