Yoru no henrin (The Shape of Night). 1964. Japan. Directed by Noboru Nakamura. Courtesy Shochiku

June 10, 2022 – July 09, 2022

The Museum of Modern Art

Founded in 1920 by a pair of peanut vendors who hoped to achieve the commercial success of Hollywood, the Shochiku film studio adopted Western methods of filmmaking (a training institute, a star system, a studio campus) and made Western techniques of storytelling (closeups, flashbacks, panning shots, dissolves, montage editing) into something distinctively Japanese. Thanks to the generosity of Shochiku, together with the National Film Archive of Japan and Japan Foundation, New York, MoMA presents a centennial selection of hidden treasures, most of them in archival 35mm prints, from the studio that produced such masterpieces as Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story, Keisuke Kinoshita’s Ballad of Narayama, Nagisa Oshima’s Cruel Story of Youth, and Masaki Kobayashi’s Harakiri. This exhibition goes beyond these perennial favorites to deepen appreciation of the history of Japanese cinema, featuring newfound discoveries like Hiroshi Shimizu’s Eternal Heart (1929), Kôzaburô Yoshimura’s Temptation (1948), Tai Kato’s The Ondekoza (1981), and Kôhei Oguri’s The Sting of Death (1990). The exhibition opens on June 10 with the North American premiere 4K restoration of Masahiro Shinoda’s Demon Pond (1979).

Complete series information and screening schedule available below and at moma.org/film.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and Aiko Masubuchi, independent curator. Special thanks to Eric Nyari, Shion Komatsu, Meri Koyama, Alo Joekalda, Shun Inoue, Maya Sato, and Francisco Valente.

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston. 

Special thanks to the Japan Foundation.

Series Overview & Screening Schedule