The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns to cinemas across the UK for 2022 with another packed programme of recent hits this year along the theme of “What Lies Beneath”, exploring the dark mind in Japanese cinema.
An aimless 22-year-old college student’s life changes after bonding with a mischievous philosophy major but she discovers through her various encounters that life isn’t always as it first seems in Ryohei Yoshino’s adaptation of the novel by Kikuko Tsumura.
Keiko Kitagawa stars as a clinical psychologist assigned to the case of a young woman who has been convicted of stabbing her father to death for no obvious reason, yet the case soon forces her to deal with her own traumatic past in Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s adaptation of the novel by Rio Shimamoto (Shape of Red).
Mystery drama from Nobuhiro Doi (Flying Colours) adapted from the novel by Takeshi Shiota starring Shun Oguri and Gen Hoshino as a reporter and tailor respectively who each find themselves investigating an unsolved murder from 30 years previously.
A 36-year-old writer who scored a big hit in her 20s about the joy to be found in independence finds herself in the midst of crisis when her recent work no longer sells and she begins to worry that it may be too late for romantic fulfilment in Momoko Fukuda’s adaptation of the manga by Mari Okazaki.
Yo Oizumi stars as maverick magazine editor attempting to ride the waves of the Japanese publishing industry while in the middle of a succession crisis in Daihachi Yoshida’s literary farce. Review.
A trio of dejected boxers contemplate their place inside and outside of the ring in Keisuke Yoshida’s unconventional boxing drama. Review.
An older woman living alone (Yuko Tanaka) is plagued by three strange sprites forcing her to confront the reality of her life in Shuichi Okita’s surreal meditation on loneliness and existential futility. Review.
A frustrated photographer finds a muse in an enigmatic young woman but becomes increasingly resentful in his inability to “capture” her body and soul in Takashi Koyama’s dark and cynical take on modern romance. Review.
’60s New Wave icon Mariko Kaga stars as an ageing woman caring for her autistic son but worrying what will happen when she is no longer able to look after him.
A gang of professional confidence tricksters set their sights on stealing a precious diamond from a triad boss (Yuko Takeuchi) but find their plan disrupted by a rival scam artist (Haruma Miura) and grudge-bearing yakuza (Yosuke Eguchi) in the first big screen outing for the popular TV drama starring Masami Nagasawa, Masahiro Higashide, and Fumiyo Kohinta.
Kana Yamada adapts her own stage play dissecting the misogynistic society through the lives of a collection of sex workers trying to live as best they can in the contemporary capital. Review.
Tori Matsuzaka stars as a samurai who has it made only to be exiled from his clan after becoming involved in a tragic incident which claims the lives of his childhood friends. Living as wandering ronin, he discovers evidence of a conspiracy and sets out to expose it in this throwback to classic jidaigeki.
Lovelorn and lonely Tokyoites chase connection and self-acceptance in an often confusing city in Takeshi Maruyama’s beautifully meandering drama. Review.
Two women (Mugi Kadowaki & Kiko Mizuhara) involved with the same man (Kengo Kora) eventually find interclass solidarity in Yukiko Sode’s empathetic critique of a highly stratified and fiercely patriarchal society. Review.
A mousy college student with no interest in fashion or makeup gets a makeover from her best friend and is unwittingly spotted by her stepbrother, with whom she also lives, who is instantly smitten with the “new” her little realising her true identity in this adaptation of the manga Renjuro Kindaichi.
1964 Nikkatsu drama from Ko Nakahira adapting the novel by Masako Togawa who also stars as the wife of a philandering husband who discovers that several women whose company he’d previously enjoyed have turned up dead leaving him the prime suspect.
Two young girls are taken in by a kindly old lady who lives in a remote mansion by the sea which is also home to a series of mysterious creatures in this family animation adapted from the novel by Sachiko Kashiwaba.
A rookie female film director faces industry sexism and corporate interference while trying to fend off a visit from the censors before shooting an erotically charged love scene in this 80s drama from Eiji Uchida.
A young man suffering from depression (Masahiro Higashide) moves back to his hometown of Hakodate with his wife (Nao) and begins seeing a psychiatrist who encourages him to take up jogging in this adaptation of the novel by Yasushi Sato (And Your Bird Can Sing, Sketches of Kaitan City, Over the Fence).
- Aberdeen (12th – 20th March)
- Aberystwyth (13th February – 2nd March)
- Belfast (1st – 31st March)
- Bristol (6th – 27th February)
- Cambridge (12th February – 1st March)
- Cardiff (13th February – 27th March)
- Chester (9th – 27th February)
- Colchester (5th February – 26th March)
- Coventry (1st – 30th March)
- Derby (4th – 6th March)
- Dundee (2nd – 15th March)
- Edinburgh (18th – 24th March)
- Exeter (2nd – 30th March)
- Inverness (6th – 27 February)
- Kendal (16th February – 16th March)
- Leeds (13th February – 27th March)
- Leicester (5th – 22nd February)
- Lewes (8th – 23rd February)
- Manchester (15th February – 3rd March)
- Newcastle Upon Tyne (21st February – 31st March)
- Norwich (7th – 28 March)
- Nottingham (18th – 24th March)
- Sheffield (8th – 31st March)
- York (7th – 28 March)
Full details for all the films are available on the official Touring Film Programme website. You can also keep up to date with all the year round events organised by Japan Foundation London via their main site, Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram channel.