Spring is all about new beginnings and the Japan Foundation has programmed four films for its Spring Explorers screenings. They stretch from 1954 to 2013 and feature characters forced to enter new stages in their lives and even new worlds. Protags range from a little girl who walks on ceilings to a middle-aged man who hasn’t left his family home in years.
Here are the details:
Friday 20 April 2018: Courthouse Cinema, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL
サカサマ の パテマ 「Sakasama no Patema」
Running Time: 99 mins.
Release Date: November 09th, 2013
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Writer: Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Screenplay/Original Creator)
Starring: Yukiyo Fujii (Patema), Nobuhiko Okamoto (Age), Shintarou Oohata (Porta), Shinya Fukumatsu (G), Masayuki Katou (Lagos),
Yasuhiro Yoshiura is the director/creator of the wonderful Time of Eve, a futuristic drama about androids in a café and the humans that visit them. It was a whimsical show full of great details and gorgeous animation and do you know what was best of all? The characters were relatable and funny. This is his latest film and it is just as good as my review points out.
Synopsis: The story takes place in an underground world where the inhabitants exist in tunnels and confined spaces and must wear protective clothing. Despite this, these underground people still enjoy life, especially Patema, the princess of her underground village who loves to explore. Her fascination with exploration leads her to a forbidden area where she meets a boy named Age who operates under different gravitational circumstances. The two may come from very different societies but will face strange situations together!
Saturday 21 April 2018: Screening Room 1, The Soho hotel, 4 Richmond Mews London, W1D 3DH
テルマエ・ロマエ 「Terumai Romai」
Running Time: 108 mins.
Director: Hideki Takeuchi
Writer: Mari Yamazaki (manga), Shogo Muto
Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Aya Ueto, Masachika Ichimura, Kai Shishido, Kazuki Kitamura
The live-action adaptation of Mari Yamazaki’s fun manga of the same name has time travel, culture clash comedy and a great set of actors. It was partly filmed in Cinecitta in Rome but features Japanese actors who don’t look too Japanese playing Roman characters. This looks like a lot of fun and the anime adaptation wasn’t too bad.
Synopsis: Roman bath house architect Lucius (Hiroshi Abe) is a perfectionist and traditionalist who gets fired from his architectural practice. In order to cheer him up, a friend takes him to a bathhouse but Lucius slips through a time portal and ends up in modern day Japan. Although initially bewildered Lucius takes inspiration from modern day Japanese baths and implements the designs in his Roman bathhouses. This sees him become favoured by Emperor Hadrian (Ichimura) but clash with emperor-in-waiting Antoninus (Kazuki Kitamura). Lucius soon finds himself caught up in political intrigue in between his time travel adventures but it is not all bad as he has met a beautiful aspiring manga artist named Mami (Ueto) who loves to sketch him.
幼獣マメシバ 「Yuji mameshiba」
Running Time: 106 mins.
Release Date: June 13th, 2009
Director: Toru Kamei
Writer: Yuji Nagamori (Screenplay/Story),
Starring: Jiro Sato, Yumi Adachi, Yumiko Fujita, Kanji Furutachi, Koji Nishida, Masato Noda, Hitomi Sato, Shun Sugata, Ayano Tachibana,
Synopsis: Jiro (Jiro Sato) is a 32-year-old hikikomori who lives at his parents’ house but all that changes after the death of his father because Jiro’s mother runs away and leaves behind a 6 month dog named Ichiro and some clues for Jiro to track her down. Can he find her? He will have to venture out into the world.
Sunday 22 April 2018: Courthouse Cinema, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL
二十四の瞳 「Nijuu-shi no Hitomi」
Running Time: 156 mins.
Release Date: September 15th, 1954
Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Writer: Keisuke Kinoshita (Screenplay), Sakae Tsuboi (Original Novel)
Starring: Hideko Takamine, Hideyo Amamoto, Toyo Takahashi, Chieko Naniwa, Chishu Ryu, Kuniko Igawa, Takahiro Tamura, Sadako Kusano, Setsuko Kusano,
Synopsis: The story follows the relationship between bright young teacher Hisaki Oishi (Takamine) and her first class of twelve children, charmingly played by local children and young adults, at different stages in their lives. Although recognised by the school master for her talent, city girl Hisaki is mistrusted by this remote island community. However, soon both adults and children alike fall for her charms only to see the impending war irreversibly change their lives.
Here are the all-important booking details:
These films screenings are free to attend but seats must be booked in advance. You are able to book a maximum of two tickets for only one screening. If you would like to book for more than one film, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org detailing which films you would like to attend.
To book your place via Google Forms, please click here