Outrage Coda to close Venice 2017

outragebyond-決a02The Venice Film Festival has unveiled the full lineup for 2017. Sadly, it is a poor showing for East Asian cinema with only four films in total included in this year’s programme (bar the possibility of a few late additions announced as the festival gets closer) and only Japan and China represented.

outrage coda stillThe biggest hitter in terms of the festival as a whole is Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Coda. The third in Kitano’s Outrage saga, Coda follows Otomo (played by Kitano himself) as he returns to Japan following gang trouble in South Korea. Outrage Coda will screen as the closing night gala.


third murder horizontal posterThe only other Japanese film included in the programme this year is the latest from festival favourite Hirokazu Koreeda – The Third Murder. A departure from Koreeda’s usual focus on drama, The Third Murder is a crime thriller in which Masaharu Fukuyama (Like Father, Like Son) plays top lawyer Shigemori working on the defence of a murder/robbery suspect (Koji Yakusho) who previously served time for murder 30 years before. The defendant admits his crime and wants to plead guilty even if he will almost certainly get the death penalty but the more Shigemori looks into the case the more doubts he accrues.


1260733_Human-FlowMoving on to China, Ai Weiwei’s documentary Human Flow charts the global scale of the ongoing refugee crisis. Playing in competition.


©22 HOURS FILMSFinally Vivian Qu’s Angels Wear White is the story of two teenage girls assaulted in a hotel room by a middle aged man, and the receptionist who says nothing in fear of losing her job. Sadly, Vivian Qu is also the only female director with a film playing in competition.


The Venice Film Festival runs from 30th August to 9th September.

In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に, Sunao Katabuchi, 2016)

in this corner of the world J posterDepictions of wartime and the privation of the immediate post-war period in Japanese cinema run the gamut from kind hearted people helping each other through straitened times, to tales of amorality and despair as black-marketeers and unscrupulous crooks take advantage of the vulnerable and the desperate. In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に, Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni), adapted from the manga by Hiroshima native Fumiyo Kouno, is very much of the former variety as its dreamy, fantasy-prone heroine is dragged into a very real nightmare with the frontier drawing ever closer and the threat of death from the skies ever more present but manages to preserve something of herself even in such difficult times.

We first meet Suzu (Non) in December 1933 when, due to her brother’s indisposition, she’s sent to deliver the seaweed from the family business to the city. Observing pre-war Hiroshima with the painful tinge of memory, Suzu, her head in the clouds as always, gets herself completely lost and is eventually “rescued” by a strange man who puts her in a basket with another boy he’s “found”. Life goes on for Suzu, the tides of militarism rising in the rest of the country but seemingly not in this tiny rural village where she dreams away her days sketching fantasy stories to entertain her younger sister.

Despite a putative romance with a melancholy local boy, Tetsu (Daisuke Ono), Suzu is soon married off and travels to the harbour town of Kure to be with her new husband, Shusaku (the boy from the basket who carried a torch all those years, tracked her down and sought her hand in marriage on the basis of a single encounter). Always a dreamy girl and still only in her late teens, Suzu struggles with the business of being a wife and, though Shusaku’s family are nice people and welcoming to their new daughter-in-law, she constantly provokes the wrath of her widowed sister-in-law Keiko (Minori Omi) while striking up a friendship with her daughter Harumi (Natsuki Inaba).

The atmosphere in the cities may have been tense, but here in a traditional rural backwater, politics rarely rears its ugly head. Suzu and her family are just ordinary people living ordinary lives, yet they are literally on the fringes of the battlefield, gazing in wonder at the impressive array of giant battleships in the harbour including, at one point, the Yamato which becomes a kind of symbol of the nation’s hubris in its claims of invincibility. Shusaku, like his father, works as a clerk at the local naval offices which means he’s present (and as safe as anyone else), but this is otherwise a land of women alone, waiting for brothers, husbands and sons to come home or learning to accept that they never will.

Suzu’s troubles are normal ones for a woman of her age and time in learning to adjust to a new life she has not exactly chosen and which has meant cutting herself off almost entirely from everything she’s known. The severed connection with troubled childhood sweetheart Tetsu lingers but Suzu learns to make Kure her home, developing a deep love both for her husband (to whom she was fated, in an odd way, by their fairytale meeting) and for his family. A mildly conservative message is advanced as Suzu learns to become “happy” even in the midst of such anxiety while her sister-in-law Keiko’s attempt to forge her own future by becoming a ‘20s city flapper and marrying a mild mannered man for love has brought her nothing but heartbreak. Keiko pays dearly for her acts of individualism, suffering (the film seems to say) unnecessarily through allowing her sorrow to make her bitter, though hers is undoubtedly the most tragic of fates only offered respite by the growing community and interconnectedness of the little house in Kure.

