‘Alone Across the Pacific’ at WLA UMC

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“Alone Across the Pacific” (1963, 97 minutes), directed by Kon Ichikawa, will be screened on Friday, Aug. 31, at 7:30 p.m. at West Los Angeles United Methodist Church, 1913 Purdue Ave., Los Angeles.

Ichikawa (“An Actor’s Revenge,” “The Burmese Harp,” “Fires on the Plain,” “The Makioka Sisters,” “Tokyo Olympiad”) tells the extraordinary real-life story of one man’s obsessive quest to break free from the strictures of society. Kenichi Horie became the first solo voyager to travel 6,000 miles non-stop in his 18-foot sailboat from Japan to California, spending 94 days sailing alone.

In 1962, 22-year-old Horie (played by Yujiro Ishihara) leaves Osaka in an ill-prepared plywood wave-powered sailboat named Mermaid. The young adventurer must overcome the most savage of seas without an auxiliary engine and no electronics or marine emergency radio.

He will suffer the psychological torment of loneliness and cabin fever, and his mental and physical breaking point, if he is to ever reach the fabled destination of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Known in Japanese as “Taiheiyou Hitori Botchi,” the film won a Golden Globe for best foreign film and a Palme d’Ore Award at the Cannes Film Festival for best director in 1964. Horie himself co-wrote the screenplay with Ichikawa. The cast also includes Masayuki Mori, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ruriko Asaoka, and Hajime Hana.

Parking is available in the church lot. Screenings are held on last Friday of each month. Coming Sept. 28: “Fukushima Hula Girls.” For more information, call (310) 479-1379 or visit www.wlaumc.com.

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