The Eel
Japan / 1997 / 117 min
In Japanese with English subtitles
Palme d’or, Cannes Film Festival
Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Japan Academy Film Prize

After serving eight years for killing his wife, Yamashita starts anew by opening a humble barber shop. He wants to keep to himself, but the shop grows popular and his relationship with the young woman he hired grows ambiguous. When troubles from the past reappear, Yamashita’s stoic life and parole conditions are threatened. The Eel won star Koji Yakusho his second Japan Academy Best Actor prize for his understated yet intense depiction of an uneasy flawed soul. The film’s brutal opening leads into a restrained journey of redemption and reintegration that is hard to grasp yet oddly affirming, much like the protagonist’s pet eel. Presented on 35mm print.

Shohei Imamura
Koji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baisho, Akira Emoto
20/10 7:35PM Broadway Cinematheque
02/11 9:50PM Broadway Cinematheque
25/11 1:30PM Broadway Cinematheque