Japan Foundation London is back for an additional slice of seasonal fun with another series of free film screenings taking place on 4, 5, and 11th August. All the screenings are free to attend but must be booked in advance.
4th August, Soho Hotel Cinema
5.15pm : NHK WORLD-JAPAN Double Bill (Part 1)
Two NHK documentaries focussing on traditional subjects. A Tale of Love & Honour: Life in Gion takes a look at the fiercely traditional world of Kyoto’s tea house society, while Living Ninja Legend Masaaki Hatsumi explores the life of an 84-year-old ninja master.
Nobuhiko Obayashi’s famed psychedlic musical horror comedy in which a group of young women decide to take a trip to the country only to find themselves besieged by man eating pianos and creepy cats!
5th August, Courthouse Hotel Cinema
Mamoru Hosoda’s breakthrough feature follows the summer adventures of maths genius and moderator of online world Oz Kenji Koiso as he is unexpectedly invited on a trip with his crush, Natsuki, only to be expected to play the part of her fake fiancé whilst also dealing with a vast internet-based conspiracy.
Another two NHK docs: My Small Steps from Hiroshima tells the story of anti-nuclear campaigner Kaoru Ogura, while The Phone of the Wind: Whispers to Lost Families looks at the disconnected telephone which bereaved families use to call their loved ones lost in the 2011 tsunami.
A summery treat indeed – Takeshi Kitano’s whimsical gem sees a grumpy middle-aged man forced to take a lonely little boy on a roadtrip to track down his long absent mum whilst also dealing with his own complicated family legacies. Review.
11th August, Soho Hotel Cinema
2.15pm: Only Yesterday
A disillusioned young woman from Tokyo decides to take a trip to the country and finds herself meditating on her past selves in an underseen gem from the late Isao Takahata.
4.40pm: Napping Princess
Sleepy high schooler Kokone should be focussing on her university entrance exams or making the most of her last summer holiday but finds herself becoming increasingly entrenched in the strange goings on in her dreamland. Kenji Kamiyama makes his first foray into family animation with this charming coming of tale. Review.
7pm: Mitsuko Delivers
Mitsuko, a cheerful woman who likes to help people, has returned to Japan pregnant, broke, and alone after being abandoned by her American boyfriend. Going where the wind blows her, Mitsuko ends up returning to her home town and letting it all hang out while she solves everyone else’s problems in one of Yuya Ishii’s early whimsical comedies.
All the screenings are free to attend but must be booked in advance. On 11th August The Japan Foundation will also be running a brief Japanese language taster session from 3.30 – 6.30pm at Soho Hotel Cinema. You can find more information about the screening series on the Japan Foundation’s official website and eflyer and you can keep up with all the latest news via their Twitter Account and Facebook page.