Time moves on a pace as Suzu climbs ever closer to the climactic event she has no idea is coming, but has been on the viewer’s mind all along. The bombings intensify, the losses mount, and the future recedes but sooner or later it has to become not about what has gone or what could have been but what there is and what there will be. Suzu’s dream world colours her vision and ours as explosions in the sky become beautiful splashes of paint and raining fire bombs fireflies blinking out in the night sky. The more unbearable everything becomes the more her picture-book illustrations take over until one particular event becomes so painful, so difficult visualise that it is only possible to describe in abstract, black and white line drawings. The bomb is almost a peripheral event to Suzu, considering leaving her new home for the old one. A tremor, a flash, and a feeling of unidentifiable dread. Katabuchi’s aim not to show the direct horror of war (though there is plenty of that), but its effect on the lives of ordinary people just trying to survive in difficult circumstances not of their making. Filled with a sense of essential goodness, In This Corner of the World is a tribute to those who endured the unendurable and remained kind, determined to build a better world in which such horrors belong only to the distant past.


UK trailer

Jang Hoon’s A Taxi Driver to Close Fantasia 2017

Taxi Driver stillNow in its 21st year, Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival is back with some of the best genre movies from across the world. Like every other year, the festival has a large and varied selection of East Asian cinema on offer beginning with opening night movies The Villainess and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and continuing right until the closing gala, Jang-hoon’s A Taxi Driver. The full complement of East Asian feature films runs as follows:

China

extraordinary mission.jpg

  • Extraordinary Mission – undercover cop action drama from Infernal Affairs’ Alan Mak and Anthony Pun
  • The Final Mastermartial arts drama from Xu Haofeng
  • Free and Easy – winner of the Special Jury Award for Cinematic Vision at this year’s Sundance, Geng Jun’s Free and Easy is an absurd crime caper and exposé of small town life.
  • God of War – historical action from Gordon Chan
  • Have a Nice Day – animated crime drama from Liu Jian
  • Wu Kong – Eddie Peng stars as the titular Monkey King in Derek Kwok’s take on the classic tale.

Hong Kong

vampire cleanup department still

  • Bastard Swordsman – classic Shaw Brothers action from 1983 directed by Tony Liu Chun-Ku (screening on 35mm Shaw Scope)
  • Made in Hong Kong – Fruit Chan’s tragic tale of alienated youth in handover over Hong Kong screens in the brand new 4K restoration premiered at the Udine Far East Film Festival.
  • Shock Wave – Andy Lau plays a valiant bomb disposal officer in Herman Yau’s impressively staged action drama. Review.
  • Vampire Cleanup Department – a vampire hunter falls in love with a vampire in this retro comedy from Yan Pak-Wing and Chiu Sin-Hang.

