Exactly one year ago today, I posted a roundup on the BAMcinématek series The Urge for Survival: Kaneto Shindo and one of the pieces I pointed to was Michael Atkinson's for Moving Image Source: "Shindo, never an exportable star nor an obedient studio soldier, has been a living model of prolificity, penning over 150 films in that period (often enough, a year would see seven films made from Shindo scripts, directed by the likes of Yasuzo Masumura and Kon Ichikawa), and directing 45, a no-nonsense cinema-is-life curriculum that hardly flagged as he went from conscientious postwar Ozu-ite to riled New Waver to contemplative Oliveira-like mandarin. The depth of his footprint on Japanese cinema is difficult to overestimate. If non-Nipponophile filmgoers have known Shindo in the US, it's by way of Onibaba (1964), the bruising, hypnotic dog-eat-dog brother film to Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes (released the same year), and one of the most dire visions to emerge from the battery of hellspawn known as the Japanese New Wave."
In the Japan Times, Maaya Konagai notes that, as the "the oldest working director in Japan" turns 100 today, "48 Shindo films are being screened in 11 venues around his hometown of Hiroshima this month and next under the banner 'Shindo Kaneto Hyakunen no Kiseki' ('100 Years of Kaneto Shindo's Path')." And that's the trailer for the event at the top there.
In February, Kenji Hall noted in the Los Angeles Times that Shindo has said that Postcard (2010) would be the last film he'd direct. Postcard tells a "story from his own past that he kept from almost everyone: an episode from when he was in the imperial navy during World War II. It had weighed on his mind for decades. By the time Shindo decided to tell his story, he was 98 years old. 'I felt my own death approaching, but there were things I still had to say,' he says…. In October, Postcard won the special jury prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival. It became Japan's entrant for the foreign-language Academy Award this year, and screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Longtime fan Benicio Del Toro touted screenings of Shindo's film in New York and at Cinefamily in Los Angeles."
Next month, Del Toro "will come to Japan to join the celebrations," reports Maaya Konagai. "Del Toro will host a talk show at NTT Cred Hall with Shindo's son Jiro, along with contemporary artist Noritoshi Hirakawa, who helped arrange for Del Toro to interview Kaneto Shindo for Japanese TV last year."