CASCADIA to screen “Forever A Woman” as part of Pickford Film Center’s “Cinema East” series of films by renowned Japanese woman director Tanaka Kinuyo

In observance of International Women’s Day, CASCADIA will host screening of the film Forever A Woman” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay St., Bellingham). The film is part of Pickford’s Women’s History Month/Cinema East series of films by renowned Japanese woman director Tanaka Kinuyo. The month-long series is also co-presented by CASCADIA that begins this Wednesday, March 1.

“Kinuyo is one of the greatest actresses in Japanese, or any, cinema,” says Jeff Purdue, series curator, and former CASCADIA Advisory Board member. “Her career stretched from the late 1920s to the mid-1970s.  In 1953, she overcame tremendous odds to become only the second woman to direct feature films in Japan. Since the sole feature film of the first woman director, Sakane Tazuko, does not survive, Tanaka’s films are the earliest Japanese films that have to be directed by a woman. 

“More than just her status as a pioneer,
Tanaka’s work as a director is breathtaking, both in terms of her command of film form (including striking visuals) and in the stories she tells, and how she tells them.  In short, this is the work of a major director, and as a film lover, it’s very gratifying to see this work be made available to a larger audience,” Purdue explains.

Tanaka’s films as a director have been completely unavailable for decades. according to Purdue. None of her films are available on DVD or BluRay, nor are they available in any streaming format.  Viewing them in a theatre is the only way to currently see these films. “Tanaka’s films had never been screened in the US until last year,” says Purdue. ” I can easily say that I’ve never been more excited to bring a series of films before a local audience “

CASCADIA is equally excited to sponsor the showing of “Forever A Woman” on Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. at the Pickford. Tanaka’s third film as a director tells the story of Fumiko Nakajo, an ill-fated female tanka poet whose life was brought to a premature end by breast cancer. It is one of Tanaka’s strongest films, according to Purdue, and features a fully-committed performance from star Yumeji Tsukioka. See the trailer here.

Tickets are on sale for this film and the others in the series on the Pickford Film Center’s website here.

This screening is made possible by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.