The Austrian biopic Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden looks into the short, tragic life of the Viennese artist whose erotic, often grotesque style of portraiture created both notoriety and controversy before his death at the age of 28 in the Spanish flu epidemic. On from January 28 at Bunkamura’s Le Cinema (2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku; www.bunkamura.co.jp) and Human Trust Cinema Yurakucho (2-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku; www.ht-cinema.com).
Omar Sy, who became a global star with the success of The Intouchables, is the title character of Chocolat, a clown who became one of the first black performers in France in the 1880s and broke down barriers by working with a white partner. Opening January 21 at Cine Switch in Ginza (4-4-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku; www.cineswitch.com).
French director Philippe Garrel delivers a nuanced romantic drama with In the Shadow of Women, and it is even in black and white. It peers into the lives of two broke documentary filmmakers who take odd jobs to get by, while struggling with the stress placed on their relationship. Starting January 21 at Image Forum Theatre (2-10-2 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku; www.imageforum.co.jp).
Spanish filmmaker José Luis Guerín is also an educator, and his latest offering, Academy of Muses, is based on a class he created on the role of women in the history of art. The film itself blurs the line between documentary and fiction as he explores the topic. Starting January 7 at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (1-13-3 Meguro-ku; topmuseum.jp).