Concluding an overarching series of notable film composers, the cinephiles at Take-Up Productions are presenting arguably their most daring choice with Toru Takemitsu: The Music of Anxiety. Whereas the previous retrospectives had focused on the highly recognizable works of Henry Mancini and Bernard Herrmann, fewer casual moviegoers are likely to be immediately familiar with the film scores of Takemitsu, which is a shame. For while Takemitsu has frequently been cited as the most significant Japanese composer of the 20th century, most of his acclaim stems from the classical world, despite scoring over 100 films for some of Japan's most celebrated directors. A lifelong fan of the cinema, Takemitsu approached music as an essential emotional cue, matching the instrumental timbre of each composition to a scene's prevailing mood. Though Takemitsu first made his name through avant-garde interpretations of Western rhythms, he revolutionized his compositions by incorporating traditional Japanese forms, creating scores that reflected uniquely universal themes. Takemitsu's versatility will be on display at the Trylon Microcinema every weekend throughout May with a selection of such classic Japanese films as Empire of Passion (May 20-22), and Woman in the Dunes (May 27–29). For showtimes, call or visit www.take-up.org.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: May 6. Continues through May 29, 2011