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Kazuo Hara in Person

May 2, 2009

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The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On

Born in 1945, Japanese documentary filmmaker Kazuo Hara is unafraid to provoke. After debuting in 1972 with the controversial Goodbye CP, which depicts disabled people with a discomfiting frankness, Hara turned the camera towards his own life with Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974, which focuses on his ex-lover, an outspoken feminist activist. In addition to demonstrating the director’s commitment to cinema verité, the film shows Hara’s fondness for iconoclastic subjects and his willingness to allow these subjects to seize control of his films. This fact again came to the fore with Hara’s best-known work, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, which follows the whims of a particularly angry World War II veteran. Hara’s subject matter and his seeming refusal to judge or, in some cases, even react to his subjects’ actions have caused many critics to accuse the director of irresponsibility. But Hara’s cinema has proven to be among the most inventive and challenging of Japan’s postwar era. It gives voice to some of the country’s most idiosyncratic characters and pushes documentary filmmaking to its formal boundaries.

Jonathan L. Knapp
PFA Program Coordinator

Saturday, May 2, 2009
12:00 NOON Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974
Kazuo Hara (Japan, 1974). Kazuo Hara in person.

Saturday, May 2, 2009
2:45 p.m. The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On
Kazuo Hara (Japan, 1987). Kazuo Hara in person.

Saturday, May 2, 2009
5:30 p.m. Booksigning with Kazuo Hara (Admission Free)


Organized at PFA by Mona Nagai. Co-presented by the Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley. For information about a related panel discussion on May 3 and other CJS 50th Anniversary events, visit ieas.berkeley.edu/events/cjs.html.