Mile High Japanese American Citizens League


8_24 community forum

Mile High JACL Community Forum
“How Come all the Japanese American Students are at Manual High School?”

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Sakura Square Mezzanine Room
1255 19th Street | Denver | 80202
Entrance is on Larimer Street between 19th and 20th

Mile High Movie Night
Double Feature: Sayonara and Uzumasa Limelight
Light refreshments will be available
Free admission (suggested donations)

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

4 pm – 9 pm
Asian Pacific Development Center, Event Room
1537 Alton St | Aurora | 80010

“Sayonara” is a 1957 Hollywood movie about cross-cultural love during a time when such a romance could have tragic consequences. Marlon Brando stars as an Air Force fighter ace stationed in Kobe, Japan after the Korean war. His buddy, played by Red Buttons, falls in love with and plans to marry a Japanese woman played by Miyoshi Umeki, a famous Japanese star who was in some American films (most notably “Flower Drum Song” and, in the late ’60s, an American TV show, “Courtship of Eddie’s Father”). But Buttons’ superiors deny permission to marry a Japanese woman. Brando’s Major also frowns on inter-racial romances… until he falls in love with a woman from a theatrical revue, played by Miiko Taka. It’s a sweet love story, but there is one “racist” Hollywood casting: Latino star Ricardo Montalban was cast as Nakamura, a theatre star. Still, the film captures the Japan of its era in evocative Technicolor, and highlights what was becoming commonplace: US military men coming back from Asia with foreign wives.

“Uzumasa Limelight” is a 2014 film, both touching and very funny in spots. The story is about how the Japanese movie industry is changing and samurai films aren’t as popular as they used to be. One actor, who has starred in hundreds of movies over the decades as a low-level soldier and has “died” 10,000 times in his career (during big fight scenes, he is killed but then goes off screen and comes back to fight and die again and again). He even created a trademark crawfish-like way of dying. “Uzumasa Limelight” stars the actual actor who played the samurai who has died 10,000 times over his career, so it’s sort of a biographical movie about him. He didn’t want to star in the film — he was used to being the uncredited soldier. But the director, Ken Ochiai, convinced him to do the film. In the film, he trains a young woman in swordfighting who becomes a popular star of a samurai TV series. The movie is in Japanese, with English subtitles. It was the opening night movie of the Colorado Dragon Film Festival last year, and was a hit with audiences.