Dramatic Science! Yamagata Science Theater
  • Science as an Art: The Amusing World of Jean Painlevé
  • Palpable Stirrings of Science: A Selection of “Culture Films” from the German UFA
  • Cosmologist of Life: 100 Years of Higuchi Genichiro
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 1: Watch! Learn! Understand!
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 2: The Beauty of Nature
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 3: Recording Creatures
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 4: Space Mission!
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 5: Science in Our Daily Lives
  • F program   Japanese Masterpiece Selection 3: Recording Creatures

    Four works selected from the even-now popular field of ecological observation that has produced films such as Winged Migration and March of the Penguins. Making use of a camera and a persevering staff, animals and insects are shown in ways heretofore unseen.

    - Life of a Cicada

    (“Semi no issho”)

    JAPAN / 1936 / Silent / B&W / 16mm / 10 min
    Science Film Collection #7

    Director: Ota Nikichi
    Production Company: 16mm Eiga Kyoiku Fukyukai
    Source: National Film Center

    After being confined underground for many years, the cicada becomes an adult, and in only one week it leaves behind a child and reaches death. Ota Nikichi (1893–1954), a groundbreaker in Japanese science films, was involved in many different productions, making educational science films when he was an elementary-school teacher and in due course founding the “narrow-gauge film” department at the Jujiya musical-instrument store, handling numerous works.

    - One Day at the Tidelands

    (“Aruhi no higata”)

    JAPAN / 1940 / Japanese / B&W / 35mm / 17 min

    Director: Shimomura Kenji
    Photography: Sano Tokio
    Producer: Watanabe Shunpei
    Production Company: Riken Kagaku Eiga
    Source: Yajima Hitoshi

    Captured with a telephoto lens, all the variety of living things which frequent the tidelands are sketched in an amusing narrative style, integrating the story of the food chain. Shimomura Kenji (1903–1967) switched to filmmaking from wild-bird photography and was involved in many films about birds all the way through Snow Grouse (1967), made at the end of his life.

    - The Cabbage Butterfly

    (“Monshirocho: Kodo no jikken teki kansatsu”)

    JAPAN / 1968 / Japanese / Color / 16mm / 27 min

    Director: Haneda Sumiko
    Script: Haneda Sumiko, Maki Chu
    Photography: Seki Haruo, Negishi Sakae, Okada Hisashi
    Music: Miki Minoru
    Commentary: Kurosawa Ryo
    Producer: Maki Chu
    Production Company: Iwanami Productions
    Source: Iwanami Audio-visual Media

    The mysteries of the behavior of the cabbage butterfly are revealed through multiple experiments. Haneda, dissatisfied with conventional scientific movies that tended simply to depict behavior, developed this project himself. Including the breeding of the butterflies, it ended up taking two years to film. Observe the ambitious production approach of the young Iwanami staff.

    - The Wisdom of the Orangutan

    (“Oranutan no chie”)

    JAPAN / 1960 / Japanese / B&W / Video (Original: 35mm) / 39 min

    Directors: Fujiwara Tomoko, Yamaguchi Junko
    Photography: Shirai Shigeru, Sakazaki Takehiko
    Music: Nakamura Shinya
    Commentary: Mochizuki Mamoru (Chiba University)
    Production Company, Source: Nippon Eiga Shinsha

    - The sight of “Gypsy,” a female orangutan living in Tokyo’s Tama Zoological Park, attempting various intelligence tests is given a humorous commentary by psychologist Mochizuki. Produced as a fun family movie to be screened on the same bill with Toho dramas.