Film Season: Kurosawa’s Samurai Films


Film Season: Samurai! …The Code According To Kurosawa

When: Saturday 5 – Monday 27 May

Where: The Star And Shadow Cinema (Directions)


Mifune and Kurosawa relax away from the set




The Seven Samurai (1954) – Sun 5 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Yojimbo (1961) – Sun 12 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Sanjuro (1962) – Sun 19 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

The Hidden Fortress (1958) – Sun 26 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.


The shadow of Akira Kurosawa looms large over the wider landscape of Japanese cinema. Much in the same way that Alfred Hitchcock  will always be looked back upon as a master craftsman of suspense, Kurosawa will always be regarded as a master craftsman of the Samurai film, and although he was by no means limited only to that genre it’s certainly what he is best remembered for.

The Star and Shadow celebrates this with four of his greatest films which he made featuring his long time associate Toshiro Mifune, who Kurosawa once said the following about “I am proud of nothing I have done other than with him“. After 15 films working together the pair parted ways because of an argument stemming from the financial peril that Kurosawa’s (1965) film Red Beard was putting Mifune’s production company into. After some very public negative statements about one another the pair would not reconcile until meeting each other at a mutual friends funeral in 1993, however they would never work again and both passed away within a year of the meeting. A sad end to a story of two unbelievable talents rise to success, but you can celebrate their glory years working together onscreen on beautiful 35mm prints(!!!).


“A season of films celebrating the collaboration of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune.

As digital technology surplants celluloid, this is your last chance to see these classic films of world cinema on 35mm.

Samurai !  the word litterally means, ” Those who serve .”   Their code an ancient and unsparing unswerving allegiance to a single master, loyalty integrity and personal honour.

Their lives are dedicated to a constant honing of martial skills, and “The way of the Samurai is found in death.” – Star & Shadow




Film: The Ring




Film: The Ring (Ringu)  (リング)

When: Wednesday 31st October, 18:00pm

Where: Tyneside Cinema (Directions)



The votes for the North East’s favorite scary movie are in… and happily for us The Ring got the most votes!


The Ring is the film that kicked off the J-Horror wave of the late 90s – early 2000s. After wowing critics at film festivals the film was released in the West by Tartan Asia Extreme and became a cult classic in no time at all due to its wildly original take on the horror genre (to Western horror fans that is). In 2002 a remake followed which only brought the films notoriety to a wider audience. On the back of The Ring’s success countless Ring inspired films were made, other J-horror films were imported and Hollywood remade every Asian horror movie the could (usually with disastrous results). The Ring is a true modern horror classic and is required viewing for anyone wanting a scare this Halloween!


Reiko Asakawa is a young journalist with a divorced husband, Ryuji, and a son, Yoichi. Her niece, Tomoko, was recently found dead with a look of pure shock embedded in her face as if something scared her to death. Upon learning that her niece’s three friends died at the same time, too, and hearing about a disturbing videotape that is said to kill you seven days after watching it, Reiko comes into the possession of that same tape. Now, as time grows short, Reiko and Ryuji race to save their lives from impending doom and discover what the tape has to do with a tragedy-stricken volcanic island and a very strange little girl named Sadako …  (summary provided by IMDB)



75p Film: Godzilla




Film: Godzilla (ゴジラ)

When: Sunday the 4th of  November, 10:45am

Where: Tyneside Cinema  (Directions)


Price: £0.75


As part of their ‘Cult Classic All Nighter II’ Tyneside cinema are screening the fantastic original 1954 Godzilla.

Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira) is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama, made in Japan at a time when the country was reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific. Its rampaging radioactive beast, the poignant embodiment of an entire population’s fears, became a beloved international icon of destruction, spawning almost thirty sequels. A thrilling, tactile spectacle that continues to be a cult phenomenon. — Criterion


The original installment in the franchise is still regarded as the best ‘film’ in the franchise (in contrast to the later films, which while enjoyable often fall back on cliches) and was in heavy competition with Seven Samuari for Japan’s top film award. With the 2011 earthquake still fresh in the mind, as well as the anti-nuclear demonstrations that followed, Godzilla has never been such essential viewing since it’s original release 9 years after the bombs were dropped.


GCL: Japanese Festival



Event: Gateshead Central Library Japanese Festival

When: October 1st – 8th

Where: Gateshead Central Library (Directions)


Price: Varying (See Events Below)


Gateshead Central Library is holding an in house festival celebrating Japan consisting of art, cultural, language, and film events. To book tickets for any event please call 0191 433 8420 or email the library over at


1/10/12 – 2-4pm – Beginners Japanese Taster Session [£4 Per Ticket]

Get a flavour of Japan with these basic, beginner Japanese language taster sessions, anyone is welcome!

1/10/12 – 7-9pm – Japanese Beer and Whisky Tasting (18+) [£4 Per Ticket]

Take a journey through Japan with a tour of beer and whisky, and enjoy an authentic sushi buffet.

2/10/12 – 6-10pm – Anime Attacks Autumn Social (11+) [£3 Per Ticket]

Join us for Anime Attacks’ special Autumn get together with renowned manga artist Yishan Li. There will also be cosplay, art competitions, Japanese video game tournaments and more! From 8.30pm to 10pm there will also be a club night with live DJing from Peff, presenter of the award-winning ’We Must Warn Tokyo’ on Newcastle Student Radio.

3/10/12 – 6.30pm – Film: Adrift in Tokyo (15+) [£3 Per Ticket]

Offbeat Japanese comedy. The film follows the unusual bond that develops between a demotivated student and a debt collector for the loan shark to whom he owes money. Directed by Satoshi Miki (Turtles Swim Faster Than Expected, Instant Numa).

4/10/12 – 6.30pm – Film: Kamikaze Girls (12+) [£3 Per Ticket]

The film is based on the novel by Novala Takemoto and is about the friendship between 2 very different girls. There is sweet, frilly-dress-loving Rococo fan Momoko (Kyoko Fukada) and spitting, head butting biker chick Ichiko (Anna Tsuchiya). Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima (Confessions, Memories of Matsuko).

6/10/12 – 10am-12noon – Origami Session [£2.50 Per Ticket]

Make origami birds, boats and animals and create your own designs with visual artist Kate Eccles. Kate will teach you how to decorate your origami with Japanese symbols.

8/10/12 – 6.30-8pm – Talk: Japan, Geishas and Courtesans [£5 Per Ticket]

Enter the world of the geisha with this talk by bestselling author, Lesley Downer. In order to carry out research for her book “Geisha: The Remarkable Truth Behind The Fiction”, Lesley spent 6 months living among the geisha and gradually found herself being transformed into one of them. Consequently, she is able to give us a unique insight into this aspect of Japanese culture. Lesley is also the author of a number of fiction titles including “The Last Concubine” and her latest novel, “Across A Bridge of Dreams”. Pre-booking essential!


Stay tuned to Geordie Japan for more details in the coming weeks.