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A Star Athlete

Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 4:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater


Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu. 1937, 64 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan. In Japanese with live English subtitles. With Shūji Sano, Shinichi Himori, Yoshiaki Konoe, Chishū Ryū, Kenji Oyama. A favorite among film historians Noël Burch and David Bordwell for its virtuoso passages of camera movement, including a sublime 40-shot march along a country road that’s pure back-and-forth axial motion, Shimizu’s episodic sports comedy about a lackadaisical star runner named Seki (Sano) who jovially competes with his hard-working rival Tani (a fresh and spry Ryū, not yet the old man of Ozu’s postwar films) in a days-long military jog that whimsically veers off the beaten path, perhaps winks at the director’s own reputation as a lazy genius. Like Wong Kar-Wai, who famously made Chungking Express on a break from editing his martial arts epic Ashes of Time, Shimizu tossed off this “pet project” during a pause in production on his major critical success Children in the Wind, but today A Star Athlete stands as the euphoric acme of Shimizu’s cinematographic achievements. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). There is a $1.50 transaction fee per ticket for all online purchases. The cost of admission may be applied toward a same-day purchase of a membership. 

Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission.