1966. Japan. Written, directed by, and starring Yukio Mishima. After receiving orders to take command of a unit that will exterminate his rebel friends following their failed coup in the “2.26 Incident” of 1936, a lieutenant and his wife commit double suicide. Mishima’s chillingly nationalist adaptation of his own 1961 novel attracted tremendous critical response and public favor, paving the way for Art Theater Guild productions to follow. Courtesy Sakai Agency. In Japanese; English subtitles. 29 min.
1963. Japan. Directed by Nihon University New Cinema Club. While depicting a love story between a man and a woman, this film uses image of a closed vagina as a metaphor—by now considered sexist—for the failed protest movement during the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. This of the Nihon University Cinema Club—the first late-night screening at the Art Theatre Shinjuku Bunka—had a sensational reputation that extended to the larger world of experimental cinema, and had a major influence on the development of the Art Theater Guild. Courtesy Nihon University Cinema Club. In Japanese; English subtitles. 56 min.