Japan

mole song still

  • Almost Coming, Almost Dying – New Year’s Eve goes very wrong for the protagonist of Toshimasa Kobayashi’s surreal comedy.
  • Death Note: Light up the NEW World – the Death Note saga continues in Shinsuke Sato’s big budget sequel starring Masahiro Higashide, Sosuke Ikematsu, and Masaki Suda. Review.
  • Genocidal Organ – sci-fi techno thriller and third in the series of anime adaptations of novels by Project Itoh.
  • Gintama – Yuichi Fukuda adapts the much loved manga for the big screen with Shun Oguri in the lead role.
  • The H-Man – classic Toho special effects thriller directed by Ishiro Honda in which a radiation enhanced threat reemerges to stalk the rain drenched streets of Tokyo. Review.
  • Innocent Curse – Takashi Shimizu’s latest slice of J-horror complete with creepy ghost kids and a shady avenger.
  • Japanese Girls Never Die – the disappearance of a young woman sparks a mini revolution in Daigo Matsui’s exuberant drama.
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable – Takashi Miike picks up Hirohiko Araki’s classic manga about a long running family feud in which heroes and villains duke it out by proxy with a power known as Stand.
  • Junk Head – witty steampunk themed stop motion from Takahide Hori.
  • Kodoku Meatball Machine – another slice of splatter horror from Yoshihiro Nishimura
  • Love and Other Cults – youth drifts in search of safe resting place in Eiji Uchida’s latest irreverent drama. Review.
  • The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio – Reiji’s got himself into another mess in this sequel to the original Mole Song directed by Takashi Miike and scripted by Kankuro Kudo.
  • Mumon: Land of Stealth – an ace ninja has to attend to the encroaching threat of Oda Nobunaga as well as being recently married in Yoshihiro Nakamura’s jidaigeki.
  • Museum – Shun Oguri stars as a maverick cop in Keishi Otomo’s noirish adaptation of the Ryosuke Tomoe manga.
  • Napping Princess – Kenji Kamiyama returns with a strange story of a young girl dreaming her life (and perhaps that of many others) away.
  • Night is Short, Walk on Girl – Masaaki Yuasa adapts another of Tomihiko Morimi’s novels in this surreal, animated romantic comedy.
  • Rage – Lee Sang-il adapts another Shuichi Yoshida novel as a Tokyo murder provokes three stories of suspicion and mistrust.
  • Shin Godzilla – Godzilla is back and bigger than ever in Hideaki Anno and Shin Higuchi’s reboot.
  • Shinjuku Swan II – Sion Sono returns to the red light district for another round of turf wars in the Shinjuku Swan sequel.
  • Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High – politics rules at an elite Japanese high school where teenager Teiichi is plotting his path to the prime-ministership of Japan. Review.
  • Tokyo Ghoul – Kentaro Hagiwara adapts Sui Ishida’s hidden zombie manga in which a young boy suddenly finds himself half-ghoul after a near fatal accident leaving him with a craving for human flesh.
  • The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue – Yuya Ishii’s poetic love/hate letter to Tokyo inspired by the poems of Tahi Saihate. Review.
  • What a Wonderful Family 2 – the Hirata family is back for another round of hilarious family drama in Yoji Yamada’s comedy sequel.

Korea

fabricated city still

  • Confidential Assignment – a North Korean special forces officer chases a suspect into the south and teams up with a bumbling but good hearted policeman in this action packed buddy cop comedy. Review.
  • A Day  – a father desperately tries to save his daughter in this time loop drama.
  • Fabricated City – a disillusioned young man makes a hero of himself online but gets caught up in a real world conspiracy when he’s framed for murder, prompting his online squad to step out of the shadows in his defence. Review.
  • House of the Disappeared – A woman tries to find the truth behind the disappearances of her husband and son in this creepy haunted house horror movie.
  • The Senior Class – a group of art students approach graduation in Hong Deok-pyo’s gritty adult animation.
  • The Sheriff in Town – An ex-cop decides its time to clean up his seaside town in this comedy action movie.
  • Split – a washed up former bowler takes in an autistic boy for his savant bowling skills in this warmhearted sports drama.
  • A Taxi Driver – Song Kang-ho drives a German photo journalist into the Gwanju Massacre in this hard-hitting yet lighthearted historical venture.
  • The Villainess – a sleeper assassin’s life is threatened by the reappearance of two men from her past.

Others

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  • Jailbreak – Cambodian prison break action.
  • Town in a Lake – atmospheric Philippine thriller
  • Mon Mon Mon Monsters – horrible kids torture monsters in this oddly funny nihilistic teen drama from Taiwan
  • Bad Genius – a group of brainy Thai teens attempt to fly to Australia, take an exam, and then fly back to give their friends the answers before the time difference catches up with them.
  • Broken Sword Hero – Thai martial arts drama.

Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal from July 13 – Aug. 2, 2017. You can find full details for all the films as well as ticketing information on the official website,  and you can keep up with all the latest festival news via the official Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Vimeo channels.

Japan Foundation London’s Summer Explorers 3 to Serve up a Selection of Food Themed Treats

there is no lid on the sea stillJapan Foundation London is back with another early summer series of free film screenings and this time the focus is very much on food! Summer Explorers 3 takes place over two Saturdays – 15th and 22nd July, 2017, at the Prince Charles Cinema and BAFTA respectively. Tickets are free but you can only reserve seats at one film on each day (if you apply for more than one film you’ll be placed on the waiting list for your second choice). Full details on how to apply can be found on the Japan Foundation’s website.

