Under The Radar: Japan film screening, Observing Dogs, Philly Chili Bowl, Nerd Nite

Under The Radar for the week of March 4th, 2013

Unknown Japan film screening
PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St.
March 13 and March 20
7:30 p.m.
Eric Bresler, curator of art space PhilaMOCA, has partnered up with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and One Book One Philadelphia to screen a series of rare Japanese films throughout February and March in a program called Unknown Japan.

Unknown Japan is a biannual programs that screens rare Japanese films that have never received a VHS/DVD/VOD release outside of their country of origin. The films are shown in various venues around Philadelphia but PhilaMOCA will be hosting the final three films for this season.

You may have never heard of these movies anyway, so if you’re interested in Japanese culture or rare films, then be sure to check this out.

The program is in its third year and will be leading up to the first Cinedelphia Film Festival, a 23 day celebration of films that show why Philadelphia is such a cultural epicenter. More than 30 films will be playing in various venues around the city including PhilaMOCA, Viva Video! and International House.

The festival kicks off on April 4, but before then, Bresler and his crew will be enlightening Philadelphians with films from other cultures – most specifically Japan.

Japan cinema has a history spanning more than 100 years – spawning directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu.

On March 6, PhilaMOCA will be showing “Hachi-Ko,” a film that follows the life of Hachiko, an Akita born dog, from his birth up until his death and imagined spiritual reunion with his master. The film became Japan’s top grossing for 1987 and was even remade in 2009, starring Richard Gere. The story has been a stuff of legend in Japan, even to the point where a bronze statue of the Akita dog has been created outside the Tokyo Shibuya Station.

The last two films of the Unknown Japan program include:

Wednesday, March 13:
“Sweet Home” (1989) – Kiyoshi Kurasawa oddball horror film follows a television crew as it uncovers the secrets of an abandoned mansion once belonging to a prominent Japanese artist. The movie is a classic of 1980s Japanese horror that has also been made into a Nintendo video game.

Wednesday, March 20:
“University of Laughs” (2004) – This simple tale by Mamoru Hoshi stars Koji Yakusho as a loyal and faithful government worker in 1940 Japan whose job is to sift through creative works and ready them for wartime Japanese audiences.
Observing Dogs
March 14
Wagner Free Institute, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave.
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
They say a dog is a man’s best friend, well now you can find out what they really think about you. Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, bestselling author of “Inside of a Dog” and Principle Investigator at the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, will discuss the latest discoveries in the field and her lab’s approach to studying dogs.

Fourth Annual Philly Chili Bowl
March 9
RUBA Club Studios, 414 Green St.
5:30 p.m.
Twenty-five competitors will be putting their chili making skills to the test in front of some of Philly’s most notable chefs and critics. If sampling chili is your thing, then you won’t want to miss this.

Nerd Nite
March 6
Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave.
Doors at 6:30 p.m., Show at 7:30 p.m.

The first Wednesday of each month, Nerd Nite presents nerdy talks and salacious entertainment. Seating is first come first serve,w so get there early.

-Naveed Ahsan

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