UCCA Beijing

New Asian Scenery Volume 12: Japanese Films Yokohama Mary and Zen and Bones

2018.3.17 - 2018.3.18

Cinema Arts
Location:  Auditorium

Since June 2017, UCCA has collaborated with Lantern Cine-Club and Blackfin to present the “New Asian Scenery” screening series, presenting one outstanding Asian film every month. Past film screenings include The City of Mirrors: A Fictional Biography by Vietnamese director Truong Minh Quy, Turah by Indonesian director Wicaksono, Snakeskin by Singaporean director Daniel Hui, Time to Read Poems by Lee Soojung, The Return by Green Zeng, Hills and Mountains by Zhao Xu, and The Mountain and Dxgal by Taiwanese director Su Hung-en. In March of 2018, UCCA will screen Yokohama Mary and Zen and Bones by Japanese director Nakamura Takayuki.


40 RMB/Adult

30 RMB/UCCA member


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3.17 (Sat) 19:30-21:30 Yokohama Mary

3.18 (Sun) 19:00-22:00 Zen and Bones

About the films

Yokohama Mary

Director: Nakamura Takayuki

Category: Documentary

Country: Japanese

Runtime: 92 min

An old lady, whose make-up is as white as a Kabuki actor’s, is standing in the streets of Yokohama. She has concealed her real name and age, and for 50 years after the war, has lived her life as a prostitute. She was known as the most beautiful prostitute of her time, and her elegant presence became part of the city's scenery. People called her "Yokohama Mary." Then in the winter of 1995, Mary suddenly disappeared. Rumors started to spread, and one day she became the heroine of an urban legend.

The director of this documentary is 30 year-old director and Yokohama native Nakamura Takahiro. After Mary’s disappearance, he began interviewing various Yokohama inhabitants about her, as if following her shadow. Through their impressions of Mary, he was able to observe the subtleties of urban life, as well as the citizens’ shared sense of empathy. After five years of filming, he created a documentary that is an homage to his hometown.

Zen and Bones

Director: Nakamura Takayuki

Category: Documentary Film

Country: Japanese

Runtime: 127 minutes

Henry Mittwer is a 93 year-old Zen monk living in Kyoto. Despite his age, he’s determined to make a film about an orphaned girl’s longing for her mother. The idea for the film isn’t too dissimilar from Henry’s own life. Born in Japan to an American father and Japanese mother, Henry, at 22, heads to the US to find his estranged father. While there, World War II breaks out and Henry is sent to a concentration camp. After the war, he eventually makes it back to Japan, where the idea for his film materializes. He tries to find investors but no one is interested. He grows older and older until one day he collapses. Using declassified FBI documents, animation and dramatic reenactments, this epic documentary depicts the turbulent and amazing life of Henry, which, containing the scars and memories of history, invites us to look back on our past.


Nakamura Takayuki (Director)

Born in 1975, Nakamura Takayuki is part of the last generation to work under the Japanese studio system. Drawing on his extensive work in TV documentary and corporate promotion, he made his theatrical debut film with Yokohama Mary (2005). It was released in over 50 cinemas in Japan and grossed over a million dollars. Zen and Bones will be his second feature documentary.


New Asian Scenery

New Asian Scenery is co-founded by Lantern Cine-Club and Blackfin. New Asian Scenery has hosted monthly screenings in Beijing since late 2016, showing films and hosting talks by Vietnamese director Minggui Zhang, Japanese director Kiyoshi Sato, Malaysian director Kek Haut Lau, Japanese director Tetsuya Mariko, Indonesian director Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo, Singaporean director Daniel Hui, Korean director Lee Soojung, Singaporean director Green Zeng, Japanese Director Nakamura Takayuki, Chinese director Zhao Xu, and Taiwanese director Su Hung-en. New Asian Scenery aims to be a platform where filmmakers and cinephiles can enjoy screenings together, engage in conversation, and contribute to the Asian film industry’s growth.

Lantern Cine-Club

Founded in 2015, Lantern Cine-Club has screened more than a hundred independent films and invited several directors, along with their film teams, to share insight into their creative processes. After being brought “on scene” for firsthand experience of the production process, audiences develop a deeper understanding of the context around each film.


Blackfin Production is a production company focusing on investment, production, and distribution of art films and independent documentaries. Based in Beijing, it has branch offices in Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Paris, which are responsible for production, project development, international sales and acquisition, respectively. For the past three years since its founding, Blackfin has discovered several young promising directors, whose films have gone on to be selected for numerous international film festivals, including Bi Gan, (Best Emerging Director and Special Mention for First Feature at the Festival del film Locarno 2015 and Best New Director at the Golden Horse Awards 2015 for his 2015 film Kaili Blues), Qiu Jiongjiong (official selection at the Sign of Life of Festival del Film Locarno for his 2015 film, Mr. Zhang Believes), Zhai Yixiang (Best Feature Film at K26 of Filmfest Hamburg 2015, Best Art Contribution at FIRST for his 2015 film, This Worldly Life), Wang Xuebo (New Currents Award at the 21st Busan International Film Festival for his 2016 film, Knife in the Clear Water), Geng Jun (Special Jury Award in Cinematic Vision at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival for his 2016 film, Free and Easy), and Zhai Yixiang (Grand Prize million TWD award at Taipei Golden Horse Film Project Promotion for his new film, Mosaic Portrait). With an international outlook, Blackfin Production aims to bring vitality the film industry both in and beyond China.

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