10 February – 28 March 2012 : 7 venues in 7 cities in the UK
Following last year‟s successful Back To the Future: Japanese Cinema since the mid-90s season, this year‟s Japan Foundation touring film programme looks at narrative creativity in Japanese cinema, showcasing directors both young and emerging, such as Miwa Nishikawa and Takatsugu Naito, and the more established, such as Masayuki Suo (the director best-known for Shall We Dance).
In recent years, Japanese cinema has been dominated by generic spin offs of media such as TV shows and manga, to generate an audience based on a pre-existing market. The nine films that have been chosen for this season however clearly demonstrate in fact the wealth of original writing and creativity evident in recent Japanese cinema.
Having successfully forged and retained their own identities within what is one of the largest film markets in the world, these directors reject the “safe” formulaic film model and instead choose to pursue their own methods of expressing themselves through film. Audiences will be able to hear the individual directors‟ voices, whilst also being exposed to characteristics and techniques of some of the best examples of auteur directors from Japan.
The film season is produced and organised by The Japan Foundation, and supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
The Dark Harbour (Futoko) When recording a video message for a matchmaking party, solitary fisherman Manzo makes an unusual discovery. Dir: Takatsugu Naito, 2009, 101 mins, English subtitles
A young medical graduate opts for a job in a remote mountain village, where everything is not as it seems.
Dir: Miwa Nishikawa, 2009, 127 mins, English subtitles
I Just Didn’t Do It (Soredemo Boku Wa Yattenai) The story of a young man accused of groping a woman on a crowded Tokyo train, and his battle with the Japanese legal system. Dir: Masayuki Suo, 2007, 143 mins, English subtitles
About Her Brother (Ototo) Depiction of a complex relationship between a black sheep of a brother and his long-suffering sister. Dir: Yoji Yamada, 2010, 126 mins, English subtitles
A Stranger of Mine (Unmei Janai Hito) In one long Friday evening, Takeshi Miyata, a straight-arrow businessman, will encounter a number of people who have intertwining fates. Dir: Kenji Uchida, 2005, 98 mins, English subtitles
Sleep (Nemuri Yusurika) The desperate story of a family who have sacrificed everything to bring to account the rapist who changed all their lives. Dir: Katsumi Sakaguchi, 2011, 96 mins, English subtitles
All Around Us (Gururi No Koto) The journey of a married couple after a miscarriage, and how they each begin to come to terms with its reality. Dir: Ryosuke Hashiguchi, 2008, 140 mins, English subtitles
Bad Company (Mabudachi) Teenager Sadamoto is torn between a desire to please his father and a need to rebel against him, as his middle school teacher Dir: Tomoyuki Furumaya, 2001, 98 mins, English subtitles
Heart, Beating In The Dark (Yamiutsu Shinzo) A multi-layered work, this film is half-sequel half-remake, and is the story of a couple on the run after killing their baby. Dir: Shunichi Nagasaki, 2005, 104 mins, English subtitles
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