TIFF Cinematheque continues its long-standing dedication to Japanese cinema with the series Spotlight Japan , consisting of three film series’ that explore more than a half-century remarkable Japanese film history.

The first two installments include Tokyo Drifters , which runs from January 19 to April 6, 2013 and   Japanese Divas: The Great Actresses of Japanese Cinema’s Golden Age from January 24 to March 31, 2013.

Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years of Nikkatsu features films from the late 1950s through early 1970s from Japan’s oldest and perhaps most exciting production houses. In an effort to attract youthful audiences growing increasingly accustomed to American and French big-screen imports, Nikkatsu began producing inexpensive action flicks that incorporated elements of the western, comedy, gangster, and teen-rebel genres.

Highlights include Takashi Nomura’s   A Colt Is My Passport (1967), one of Japanese cinema’s supreme emulations of American film noir, and Tokyo Drifter (1966), one of the most inventive Yakuza films ever made by one of Japan’s most famed auteurs, Seijun Suzuki.

View the complete  series of gangster films, crime thrillers and sexploitation flicks here.

Japanese Divas: The Great Actresses of Japanese Cinema’s Golden Age is a 30-film tribute to the ‘Golden Age’ of Japanese Cinema. It features masterpieces from Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse, Kenji Mizoguchi, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Yasuzo Masumura and Kon Ichikawa.

Some highlights of this series include Kenji Mizoguchi’s beautifully haunting Ugetsu (1953), and Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes (1964), a ‘bizarre existential drama’which earned Teshigahara an Academy Award ® nomination for Best Director.

The Spotlight Japan film series is part of a three month long, city-wide festival celebrating classic and contemporary Japanese culture. You can get more information at spotlightjapan.ca.

What: Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years of Nikkatsu and Japanese Divas: The Great Actresses of Japanese Cinema’s Golden Age retrospective programmes

When: Winter 2013

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox

More Info: For additional details on these programmes, visit their event pages: Tokyo Drifters / Japanese Divas.

A Colt Is My Passport trailer:


Woman In The Dunes trailer: