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Japanese Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 07th to the 17th and I intend to keep providing coverage of this particular festival because there is usually a good line-up of Japanese films. This year, there are two. Or, two that have been announced so far. In previous years which I have covered (Toronto 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011), there have been many more programmed so it might be the case that more will be announced at a later date but the festival organisers cut up to 20 per cent (60) films that will be screened (source). What has resulted is that Asian films have been hit very hard. See the update for some exciting additions!

I may be missing something so I’m making this post a sticky and will update it if anything crops up. For now, two films, one feature and one short. One horror and one drama.

UPDATE: 16/08/2017

I spoke too soon about there being too few Japanese films! Radiance, Birds Without Names, and The Third Murder have been added! This year’s slate of Japanese films at Toronto is shaping up to be a nice bunch!

Here are the details on the Japanese films:

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Japanese Foundation Event: Culinary Culture & Gastronomy in Japanese Cinema

The Japan Foundation in London recently ran an event dedicated to Japanese food as shown in films and it seems to have been super popular because there is another helping of food-based films for audiences to salivate over and it’s all free to attend (you just need to book a place). Prepare to gorge yourselves on some really delicious looking food served up amidst some great stories by a myriad of cooks!

Tampopo Film Image

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Japanese Films at the Venice Film Festival 2017

The Venice International Film Festival launches its 74th edition on August 30th and it lasts until September 09th and the line-up was announced earlier this week. I’ve missed the last couple editions of the festival because there have been few Japanese films (the last edition I covered was in 2014). Anyway, there are two Japanese films from current directors and three classics from the golden age present this year. One if the modern ones is a Hirokazu Koreeda film which is in the international competition section which has many world premieres. Takeshi Kitano has his latest film screened out of competition, a section dedicated to already-established directors.

There are a couple of other Asian movies. To find out more about them, head over to Windows on Worlds.

Here are the details on the Japanese films:

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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 Review Round-Up: Atsuko Hirayanagi’s “Oh Lucy!”

It has been a while since I last did a review round-up of any festival but fellow cinephile and Twitter-user FelixAguirre regularly collects links to reviews and alerts them to me and with such a treasure-trove of opinions from the most recent Cannes Film Festival on offer, I’d be mad to turn them down. Following on from Blade of the Immortal, Radiance, and Before We Vanish is…

Oh Lucy!

Oh Lucy Film Image 3

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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 Review Round-Up: Naomi Kawase’s “Radiance”

It has been a while since I last did a review round-up of any festival but fellow cinephile and Twitter-user FelixAguirre regularly collects links to reviews and alerts them to me and with such a treasure-trove of opinions from the most recent Cannes Film Festival on offer, I’d be mad to turn them down. Following on from Blade of the Immortal and Before We Vanish is…

Radiance

Radiance Film Image 2

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A Preview of the Films at Japan Cuts 2017 (July 13th-23rd)

The 2017 edition of JAPAN CUTS, is the 11th since the creation of the festival and it takes place from July 13th to the 23rd.

Japan Cuts 2017 Banner

It is one of the best places not in Germany (Nippon Connection) or Holland (Camera Japan) to see the latest and most interesting contemporary films with experimental indies programmed alongside big-budget titles, as well as documentaries, shorts and recently restored classics. Not only is this a place to view films, the festival also hosts special guest filmmakers and stars, post-screening Q&As, parties and more. I have covered it in the past to help people get in contact with great films and this year’s edition has lots of great titles on offer that show the diversity of talents operating in the country and reveal that, contrary to what I have felt recently, the Japanese film industry has the potential to tell more than the same stories over and over (if only Japanese financiers could see beyond adapting manga and anime and take risks). Here’s more from the organisers of the festival:

For ten years, JAPAN CUTS’ richly diverse slates have offered audiences a window into the breadth and depth of contemporary Japanese cinema. This eleventh installment of JAPAN CUTS presents a wide-ranging selection of films across each programming section that reveal the multiplicity of identities and layers of culture that shape Japanese film today—including international co-productions and adaptations, new LGBTQ cinema, female directors, and deeply relevant histories of WWII and nuclear trauma.”

I have pulled together a preview of the full line-up from old previews I have written and from the festival’s website to show potential audience members that there is so much worth going to see. Thanks go out to the people at Japan Society New York for making things a easier and creating the event!

