Sounds like an awesome TV game-show based on movies but it’s actually The Japan Foundation’s www.jpf-film.org.uk which sees a season of Japanese films by contemporary Japanese auteurs which will move between seven cities:
Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Nottingham, Sheffield
The emphasis seems to be on originality which is pretty intriguing. Anybody who has read this blog or watched the Japanese film charts recently will be more than aware that many films are adaptations of manga, anime and novels (Berserk, Arakawa Under the Bridge and Villain). The organisers are well aware of this and have chosen a line-up that looks pretty exciting so here are the details straight from the website:
Whose Film Is It Anyway?
A Season of Japanese Films by Contemporary Japanese Auteurs
10 February to 28 March 2012
Following last year’s successful Back To the Future: Japanese Cinema since the mid-90s season, this year’s Japan Foundation touring film programme looks at narrative creativity in Japanese cinema, showcasing directors both young and emerging, such as Miwa Nishikawa and Takatsugu Naito, and the more established, such as Masayuki Suo (the director best-known for Shall We Dance)…
Having successfully forged and retained their own identities within what is one of the largest film markets in the world, these directors reject the “safe” formulaic film model and instead choose to pursue their own methods of expressing themselves through film. Audiences will be able to hear the individual directors’ voices, whilst also being exposed to characteristics and techniques of some of the best examples of auteur directors from Japan.
The Dark Harbour (Futoko)
When recording a video message for a matchmaking party, solitary fisherman Manzo makes an unusual discovery.
Dir: Takatsugu Naito, 2009, 101 mins, English subtitles
A young medical graduate opts for a job in a remote mountain village, where everything is not as it seems.
Dir: Miwa Nishikawa, 2009, 127 mins, English subtitles
I Just Didn’t Do It (Soredemo Boku Wa Yattenai)
The story of a young man accused of groping a woman on a crowded Tokyo train, and his battle with the Japanese legal system.
Dir: Masayuki Suo, 2007, 143 mins, English subtitles
About Her Brother (Ototo)
Depiction of a complex relationship between a black sheep of a brother and his long-suffering sister.
Dir: Yoji Yamada, 2010, 126 mins, English subtitles
A Stranger of Mine (Unmei Janai Hito)
In one long Friday evening, Takeshi Miyata, a straight-arrow businessman, will encounter a number of people who have intertwining fates.
Dir: Kenji Uchida, 2005, 98 mins, English subtitles
Sleep (Nemuri Yusurika)
The desperate story of a family who have sacrificed everything to bring to account the rapist who changed all their lives.
Dir: Katsumi Sakaguchi, 2011, 96 mins, English subtitles
All Around Us (Gururi No Koto)
The journey of a married couple after a miscarriage, and how they each begin to come to terms with its reality.
Dir: Ryosuke Hashiguchi, 2008, 140 mins, English subtitles
Bad Company (Mabudachi)
Teenager Sadamoto is torn between a desire to please his father and a need to rebel against him, as his middle school teacher
Dir: Tomoyuki Furumaya, 2001, 98 mins, English subtitles
Heart, Beating In The Dark (Yamiutsu Shinzo)
A multi-layered work, this film is half-sequel half-remake, and is the story of a couple on the run after killing their baby.
Dir: Shunichi Nagasaki, 2005, 104 mins, English subtitles
Masayuki Suo will appear at the 2 screenings of I Just Didn’t Do Itat ICA, introducing the work and taking Q&A(3:30pm on 11thFebruary, 4:00pm on 12thFebruary)
Katsumi Sakaguchi will appear at the ICA screening of Sleep(6:30pm on 16thFebruary), and also at the Showroom screening(17thFebruary), and will take Q&A on both occasions.
Masayuki Suo will be holding a talk at the Japan Foundation London on 9February, and Katsumi Sakaguchi will be holding a talk on 13 February. Details to follow http://www.jpf.org.uk.
London SW1Y 5AH
Box office: 020 7930 3647
Book online: www.ica.org.uk
15 Paternoster Row
Sheffield S1 2BX
Box office: 0114 275 7727
Book online: www.showroomworkstation.org.uk
24 February –1 March
88 Lothian Road
Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
Box office: 0131 228 2688
Book online: www.filmhousecinema.com
28 February –27 March (Tuesdays)
Glasgow Film Theatre
20 Rose Street
Glasgow G3 6RB
Box office: 0141 332 6535
Book online: www.glasgowfilm.org/theatre
2 –5 March
Queen’s Film Theatre
20 University Square
Belfast BT7 1PA
Box office: 028 9097 1097
Book online: www.queensfilmtheatre.com
14 –25 March
1 Canon’s Road
Bristol BS1 5TX
Box office: 0117 927 5100
Book online: www.watershed.co.uk
14-18 Broad Street
Nottingham NG1 3AL
Box office: 0115 952 6611
Book online: www.broadway.org.uk
For more information check out the webpage for The Japan Foundation!