Japanese Films at the Leeds International Film Festival 2013 Part 2: Live-Action

Genki Leeds International Animation Film Festival 2013 Banner

The 27th Leeds International Film Festival takes place from November 06th to the 21st and there are quite a few live-action films getting screened thanks to a Masaki Kobayashi retrospective and two more recent titles. There is also an international co-production based on a Japanese artist so that’s included. Here is the selection of films on offer. Click on the titles to find out more including how to book tickets which are on sale now!

The Masaki Kobayashi Retrospective looks to have a very respectable collection of titles from an important name in post-war Japanese cinema. People weaned on more modern Japanese films may be aware that Takashi Miike adapted two of his titles back in 2011. The festival gives audiences a chance to taste. Of all these titles I have only seen Kwaidan so if I were at the festival, I’d definitely see this selection.

 

Harakiri                              Hara Kiri Film Poster

Japanese Title: 切腹

Romaji: Seppuku

Running Time: 133 mins

Director: Masaki Kobayashi

Writer: Shinobu Hashimoto (Screenplay), Yasuhiko Takiguchi (Original Novel)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsuro Tanba, Masao Mishima, Kei Sato

Of all Masaki Kobayashi’s attacks on the cruelty and inhumanity perpetrated by authoritarian power, perhaps none are more brilliant than his visceral, mesmerising Harakiri. In a stunning performance, Tatsuya Nakadai (who stars in all the Kobayashi films screening in LIFF27) plays a masterless down-and-out samurai who enters the manor of Lord Iyi, requesting to commit ritual suicide on his property. Suspected of simply fishing for charity, Hanshiro is told the gruesome tale of the last samurai who made the same request but Hanshiro will not be moved.

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Japanese Films at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2013

Genki Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 Banner

I did not cover the Edinburgh Film Festival last year and that turned out to be a major mistake because there were a lot of Japanese films shown. Well this year I’m ahead of the game and here is a post previewing Japanese films and films involving Japan at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2013. Tickets went on sale at the beginning of the week so take a gander at the titles.

 

The Complex                              The Complex Film Poster 2

Japanese Title: クロユリ 団

Romaji: Kuroyuri Danchi

Running Time: 106 mins.

Venue: Cineworld,

Screening Date: June 22nd, 21:45 (Cineworld 5), June 25th, 20:40 (Cineworld 11)

Director: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Hideo Nakata, Junya Kato, Ryuta Miyake (Screenplay)

Starring: Atsuka Maeda, Hiroki Narimiya, Masanobu Katsumura, Naomi Nishida, Sosei Tanaka, Masaya Takahashi, Satomi Tezuka, Taro Suwa, Yurei Yanagi, Megumi Sato, Mayumi Asaka

Hideo Nakata, the director of J-horror classic Ringu and Dark Water returns with another urban supernatural chiller with The Complex which premiered at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival. Reviews suggest this is a return to horror form for the director and the trailer strikes all the right notes for me! It stars the beautiful Atsuka Maeda who is a former member of AKB48 and starred in The Drudgery Train. Hiroki Narimiya, Tooru in Mirror Hell part of Rampo Noir and the titular character in the Phoenix Wright movie Ace Attorney is her male co-star. The supporting cast include Naomi Nishida (Library Wars, Swing Girls) and Megumi Sato (Cyborg She, Exte).

 

Asuka (Maeda) has moved into the Kuroyuri apartment complex. It is a place with a chequered history as mysterious deaths occurred there 13 years ago. It isn’t long before she starts hearing the sound “garigarigari” from the apartment next door where an old man lives and it isn’t long before he is found dead! This is the start of a series of horrifying events that strike the apartment. Asuka calls upon Sasahara (Narimiya), a man who cleans up the homes of the recently deceased, to help solve the mystery.

Lilou’s Adventure                              Lilous Adventure Film Image

Japanese Title: リルウの冒険

Romaji: Riruu no Bouken

Running Time: 117 mins.

Venue: Cineworld,

Screening Date: June 23rd, 14:50 (Cineworld 11), June 25th, 18:10 (Cineworld 05)

Director: Izuru Kumasaka

Writer: Izuru Kumasaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Lilou Diabate, Saera Nakandakari, Lamine Youl Diabate, Lily

This film strikes me as the most interesting at Edinburgh. It is tagged as being a “surrealistic story of two children’s journey across Japan” and while the story comes across as a simple adventure things are complicated by the fact that the main protagonist, the eponymous Lilou, is mixed-race. Not your usual white/Japanese mix but black and Japanese. Amidst the cool Twin Peaks dream sequences scenes of kawaii-Japan, 8-bit videogames and neon lights look to be darker ones where Lilou is challenged by others, perhaps because she is different. If the film explores this aspect of her character then consider me eager to watch it. Enough about my personal interests, here’s the trailer and synopsis.

Lilou is 10-years-old and half Japanese, half Guinean. She lives in Okinawa and has a friend named Kokoro. When Kokoro disappears, Lilou goes on a journey to find her, using clues from a video game.

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2013”