Camera Japan, the premiere Dutch showcase for Japanese film, returns for its 13th edition this September with another fantastic selection of recent indie and mainstream cinema. This year’s classic section will also present four films from horror maestro Nobuo Nakagawa including his celebrated adaptation of Yotsuya Kaidan.
- Being Natural – a rural man’s peaceful existence is threatened by hipster hippies from Tokyo who insist on opening a cafe in his house. Review.
- blank 13 – a young man gets to know his late father through guests at the funeral in the directorial debut from actor Takumi Saitoh.
- The Blood of Wolves – Koji Shirashi pays homage to Battles Without Honour in a tale of dodgy cops and treacherous yakuza. Review.
- Call Boy – a haunted young man becomes a gigalo in the latest from Daisuke Miura.
- Cyclops – a man recently released after serving time for the death of his wife goes after the “real” killer in this twisty neo-noir. Review.
- Dear Etranger – a divorced father has married again and has two step-daughters but is conflicted on hearing that his second wife is pregnant. Review.
- Death Row Family – the son of a yakuza boss is falsely imprisoned and then forced to commit a crime when he gets out in the black comedy debut of Yuki Kobayashi.
- Destiny, The Tale of Kamakura – An absent minded writer goes on a quest to the afterworld when his wife is taken there by mistake. Review.
- Dynamite Graffiti – biopic following porn pioner Akira Suei through ’70s and ’80s Japan. Review.
- Flower and Sword – historical comedy about a Buddhist monk obsessed with flower arranging.
- Foreboding – prequel to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish in which a factory worker worried about her husband’s strange behaviour stumbles on the alien invasion. Review.
- Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops– astonishing one take teen drama in which a group of youngsters rehearsing a production of Simon Stephens’ Morning react to having their play abruptly canceled. Review.
- Inuyashiki – superhero action in which an old man and an angry teen get a cyborg upgrade on the same day. Review.
- Kanazawa Shutter Girl – manga adaptation in which a disaffected teen tries to reconnect with the present through photography.
- Liverleaf – a bullied transfer student fights back in this strangely pitched revenge drama. Review.
- Moon and Thunder – a young woman from a disordered family background strives for a “normal” life but is forced to confront the past when a childhood friend resurfaces. Review.
- Mori, the Artist’s Habitat – portrait of eccentric artist Mori Kumagai by master of the surreal Shuichi Okita. Review.
- One Cut of the Dead – Real zombies mess up the shoot for a horror movie in Shinichiro Ueda’s hilarious comedy. Review.
- Pumpkin and Mayonnaise – a young woman working as a hostess to support her musician boyfriend is tempted by the resurfacing of an ex. Review.
- Rokuroku: The Promise of the Witch – yokai horror anthology from Yudai Yamaguchi.
- Room Laundering – a young woman who house sits in apartments where bad things happened develops the ability to see ghosts. Review.
- The Scythian Lamb – a depopulating town joins a scheme to rehome low risk ex-cons in Daihachi Yoshida’s thoughtful drama. Review.
- Tokyo Vampire Hotel – feature cutdown of Sion Sono’s epic TV series about a war between rival vampire clans. Review.
- Tremble All You Want – a shy young woman is forced to break out of her fantasy bubble when a co-worker shows an interest in her. Review.
- The Trial – John Williams relocates Kafka’s The Trial to modern day Tokyo.
- 36 Views + A Day in the Life – two short docs by Pieter-Rim de Kroon focussing on Mt. Fuji and the Yamatake family fish shop.
- Vibration: THE YELLOW MONKEY – Daishi Matsunaga (Pieta in the Toilet) follows the reunion of iconic ’80s Japanese rock band The Yellow Monkey.
- The Adventure of Tobisuke – a puppeteer suffers a head injury saving a woman’s life and can only count up to three but her mother knows of a golden fruit which can restore his memory…
- Black Cat Mansion – a doctor takes his sickly wife to a nobleman’s house where she can recover in peace only she begins having strange visions…
- The Ghost of Yotsuya – an ambitious samurai falls in love but is refused marriage on the grounds of his lowly status. He kills his bride’s father and marries her anyway only to consider killing her too when he gets a better offer…
- Jigoku – a theology student who blames himself for a deadly car crash makes his way to the gates of hell…
- Brave Storm – mecha adventure in which heroes from the future come back to the present to stop aliens taking over.
- A Letter to Momo – a girl moves to a remote island following the death of her father and makes friends with a series of yokai.
- Mary and the Witch’s Flower – a bored little girl embraces her magic destiny when she finds a flower that gives her witch’s powers for one night only. Review.
- Pom Poko – Tanuki fight back in this charming Studio Ghibli anime from the late Isao Takahata.
Camera Japan 2018 takes place across two weekends in Rotterdam (26 – 30th September) and Amsterdam (4th – 7th October). Full information on all the films as well as ticketing links can be found on the official website. You can also keep up to date with all the latest news via Camera Japan’s official Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram channel.