The Saga of Anatahan
1953, Josef von Sternberg, Japan, 92 min. With Akemi Negishi.
- Fri, Feb 17th 6:00pm
- Sat, Feb 18th 5:45pm
- Wed, Feb 22nd 6:00pm
"The film works subversively by implicating its audience in the patterns of desire and violence, discipline and surrender. It's brilliant. When was the last time you felt stark naked after a movie?" — Tony Rayns, Time Out London
"Distance is built into every aspect of the production, yet the feelings that emerge are incredibly pure and immediate: Sternberg seems to be photographing the absolute essence of human emotion." — Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Described by Sternberg as “my best film — and my most unsuccessful one,” ANATAHAN is based on the true story of a group of Japanese sailors who were stranded on a Pacific island in 1944 and refused to surrender until seven years after the war was over. As a great director’s deeply personal last testament, ANATAHAN is unsurpassed. The film’s theme is Sternberg’s central one of the power of desire, represented by the survivors’ competition for the lone woman on the island. Hyperstylized narrative scenes, filmed entirely in a specially made studio, are interspersed with haunting documentary footage of defeated Japan; the fascinating benshi-like narration is spoken by Sternberg himself. The narration is in English; the Japanese dialogue is deliberately left untranslated. New DCP digital restoration. (MR)