Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Japanese Cinema series is one of the Pickford's longest-running and most-loved series.
Series curator Jeff Purdue, a WWU librarian, consistently selects some of the best films in world cinema, featuring movies that span decades and genres. Each film in the series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists and educators.
In 2014-15, the Masters of Japanese Cinema series featured:
- "Osaka Elegy," one of two films that Mizoguchi Kenji directed in 1936 starring the great Yamada Isuzu, introduced by film series furator Jeff Purdue, a librarian at Western Libraries.
- Ozu Yassujiro's 1953 masterpiece "Tokyo Story," introduced by Professor Julia Sapin, an art historian at Western whospecializes in Japanese art.
- Akira Kurosawa's "Sanjuro," featuring a charismatic wandering samurai in mid-19th century Japan, introduced by Everett Aison, who was the original U.S. distributor for "Yojimbo," Kurosawa's popular 1961 film.
- "Early Summer," the 1951 film by Ozu Yasujiro and introduced by Purdue.
- "Rashomon," the first Japanese film to win a major award outside of Japan, introduced by Bob Winters, who is the Arts and Humanities Division chair at Whatcom Community College, where he also teaches film classes.