The lineup for Saturday 15th includes:

KAKI_B5_SHIRO_CS5Kazuhiro Soda’s documentary The Oyster Factory which examines a local oyster fishing community as it welcomes two workers from China.


Akanezora - Beyond the Crimson Sky posterCo-written by Masahiro Shinoda, Masaki Hamamoto’s Akanezora – Beyond the Crimson Sky stars Masaaki Uchino as a tofu maker who travels from Kyoto to Edo, sets up a shop and marries a local girl.


Moving on to 22nd:

silver spoonInspired by Hiromu Arakawa’s popular manga, Silver Spoon is the story of city boy Yugo who enrols in an agricultural college in Hokkaido to get away from his overbearing parents.


There is no lid on the sea poster

Adapted from the novel by Banana Yoshimoto, There is no Lid on the Sea follows a young woman who decides to return to her hometown to sell shaved ice after growing bored with her life in Tokyo.


Drop of the Grapevine posterYukiko Mishima’s Drop of the Grapevine is the second in the director’s Hokkaido series and stars Yo Oizumi and Shota Sometani as two farming brothers one of whom operates a vineyard while the other grows wheat to make bread.


The screenings on 15th July take place at The Prince Charles Cinema near Leicester Square while those on 22nd July take place at BATFA on Piccadilly. At BAFTA on 22nd there will also be a selection of food themed language activities taking place between the films. You can find full details for all the films as well as screening times and information regarding reservations via the official website, and you can all keep up with the all the latest Japan Foundation London news via the official Twitter account and Facebook page.

Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess Makes UK Premiere at FrightFest 2017

the villainess posterFresh from its Cannes premiere, Jung Byung-gil’s action thriller The Villainess will get its first UK screening at FrightFest 2017. The horror-centric film festival takes place at Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema in Central London across the August bank holiday from 24th to 28th August, 2017.

the villainess horizontal postThe Villainess stars Kim Ok-bin as a young woman trained as an assassin from an early age and living a double life as a theatre actress and hit woman. Her existence is threatened by the reappearance of two very different men from her past.


crow's blood horizontal posterOther East Asian offerings include a preview of the Japan produced TV series which originally ran on streaming service Hulu, Crow’s Blood. The series focuses on a “mysterious transfer student” whose touch proves deadly! Episodes one and two will be shown back to back.


MEATBALL MACHINE KODOKU posterThe final film on offer, Meatball Machine Kodoku is the latest from splatter director Yoshihiro Nishimura and a sequel to the original Meatball Machine. A terminally ill debt collector finds he has an unexpected advantage when the world is taken over by necroborgs!


FrightFest takes place in Central London from 24th – 28th August, 2017 at Cineworld Leicester Sq and the Prince Charles Cinema. Festival and Day Passes will be available from 12pm on 1st July with single tickets for individual films available from 9am on 29th July. You can find full details for all the films included in this year’s programme on the official website, and you can keep up with all the latest news via the official Twitter account, Facebook page, Instagram and YouTube channels.

Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) Honours Seijun Suzuki with Retrospective

suzukiThe complete programme for the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2017 has now been revealed and as reported, the festival will be paying homage to the late director Seijun Suzuki with a retrospective featuring ten of his best loved films.

detective 2 3 go to hell bastards stillDetective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards is everything its name suggests – crazy, cartoonish fun as a Joe Shishido goes undercover, hangs out in Christmas themed cabaret bars and sings a few songs all the name of justice (and a paycheck). Review.


youth of the beast stillYouth of the Beast proved a turning point in Suzuki’s career. No longer content to play along with restrictive studio codes, Suzuki embraces his talent for colourful absurdism as Shishido once again finds himself undercover in the yakuza underworld.


tokyo drifter stillTokyo Drifter found few fans among studio bosses, but takes Suzuki’s psychedelic use of colour to all new highs in the story of a gangster unable to escape from his violent past.


gate of flesh stillMaking another foray into wartime desperation, Suzuki adapts Taijiro Tamura’s Gate of Flesh with Shishido as a washed-up former soldier driving a wedge between a group of fiercely loyal prostitutes. Review.


branded to killThe one that got him fired from Nikkatsu, Branded to Kill is the absurd story of a steely hitman with an addiction to the smell of cooking rice who finds his life derailed by a beautiful woman and a butterfly. Review.


