Hiroshima’s bastion of Japanese independent film, Yokogawa Cinema, is getting a face lift. This will come as welcome news to cinephiles whose enjoyment of the retro stylings of the former porn theater have long been tempered by the onset of ‘Yokogawa butt’ that sets in about and hour through a show.
Not everyone is happy, however. Goto Izumi, Hiroshima’s bohemian queen and proprietor of Tokaichi ongaku-kissa Organza who loves nothing more than peeling wallpaper and sticky seats is distraught and will sorely miss the Yokogawa Cinema of old. She invites you come bid it farewell.
Under the direction of Mizoguchi-san, the cinema has long been more than a just a film space, having hosted many music events, ranging from the near-legendary to the plain bizarre. It is appropriate then, to say farewell, Goto Izumi has assembled a roster independent artists from around the country for two nights of music, to be followed by a day of film, and calls on all fans of Yokogawa Cinema to muster for a three “Grand Reunion” this weekend.
Opening night on Friday, June 27 is kind of singer-sonwritery affair with a line up that includes Tate Takako who sang the moving Houseki featured in the classic 2004 Hirokazu Koreeda film Dare mo shirenai (Nobody Knows) and Nikaido Kazumi who sang Inochi no kioku the main theme song for the Ghilbi animated feature Kaguya-hime.
Saturday night is a more off the wall, indie, and theatrical affair which includes a set from Goto Izumi herself. Long term residents may also be happy to hear that Chie from Bar Alcoholiday – and promoter of some of the best live events held at the cinema – returns to Hiroshima to up the serve drinks. Sunday is a day long film marathon featuring films with some kind of connection with Hiroshima or Yokogawa Cinema.
If you want to get a feel for what goes on in Hiroshima’s darker nooks and crannies, this weekend is an excellent opportunity. Three day passes are ¥7000, tickets for Friday or Saturday are ¥3000 in advance, and ¥2000 for Sunday’s marathon film program. Advance tickets available from Yokogawa Cinema and Organza.
Day one (Friday, June 27)
Day two (Saturday, June 28)
CINEMA dub MONKS