The "Masters of Japanese Cinema" film series, co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, is one of the Pickford's longest-running and most-loved series, featuring some of the best films in world cinema with movies that span both decades and genres.
The series is curated by WWU Librarian Jeff Purdue and each film begins with an introduction from speakers including local professors, artists, and educators.
Among the films included in the series in 2015-16:
- Two Studio Ghibli films, "Only Yesterday" by Takahata Isao, a 1991 film that was only recently made available in the U.S., and "Whisper of the Heart," by Kondo Yoshifumi.
- "A Hen in the Wind," a 1948 film by Ozu Yasujiro, a wrenching tale of a young mother awaiting her husband's return from World War II.
- "Flowing," a 1956 masterpiece by Maruse Mikio and a beautifully photographed, unsentimental story of a geisha house facing closure.
- "Woman of Tokyo," a 1933 silent classic presented with a live music score performed by Wayne Horvitz and his quintet at Western's Performing Arts Center, thanks to support from the Japan Foundation.
- "Twenty-Four Eyes," a popular and beloved anti-war film directed by Keisuke Kinoshita.
- "Utamaro and his Five Women," Mizoguchi Kenji's portrait of the famous ukiyo-e painter Kitagawa Utamaro and the social world around him in 18th century Edo (Tokyo).
- "Floating Clouds," by Naruse Mikio, which made a clean sweep of the prestigious Kinema Junpo awards in 1956, winning best actor (Mori Masayuki), best actress (Takamine Hideko), best director and best film.