University of Pittsburgh
March 24, 2004

Pitt's 2004 Japanese Film Series Offers Action, Comedy, and Romance

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—There is a Japanese film for most every cinematic taste during the University of Pittsburgh's 2004 Japanese Film Series, taking place from April 8 to 10 in 7F Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The free public screenings begin at

7 p.m. and offer patrons a sampling of Japanese films, including:

Action—Seoul (2002), directed by Masahiro Nagsawa and starring the multitalented Japanese pop singer Tomoya Nagase, will be shown April 8. Nagase plays a Japanese police officer who finds himself entangled in a bizarre criminal investigation in South Korea. Actor Choi Min-Soo plays a Korean investigator who wants nothing more than to be rid of Nagase's character, but the rival cops become friends in the midst of a major international incident.

Romance—On April 9, director Hisako Matsui will introduce her 1997 film, Yukie, a story of love and perseverance, starring Bo Svenson as Richard and Mitsuko Baisho as his wife, Yukie. Richard and Yukie's love story began during the Korean War when Richard, an American pilot who was injured in combat, was cared for by Yukie, a beautiful Japanese nurse. Baton Rouge, La., becomes the couple's home, and they share many years of wedded bliss until tragedies rob Yukie of her memory and them of their happiness.

Comedy—Made in Japan (1994) will be shown April 10. The film, directed by Yojiro Takita, is a satire of four Japanese corporate warriors assigned to the jungles of a third world country, where each of their companies have vested business interests. The businessmen, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ittoku Kishibe, and Kyusaku Shimada, become caught up in the country's civil unrest. After several outlandish escapes, the four men are captured by rebel forces, and one is arrested and charged with espionage. To save their corporate comrade, the other three must use the only weapons at their disposal—their engineering skill and business acuity.

The 2004 Japanese Film Series is being organized by Pitt's Asian Studies Center (ASC) within the University Center for International Studies in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Modern Languages and Modern Language Student Advisory Council. Funding for the series has been provided by ASC and Pitt's Japan Iron and Steel Federation, as well as the Toshiba International Foundation.