Japanese Films at the Venice International Film Festival 2019

Venice Film Festival 2019 Image

The Venice International Film Festival is here for its 76th edition and it will run from August 28th to September 07th. There are a couple of features and four VR experiences as Venice continues to go down the VR route. Without further ado, here are the films!

La Vérité (The Truth)

真実  Shinjitsu

Release Date: October 11th, 2019

Duration: 106 mins.

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Writer: Hirokazu Kore-eda (Screenplay),

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clementine Grenier, Ludivine Sagnier,

Website     IMDB

Following on from his win of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with Shoplifters, Kore-eda graces the Competition Section of this year’s Venice Film Festival with a film based in France and starring some of the luminaries of French cinema with Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ludivine Sagnier as well as Ethan Hawke, a truly talented American actor. This is the director’s first work set outside Japan but it features the sort of family narrative he is famous for as a clan is reunited in Paris and go through a cycle of lies, resentment, love and reconciliation.

La Verite Film Poster

Synopsis:  Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is a star of French cinema with the power to charm the men around her. When she publishes her memoirs, her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) returns from New York to Paris with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and their young child and a reunion between mother and daughter kicks off a confrontation that leads to truths being told, accounts settled, loves and resentments confessed.

The next film plays adjacent to Venice’s programme in the Giornate degli Autori event which is modelled on the Directors’ Fortnight’ of the Cannes Film Festival.

They Say Nothing Stays the Same    They Say Nothing Stays the Same Film Poster

ある船頭の話  Aru sendou no hanashi

Release Date: September 13th, 2019

Duration: 137 mins.

Director: Joe Odagiri

Writer: Joe Odagiri (Screenplay),

Starring: Akira Emoto, Ririka Kawashima, Nijiro Murakami, Masatoshi Nagase, Haruomi Hosono, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Mitsuko Kusabue, Isao Hashizume,

Website     IMDB

This is Joe (Mushishi, Adrift in Tokyo) Odagiri’s sophomore feature film as a director and he has hired a good team in getting Christopher Doyle – Wong Kar-Wai’s frequent collaborator – working cinematography and Emi Wada designing costumes – she won an Oscar for her costuming on Akira Kurosawa’s epic Ran and is responsible for costumes in lush historical dramas such as Samurai Marathon 1855, Hero, Gohatto, and House of Flying Daggers.

Synopsis: Toichi is a boatman who ferries people across a river. Despite ferrying people across, the only person he really communicates with is his young neighbour Genzo. When a large bridge is begins to be constructed to help people cross the river it looks like Toichi will be made redundant but then he meets a mysterious young girl who appears to be an orphan. Toichi takes her in and from that moment, his life begins to change…

 Shout out to Hayley over at Windows on Worlds for notifying me about that film!

There are also a number of VR films:

Ghost in the Shell: Ghost Chaser (Hiroaki Higashi, 8 mins.)

A Life in Flowers (Dir: Armando Kirwin, 20 mins. JP/US)

Inori (Dir: Liu Szu-ming, Takahashi Kisei, 17 mins. JP/Tai)

Feather (Dir: Keisuke Itoh, 12 mins.)

Ghost in the Shell: Ghost Chaser  Ghost in the Shell Ghost Chaser Film Poster

攻殻機動隊GHOST CHASER  Kōkaku Kidōtai Ghost Chaser

Release Date: October 11th, 2018

Duration: 8 mins.

Director: Hiroaki Higashi

Writer: Jun’ichi Fujisaku (Screenplay), Shirow Masamune (Original Creator)

Starring: Kira Buckland, Kaijli Tang, Stephanie Sheh (Japanese Cast: Maaya Sakamoto – Motoko Kusanagi, Kenichirou Matsuda – Batou, Miyuki Sawashiro – Logicoma)

Website    ANN

So this is based on an arcade ride that can take 12 people on a wild ride into the world of GitS. It was released late last year in Tokyo and the trailer looks stunning.

Synopsis from the creators: This story is set in the Kuzan Republic. The defense minister, who will take part in a meeting of the Next-generation Weapon Coordination Council, has ordered an advance onsite inspection. Ride participants are tasked with providing escort while securing an inspection route in Public Security Section 9, where Motoko Kusanagi serves as leader. Riders will use the hexaRide vehicle to enter cyberspace and, serving as a Public Security Section 9 agent, join in an attack on revolutionary movement forces.

Here is past coverage of the festival:

Venice International Film Festival 2018

Venice International Film Festival 2017

Venice International Film Festival 2014

Venice International Film Festival 2013

Venice International Film Festival 2012

4 thoughts on “Japanese Films at the Venice International Film Festival 2019

    1. He’s the latest of the Four K’s to work with French talent. It’ll be interesting to see if he can make his brand of family film in a foreign context. With the actors he has, it stands to reason he will turn in a quality drama since they are highly committed and intelligent when it comes to the craft of acting and making their characters human.

      Also, Ludivine is fantastic!

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