Foyer of Bio Oko Cinema, Prague (1. 4. 2019 - 30. 6. 2019) —
Japan cinematography was, until 1989 (the year when the author and artistic poster were ceased for production), very rarely spotted in Czechoslovak cinemas. When we look back at that time, we can only guess the reason for that – most probable is the difficulty to gain authorship rights for exhibiton of the rich japanese cinematography, which was very much „encouraged“ by tough censorship. Many japanese films were too explicit, sexually opened and thematically, not suitable for socialist person. Despite this fact, tens of japanese films were bought for the czechoslovak cinemas during the 60’s and 70’s mainly.
In Czechoslovakia under the communist regime, the most popular were japanese sci-fi pieces. Who hadn’t seen Gappa at least five times, could not have joined even the most insignificant street gang, and who mixed up Gamera and Gaos was discredited for good.
Bio Oko‘s exhibition displays four posters from this genre. The Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla has been accompanied by František Kardaus’s poster already in 1956. Kardaus was a brilliant artist, also excelling in industry and automobile design – he’s the co-author of classic Tatra 603 or the design of the T2 tram). Another Honda’s film, Invasion of Astro-Monster, was introduced in czechoslovak cinemas by pop-art poster made by Miroslav Němeček.
Even though the censorship was present, the works of the most famous japanese director Akira Kurosawa did make it to the czechoslovak cinemas. In the exhibiton, three posters for his films were selected. Magnificient and minimalistic collage of Bedřich Dlouhý for the film Rashomon, the poster of Jan Hlavatý for Dodeskaden and a Václav Ševčík’s design for Kagemusha, which had won the Grand Prize at the Film Festival in Cannes in 1980.
The peak of the exhibition are another two great films of japanese cinema, that is Harakiri (by Masaki Kobayashi) and Onibaba (by Kaneto Shindo).