Over the Fence_main

I hope this helps inform you about the films and inspires you to go and see some and if you do, please come back and tell me what you think. You might also want to check out the Japanese films screening at the New York Asian Film Festival. After a long period of writing news stories, I will be writing reviews for various films that have screened and will be screening at various festivals and ones in my collection.

Here’s the full line-up:

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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 Review Round-Up: Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Before We Vanish”

It has been a while since I last did a review round-up of any festival but fellow cinephile and Twitter-user FelixAguirre regularly collects links to reviews and alerts them to me and with such a treasure-trove of opinions from the most recent Cannes Film Festival on offer, I’d be mad to turn them down. Following on from Blade of the Immortal and Radiance is…

Before We Vanish

Before We Vanish Film Image

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 Review Round-Up: Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Before We Vanish””

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Japanese Films at the New York Asian Film Festival 2017

The 16th New York Asian Film Festival takes places from June 30th until July 16th. There are almost 60 films on the programme with many highlights from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea and elsewhere. 

This year’s festival features a new Main Competition from which seven films from first- and second-time directors are receiving their Nort American premiere and the festival will honour many actors such as the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement awardee Tony Leung Ka-fai (Hong Kong).

I am interested in the Japanese films on the bill and have watched a few. All of the Japanese films screen in July and there are some really good titles on offer. Not only that but some directors and an actor will be in town. People, if you love films and want to find out more, go see Naoko Ogigami when she does her Q&A.

Here are more details (click on the titles to be taken to the festival page for the film you want to find out more about):

NYAFF 2017 OFFICIAL POSTER

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Yasujiro Ozu’s Film “I Was Born, But… ” will be screened with live piano and Benshi Narration at the Barbican on June 25th

The Barbican’s exhibition about Japanese homes and domestic architecture, The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945, began on March 23rd and it finishes on June 25th with this special film which is one of Ozu’s earliest and his held in high regard by film critics.

Actually, every film screening has been well-picked and seems well-placed to compliment the exhibition by giving a myriad of stories connected to the Japanese home and show different living environments. The films that have been screened so far are Princess Kaguya, An Autumn Afternoon, Woman in the Dunes, The Crazy Family, Whisper of the Heart, and Only Yesterday. The final film is Yasujiro Ozu’s 1932 black-and-white silent film I Was Born, But… and it will be screened on June 25th at 16:00. What makes this screening even more special is that there will be benshi at the screening.

Here is the information:

Yasujiro Ozu

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Japanese Films at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017

The 2017 edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place from June 21st until July 02nd and the films have been announced. There is a mix of titles that give a good indication of what is happening with the Japanese film industry – the best film is an anime, all the rest are adaptations of books and familiar stories.

Here’s what’s on offer.

In This Corner of the World

この世界の片隅に Kono Sekai no Katasumi niIn This Corner of the World Film Poster

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Sunao Katabuchi

Writer: Sunao Katabuchi (Screenplay), Fumiyo Kono (Original Creator)

Animation Production: MAPPA

Starring: Rena Nounen (Suzu Urano), Daisuke Ono (Akira), Mayumi Shintani (San), Shigeru Ushiyama (Entaro), Megumi Han (Sumi), Minori Omi (Michiko), Natsuki Inaba (Harumi), Yoshimasa Hosoya (Shuusaku),

Website   ANN   MAL   UK Site

This is the UK premiere of an award-winning film that I had the pleasure of seeing in Hiroshima, the setting for part of the film, a couple of months ago. It took the Animation of the Year award at the 40th annual Japan Academy and I am not surprised since it is a beautiful and stately film about an absent-minded artistic young woman trying to survive the hardship of war. I wasn’t the only one impressed since the film won the Hiroshima Peace Film Award at the Hiroshima International Film Festival in November last year and the film magazine Kinema Jump named it the best Japanese movie of 2016 and it awarded Katabuchi the Best Director Award.

The film was orchestrated by Sunao Katabuchi who directed the awesome Mai Mai Miracle and the TV anime Black Lagoon. It was animated by the studio MAPPA (Shingeki no Bahamut: GenesisTerror in Resonance).

Synopsis: Suzu Urano is a Hiroshima girl from a close-knit family but when she marries a naval officer, she has to move from Hiroshima City to Kure, the city which launched the battleship Yamato and the site of one of Japan’s largest naval bases. As a new housewife, she encounters uncertainty in her new family, her new city, and her new world but she perseveres and finds happiness even as the war grinds on and comes closer to home.

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