Tohoku On Film: Japan Foundation Screenings

The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami which occurred on March 11th, 2011 had a devastating impact on the people and places of Eastern Japan. It is two years since that day and while recovery is slow and memories are still fresh. The film world has been quick to use the disaster as subject matter for documentaries, short films and features. The Japan Foundation has organised two screenings of films to mark the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Friday 15 March 2013, from 6.30pm

Dir. Masaki Kobayashi, 2011, 102min, English SubtitlesFukushima Hula Girls Film Poster

Following on from the successful screening of the hit movie ‘Hula Girls’ as part of this year’s Touring Film Programme ‘Once Upon a Time in Japan’, the Japan Foundation is delighted to present ‘Fukushima Hula Girls’, an uplifting documentary following the real-life hula girls from the Spa Resort Hawaiians in the Fukushima Prefecture.

Having suffered damage from the Tohoku earthquake of March 2011 including their performance stage, the film shows the Hula Girls’ efforts to revive their business through the resort’s national hula dance tour.

Narrated by ‘Hula Girls’ star Yu Aoi, this documentary shows the girls’ determination and resilience in building a brighter future for Fukushima.


Saturday 16 March 2013, from 3.00pm and 6.00pm

Dir. Akio Kondo, 2011, 105min, English SubtitlesEclair Film Poster

Based on the autobiographical novel by Shigeru Nishimura and set around the turbulent period of the Second World War, ‘Éclair’ tells Akio (Hajime Yoshii), a young orphaned boy with an obsession for all things sweet. After being caught for stealing a bag of sweets out of hunger, Akio is sent to a reformatory and experiences a tough time, but finds solace through the song ‘Okashi to Musume’ (sweets and a girl) sung by one of the teachers, Yoko (Saori).

‘Éclair’ was shot in the autumn of 2010 in Ishinomaki-city and other places in the Miyagi prefecture. Many of the beautiful locations and historic buildings were swept away by the tsunami. The film offers a fascinating and wonderful insight into the area in which the film is set before the Great East Japan Earthquake. The film also perfectly complements this year’s Touring Film Programme theme of looking back into the past.

The events take place on March 15th and 16th at the Japan Foundation, 10-12 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EH

While looking for a trailer for the film Eclair I found a YouTube channel which charts the recovery efforts.

Third Window Films Release Vulgaria

Third Window Films have provided Asian film fans in the UK with an excellent line-up of films within the first month of the year with The Woodsman & the Rain and The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker. Both films attained high marks from me and made my Top Ten Films of the year list and they both hail from Japan. The next release from Third Window Films is Vulgaria which hails from Hong Kong. What is it about?

Vulgaria DVD Case


A film by Pang Ho-Cheung (Dream Home, Love in a Puff)

Starring: Chapman To (Infernal Affairs Trilogy, A Simple Life)

Lam Suet (Vengeance, Exiled, PTU)

Hong Kong / 2012 / 92 Mins / In Cantonese with English subtitles / Colour


DVD and Blu-ray Special Features
Anamorphic Widescreen transfer with 5.1 Surround Sound
Making Of, Theatrical Trailer

Out on DVD & Blu-ray April 15th, 2013

To (Chapman To Man-chak), a long-time film producer, has yet to produce anything resembling a hit. Beset by financial troubles, he has become desperate for money – so much so that he is unable to pay the alimony to his ex-wife (Kristal Tin). Despite his former spouse’s bitterness, their daughter still clings onto her faith in him – and wishes to see him on TV once his new movie premieres. To is soon introduced to a potential Mainland Chinese investor, Tyrannosaurus (Ronald Cheng), by his buddy Lui Wing-shing (Simon Loui Yu-yeung), but Tyrannosaurus is not only the head of a Guangxi triad gang, he turns out to have very particular tastes in food and sex. Regardless, To is determined to woo this investor, even if it means giving into his every demands. Tyrannosaurus eventually tells them to cast his childhood idol Yum Yum Shaw (Susan Shaw) in a remake of a classic pornographic film. He even gives the film the title Confessions of Two Concubines…