Directed by Kon Ichikawa

Directed by Kon Ichikawa

11 Episodes

Bridging Japan’s cinematic golden age and its freewheeling New Wave, Kon Ichikawa was a prolific transitional figure whose technical finesse and versatility were rooted in the craftsmanship of the classical tradition, but whose pervasive sense of dark-tinged irony gave his work a modern age. Though best known for his myriad literary adaptations—including the the searing antiwar dramas THE BURMESE HARP and FIRES ON THE PLAIN, the audacious tale of retribution in the world of kabuki theater AN ACTOR’S REVENGE, and the ravishing period elegy THE MAKIOKA SISTERS—he also made one of the all-time great documentaries in TOKYO OLYMPIAD, a breathtaking achievement that shows his total command of widescreen film technique.

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Directed by Kon Ichikawa
  • The Burmese Harp

    Episode 1

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1956 • Japan
    Starring Rentaro Mikuni, Shoji Yasui, Taniye Kitabayashi

    An Imperial Japanese Army regiment surrenders to British forces in Burma at the close of World War II and finds harmony through song. A private, thought to be dead, disguises himself as a Buddhist mo...

  • Conflagration

    Episode 2

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1958 • Japan
    Starring Raizo Ichikawa, Tatsuya Nakadai

    Adapted from a novel by Yukio Mishima and told in an intricate flashback structure, CONFLAGRATION dramatizes the psychological collapse of Goichi (Raizo Ichikawa), a young Buddhist acolyte from a dysfunctional f...

  • Fires on the Plain

    Episode 3

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1959 • Japan
    Starring Eiji Funakoshi, Osamu Takizawa, Mickey Curtis

    An agonizing portrait of desperate Japanese soldiers stranded in a strange land during World War II, Kon Ichikawa’s FIRES ON THE PLAIN is a compelling descent into psychological and physical oblivion. ...

  • Odd Obsession

    Episode 4

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1959 • Japan
    Starring Ganjiro Nakamura, Machiko Kyo

    Kon Ichikawa’s ODD OBSESSION is a strange dark comedy on a then-forbidden subject—impotence, and jealousy as a cure for it. The movie explores the links between love, jealousy, and rage, all from the standpoint of...

  • Her Brother

    Episode 5

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1960 • Japan

    Kon Ichikawa's family drama focuses on the relationship between a pair of siblings in 1920's Japan.

  • Being Two Isn’t Easy

    Episode 6

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1962 • Japan
    Starring Hirro Suzuki, Fujiko Yamamoto, Eiji Funakoshi

    You can say that again! The days leading up to a toddler’s second birthday are seen alternately from the adorable youngster’s point of view and from the perspective of his anxious parents as they navig...

  • An Actor’s Revenge

    Episode 7

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1963 • Japan

    A kabuki actor who only plays female characters encounters the three men who drove his parents to suicide and plans his revenge.

  • Tokyo Olympiad

    Episode 8

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1965 • Japan

    A spectacle of magnificent proportions and remarkable intimacy, Kon Ichikawa’s TOKYO OLYMPIAD remains one of the greatest films ever made about sports. Supervising a vast team of technicians using scores of cameras, Ichikawa captured the 1964 Summer Games ...

  • Visions of Eight

    Episode 9

    Directed by Miloš Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Yuri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, and Mai Zetterling • 1973 • United States

    In Munich in 1972, eight renowned filmmakers each brought their singular artistry to the spectacle of the Olympic Games, capturing the j...

  • The Makioka Sisters

    Episode 10

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1983 • Japan
    Starring Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yuko Kotegawa

    This lyrical adaptation of the beloved novel by Junichiro Tanizaki was a late-career triumph for director Kon Ichikawa. Structured around the changing of the seasons, THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (SASAME-YUKI...

  • Princess from the Moon

    Episode 11

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1987 • Japan

    When a husband and wife discover a baby girl in a strange, golden pod next to the grave of their daughter, they decide to adopt her. It is not until years later, when she has chosen a suitor, that her mysterious origins and destiny are revealed...