Sci-Fi London is a festival of science fiction films and it has run for sixteen years. The event takes place from April 27th to May 06th It has played host to a number of Japanese films in the past but this is the first year that I am going to report on it. There are two indie films on the programme and they look good.
Cesium and a Tokyo Girl
セシウムと少女 「Seshiumu to Shoujo」
Release Date: April 25th, 2015
Running Time: 109 mins.
Director: Ryo Saitani
Writer: Ryo Saitani (Screenplay),
Starring: Masumi Hara, Yusuke Kawazu, Hatsuo Yamaya, Nankin, Takao Iida, Kaira Shirahase, Masato Nagamori, Keiji Yamasaki, Miho Kaneno,
Cesium and a Tokyo Girl is playing at sci-fi London and seems to be going around the UK since I have seen the film and it is a fun and inventive timeslip tale which combines live-action and animation to create a fun adventure as well as deliver a serious story involving the 3/11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Sci-fi London’s page for the film describes it thusly:
Saitani effortlessly combines live action and animation to depict Mimi’s view of modern Japanese history – equally comfortable in the realms of fantasy and realism.
The film screens on Thursday, May 05th at 19:00. Expect a review soon!
Synopsis: A delightful adventure fantasy about Mimi and the seven gods.
17-yr-old Mimi lives with her parents in the Tokyo suburb, Asagaya on the Chuo Line. Three days after the terrible eastern Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, Mimi’s fate changes drastically as radiation-contaminated rain has left Mimi with terrible pain in her tongue. She is determined to find out why.
Mimi and the gods start measuring cesium levels throughout Tokyo. They visit hot spots of cesium pollution to see the reality of damage from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Will Mimi and her divine friends manage to squeeze out a happy ending? A magical mystery tour through space and time begins!
デュアル・シティ 「Duaru Shiti」
Release Date: March 2015
Running Time: 95 mins.
Director: Yokna Hasegawa
Writer: Tomohiro Hara, Yokna Hasegawa (Screenplay),
Starring: Norma Aratani, Tomomi Mabuchi, Chieko Misaka, Aki Morita, Ryubun Saitou, Keigo Tani, Tatsuya Ueda,
With nods to Japan’s neighbours who are so divided, Hasegawa has directed a solid story, well told, with a futuristic vision – a great example of contemporary independent Japanese sci-fi.
The film screens on Tuesday, May 03rd at 17:00 and Thursday, May 05th at 13:00.
Synopsis: In 2034, following a civil war, Japan is divided into North and South. Yoriko, a nurse living in the north, had lost her daughter during the war but when she is abducted by guerrilla terrorists she discovers that her daughter may exist in the ‘Information Life’: a digital collection of memories.
Yoriko’s kidnappers tell her about the Nephe Corporation, a mighty high-tech giant, and she becomes involved in the hacker resistance. In exchange for carrying a mysterious dead body from North to South, she is promised help to find her daughter.
Along the way, she also meets a highly-capable agent, Ayumi, who helps her infiltrate the corporation’s headquarters. Their ownership of the Information Life technology allows them to retain a stranglehold over both the North and South. What are Nephe’s real intentions with the system and will Yoriko be reunited with her child?