Yoji Yamada’s “A Class to Remember” Screening at the Japanese Embassy in London on May 23rd

The Japanese embassy in London regularly screens films that are hard to find in the West and they are an eclectic bunch. The latest one programmed is one from the venerable director Yoji Yamada. It’s called A Class to Remember and it’s from the 1996 and was Japan’s submission to the 69th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category but it was not accepted as a nominee (source: Wikipedia).

Here’s the information and here’s the link to the embassy’s page:

A Class to Remember 2: The Learning Circle   Gakko II Film Poster

学校IIGakko II

Running Time: 122 mins.

Release Date: October 19th , 1996

Director: Yoji Yamada

Writer: Yoji Yamada (Screenplay),

Starring: Toshiyuki Nishida, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Masatoshi Nagase, Ayumi Ishida, Pinko Izumi, Takashi Sasano, Ayumi Hamasaki,


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The First Wave and the Reboot of Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno Films at Nippon Connection Film Festival 2017

Nippon Connection Logo

The Nippon Connection Film Festival takes place from May 23 to 28, 2017 and it will be held in Frankfurt am Main. The organisers released details of the 100+ short and feature length films that will be screened and there are many top titles that audiences can see to get a perfect snapshot of the myriad of stories and talents that the Japanese film industry is producing. There are a whole host of premieres and these will be shown in the presence of many directors and actors who will introduce and talk about their work to the audience. 

This post deals with NIPPON RETRO which is a special section of Nippon Connection which presents nine films by those the directors Noboru Tanaka and Tatsumi Kumashiro. On May 26, at 15:00., the film academic Jasper Sharp, author of Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema,  will give a lecture on “Nikkatsu Roman Porno and Japanese Erotic Cinema” and the director Akihiko Shiota will talk about some of the titles.

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Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” Screening at the Barbican on June 03rd

The Barbican are running an exhibition about Japanese homes and domestic architecture called The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945. It began on March 23rd and lasts until June 25th. As part of the exhibition there will be films screened. The third film in this exhibition is The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

Here are the details:

The Tale of Princess Kaguya  The Story of Princess Kaguya Film Poster

かぐや 姫 の 物語 「Kaguya Hime no Monogatari

Running Time: 137 mins.

Release Date: November 23rd, 2013

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Aki Asakura (Kaguya), Kengo Kora (Sutemaru), Nobuko Miyamoto (The Bamboo Cutter’s Wife), Takeo Chii (The Bamboo Cutter),

Website   IMDB

This is a beautiful film helmed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, writer and director of Only Yesterday, Pom Poko Grave of the Fireflies and Little Norse Prince Valiant. It is an adaptation of a famous ancient Japanese folktale originally called Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) which is about a princess named Kaguya who is discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a growing plant by a bamboo cutter and adopted. While I wouldn’t rate it as my favourite Ghibli anime, it is visually stunning and this Barbican presentation comes with the Japanese voice track.

Synopsis: When a bamboo cutter discovers a miniature girl living inside of a shining stalk of bamboo, he names her Princess and raises her as his daughter. Growing into a beautiful young woman, the Princess is torn when she struggles with the responsibility of her nobility and her desire for a simple life.