The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns for 2018 with another diverse selection of recent and not so recent Japanese cinema. This year’s theme is secrets and lies and each of the films on offer attempts to shine a light on the various delusions at the heart of everyday life.
Kazuya Shiraishi (Dawn of the Felines) adapts the popular novel by Mahokaru Numata in which a young woman (Yu Aoi) lives with an older man (Sadao Abe) but continues to pine for an old boyfriend who has apparently been missing for the last five years…
When a schoolgirl falls off a roof foul play is suspected. Who better to investigate than her fellow members of the literature club at an elite academy catering to the daughters of the rich and famous?
A young reporter (Satoshi Tsumabuki) investigates the brutal murder of a model family whilst trying to support his younger sister (Hikari Mitsushima) who is currently in prison for child neglect while his nephew remains in critical condition in hospital. Interviewing friends and acquaintances of the deceased, disturbing truths emerge concerning the systemic evils of social inequality. Review.
Based on a best selling romantic novel which captured the hearts of readers across Japan, Initiation Love sets out to expose the dark and disturbing underbelly of real life romance by completely reversing everything you’ve just seen in a gigantic twist five minutes before the film ends…
A young woman goes missing and unwittingly becomes the face of a social movement in Daigo Matsui’s anarchic examination of a misogynistic society.
A brother and sister are orphaned after a natural disaster and taken in by relatives but struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of such great loss.
Miwa Nishikawa adapts her own novel in which a self-centred novelist is forced to face his own delusions when his wife is killed in a freak bus accident. Review.
When the statute of limitations passes on a series of unsolved murders, a mysterious man (Tatsuya Fujiwara) suddenly comes forward and confesses while the detective (Hideaki Ito) who is still haunted by his inability to catch the killer has his doubts in Yu Irie’s adaptation of Jung Byoung-Gil’s Korean crime thriller Confession of Murder.
Toma Ikuta stars as maverick cop Reiji in Takashi Miike’s madcap manga adaptation. Reiji has been kicked off the force for trying to arrest a councillor who was molesting a teenage girl but gets secretly rehired to go undercover in Japan’s best known yakuza conglomerate.
Yuzo Kawashima would have turned 100 in 2018. A comic tale of life on the Osakan margins, Room For Let is a perfect example of the director’s well known talent for satire and stars popular comedian Frankie Sakai as an eccentric writer/translator-cum-konnyaku-maker whose life is turned upside down when a pretty young potter moves into the building.
Embittered 55 year old OL Setsuko gets a new lease on life when introduced to an unusual English conversation teacher, John, who gives her a blonde wig and rechristens her Lucy. “Lucy” falls head over heels for the American stranger and decides to follow him all the way to the states… Review.
A remake of Korean hit Miss Granny, Sing My Life stars Mitsuko Baisho as an evil granny who gets a second chance to experience the happiness of which she was cruelly robbed in her youth when she’s magically transformed into her 20 year old self (Mikako Tabe) and ends up becoming the lead singer in her grandson’s rock band!
A small boy recruits the mysterious samurai “No Name” as a bodyguard after his dog is injured in an ambush in the landmark animation from 2007.
A no good lowlife makes his way by stealing from elderly women but experiences a change of heart when he’s taken in by a kindly old lady deep in the mountains.
- Belfast (4 February – 25 March)
- Birmingham (10 March – 27 March)
- Bristol (3 February – 13 February)
- Chester (11 March – 25 March)
- Colchester (3 February – 25 March)
- Derby (9 February – 11 February)
- Dundee (24 February – 3 March)
- Edinburgh (2 March – 9 March)
- Exeter (20 February – 27 March)
- Inverness (5 March – 28 March)
- Kendal (16 February – 28 March)
- Leicester (6 February – 13 March)
- Lewes (21 February – 14 March)
- Manchester (12 February – 27 February)
- Nottingham (16 March – 23 March)
- Sheffield (6 February – 28 March)
- Stirling (5 February – 26 March)