Sayonara Cinema

There's still poetry to be found here, however. "Japanese New Wave Cinema" draws in a legendary film essay by Frenchman Chris Marker, The Koumiko Mystery (January 20 at 7 p.m.); and U Film Society vets from the mid-'70s who recall Shuji Terayama's surreal, circuslike Pastoral Hide and Seek (January 23 at 7 p.m.) will be happy to see that it's back in town. With 1995's Maborosi (January 29 at 9 p.m.), the series closes years and aesthetic miles away from where it began. This calm, almost plotless witnessing of a widowed mother's remarriage and lingering grief owes even more to the stately, respectful classicism of Ozu's great Tokyo Story--the visual opposite of Cruel Story of Youth--than it does to the convention-busting works of Oshima or Terayama. What it does share with them, however, is something that's important to all these Japanese films: It finds the deepest drama in an individual's alienation from his or her closest surroundings.

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