ZigeunerweisenZigeunerweisen marks Suzuki’s return to filmmaking after the long series of court battles following his dismissal from Nikkatsu. The first in the Taisho Trilogy, Zigeunerweisen stars Yoshio Harada as one third of an eerily surreal love triangle. Review.


SuzukiKageroza1The follow up to Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za stars Yusaku Matsuda in a ghostly tale of love and writer’s block. Review.


fighting elegy stillSuzuki takes a wry look at the origins of fascism in Fighting Elegy as the young men of his age engage themselves in “manly” pursuits but are obliged to sublimate their other desires into a lust for violence. Review.


princess raccoon stillJoe Odagiri and Zhang Ziyi star in the bizarre yet infectious folktale inspired musical, Princess Raccoon.


pistol Opera stillFor his final film, Pistol Opera, Suzuki revisits Branded to Kill but replaces Shishido with a female assassin longing to be number one.


The full programme for the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival which takes place between 30th June and 8th July, 2017 is now available on the official website. You can also keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Mumon: The Land of Stealth To Open Japan Cuts 2017

MumonNow in its 11th year, Japan Cuts returns to Japan Society New York from 13th to 23rd July bringing some of the best in recent Japanese cinema with it as well as a host of special guests and events. The festival will open with Yoshihiro Nakamura’s ninja drama, Mumon: The Land on Stealth on 13th July while award-winning animation In This Corner of the World will close the proceedings on July 23. The full lineup is as follows:

mumon stillYoshihiro Nakamura’s ninja epic Mumon: The Land of Stealth finds the secretive warriors uncomfortable with the new order but young mercenary Mumon has his own problems with a new wife who values her material comforts. Director Yoshihiro Nakamura will be present on the opening night to present the film.



Tokyo Idols stillKyoko Miyake’s documentary Tokyo Idols follows an aspiring star as she makes her way through one of the most controversial areas of the Japanese entertainment industry.


THE TOKYO NIGHT SKY IS ALWAYS THE DENSEST SHADE OF BLUE stillTaking inspiration from the poetry of Tahi Saihate, The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue is a complicated love/hate letter to the city from The Great Passage’s Yuya Ishii. Review.


satoshi stillKenichi Matsuyama stars in a moving biopic of the real life shoji star who gave it all for the game in Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow. Review.


hengyo stillThe latest film from Okinawan filmmaker Go TakamineHengyoro (Queer Fish Lane) follows two old men living in the village where those who failed to die continue to exist as they set off on a strange journey to escape persecution after being falsely accused of stealing something from a local store.


alley cat stillYosuke Kubozuka plays a depressed boxer who finds friendship in the Alley Cat of the title only to realise he’s being two-timed with a grungy mechanic.


tale of a whaleMegumi Sasaki’s documentary A Whale of a Tale takes an in-depth look at the controversial practice of whaling.


22 year confession stillTetsuya Fujiwara and Hideaki Ito star in Memoirs of a Murderer – an adaptation of Jung Byoung-Gil’s Confession of Murder directed by Yu Irie. A mysterious man confesses to a series of unsolved crimes shortly after the statute of limitations passes and becomes a media sensation but the cop who failed to solve the case just can’t let it go.


neko assume house stillBased on the hit smartphone game Neko Atsume House stars Atsushi Ito as a blocked writer who moves to the country hoping to stimulate himself with a change of scene only to be immediately adopted by a bunch of demanding cats!


The ondekozaTai Kato’s underseen documentary The Ondekoza plays in the classic strand in its new 4K restoration and centres on the taiko drummers of Sado Island, mixing training footage with their famously intense performances for a feverish visual feast.


LOVE AND GOODBYE AND HAWAII stillShingo Matsumura’s gentle Love, Goodbye, and Hawaii is the story of a technically broken up couple who still live together and are forced to face their lingering feelings when one of them meets someone else.


At the terrace テラスにてKenji Yamauchi adapts his own stage play skewering the middle classes as a boring dinner party gets progressively out of hand exposing each of their flaws, weaknesses, and well hidden secrets in At the Terrace. Review.


harunekoProduced by Shinji Aoyama and Takenori Sento, Sora Hokimoto’s debut feature Haruneko is a tale of life and death told through music and light in a mysterious forest.


oce upon a dream stillKei Shichiri revisits Before the Day Breaks ten years on and adds all-new sound and imaging. Based on the manga by Naoki Yamamoto, Once Upon a Dream follows a girl who sleeps too much but never feels as if she has slept enough.


daguerrotype stillThe first film made outside of Japan for veteran filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Daguerrotype stars Tahar Rahim in a classic European gothic ghost story perfectly melding this classic genre with Kurosawa’s uniquely creepy visuals.


RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE stillKonrad Aderer’s documentary Resistance at Tulle Lake tells the story of 12000 Japanese Americans labelled “disloyal” and incarcerated at the Tule Lake Segregation Center for refusing to obey the government’s internment order.


extremeists Opera stillTheatre director Junko Emoto makes her film debut with The Extremists’ Opera adapted from her own autobiographical novel centring on an all female performance troupe.


over the fence still 1The third in a series of films adapted from the works of Hakodate native novelist Yasushi Sato, Nobuhiro Yamashita’s Over the Fence stars Joe Odagiri as a recently divorced man returning to his home town to start over but failing until he meets eccentric bar girl/zookeeper Satoshi played Yu Aoi. Joe Odagiri is a special guest at this year’s festival and will be attending in person to introduce the film as well as collect this year’s CUT ABOVE award.


FOUJITAJoe Odagiri stars as the artist Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita who became a part of the ’20s Paris art scene before returning to militarist Japan in 1933 and providing artwork for the propaganda movement. Joe Odagiri will also attend in person for an introduction and Q&A.


teiichi stillElite public school boy Teiichi dreams of becoming Prime Minister in Akira Nagai’s manga adaptation, Teiichi Battle of Supreme High but finds his (lack of) ideology questioned by a well meaning working class transfer student. Review.


shippu rondo horizontalAn adaptation of Keigo Higashino’s 2013 novel, Shippu Rondo sees Hiroshi Abe play a research scientist hot on the trail of a stolen biological weapon in a slapstick filled comedy thriller.


senjoe eThe Japan Cuts 2017 Shorts Showcase features four films by veteran and brand new filmmakers including:

  • Birds – Directed by Koji Fukada this 8 minute short features an awkward encounter between a wife, her husband, and his mistress.
  • We Are Shooting – Raita Minorita’s 26 minute short is a behind the scenes tale of the trials and tribulations of movie making.
  • White T-shirt and Feeble Things – directed by Yun Su Kim, White T-shirt and Feeble Things is the story of a man who only wears plain white T-shirts but can’t keep any of them clean.
  • Breathless Lovers – Directed by Shumpei Shimizu Breathless Lovers is the story of 23-year-old Toshiyuki chasing his boyfriend’s ghost across Tokyo.

west north west 2An Iranian student and depressed bartender face a series of romantic and cross cultural confusions in Takuro Nakamura’s West North West. Actresses Hanae Kan and Sahel Rosa will attend the screening for an introduction and Q&A. Review.


yamato california stillDepressed teenager Sakura (Hanae Kan) has a complicated relationship with Americanisation thanks to growing up near Japan’s biggest mainland American military base but an encounter with the half-American daughter of her mother’s boyfriend prompts a reconsideration of her life goals in Daisuke Miyazaki’s Yamato (California). Review.


Anti-porno stillSion Sono’s entry into Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno Reboot Project, Anti-Porno is the story of celebrity novelist Kyoko and her strange relationship with her assistant Noriko.


dad and mr ito stillThe latest film from Yuki Tanada, My Dad and Mr. Ito, is a tale of cross-cultural romance as an elderly father moves in with his middle-aged daughter only to find she is already living with a much older man.


summer nightsSummer Lights marks the Japan debut for French filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot. A Japanese filmmaker living in Paris returns to Japan in order to make a documentary about Hiroshima and ends up on a journey with a mysterious woman.


ZigeunerweisenThe first in the Taisho Trilogy, Zigeunerweisen is a late career masterpiece from Seijun Suzuki centring on a university professor’s odd relationship with a roguish friend and a mysterious geisha. Review.


in this corner of the world horizontalSunao Katabuchi’s award-winning animation In This Corner of the World is the story of one ordinary woman in World War II Hiroshima. Producer Taro Maki will be present for a Q&A after the film.


Japan Cuts takes place at Japan Society New York, from July 13 – 23, 2017. Ticket links and full details for all the films can be found on the festival’s official website,  and you can keep up with all the latest news as well as the year round film programme via the Japan Society Film Facebook page and Twitter account. Tickets are already on sale to members with public sales available 12th June.