Japan Foundation’s “Pre-Summer Explorers!” Free Film Screenings in August

The Japan Foundation are running their Summer Explorers full of anime and live-action films that are set during the summer. This is a free event which you have to register for. I repeat, this is a free event. Free films!!! To find out more about it, visit the Japan Foundation’s website.

Saturday, 4 August 2018: Soho Hotel Cinema
4 Richmond Mews (via Richmond Buildings), London, W1D 3Dh


A Tale of Love & Honour: Life in Gion
Dir. Maki Kubochi, 2017, 49min

Take a peek into the distinct district of Gion in Kyoto and witness the proud and wistful stories of people belonging to this secret world in this fascinating documentary from NHK WORLD-JAPAN.

Living Ninja Legend Masaaki Hatsumi
Dir. Fuyuhiko Nishi, 2016, 41 min

Masaaki Hatsumi, 84 years old, is a living ninja in modern times. What is the essence of his astonishing art? This documentary investigates the hidden power of this ninja master.

House    House Film Poster

ハウス 「Hausu」

Released: July 30th, 1977 (Japan)

Running time: 88 mins.

Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi,

Writer: Nobuhiko Obayashi, Chiho Katsura (Screenplay),

Cast: Kimiko Ikegami – Oshare,  Miki Jinbo – Kung-Fu, Kuniko Oba – Fantasy, Ai Matsubara – Prof., Kiyohiko Ozaki – Mr. Togo, Yoko Minamida – Auntie,


The highlight, in my opinion. This film is a riot of fun and good music with a haunted house setting to die for as a bunch of girls will find out. It comes from Nobuhiko Obayashi and his daughter and features so much imagination and flair for visual spectacle and cool music that it is a delight to watch. I highly recommend it. Here’s my review.

Synopsis: The summer holidays have arrived and for seven high school girls named Melody, Prof, Sweetie, Kung-fu, Mac, Fantasy and Oshare (Kimiko Ikegami) they have the chance to go camping with their teacher Mr. Togo. Oshare declines because her father is back from Italy and she’s looking forward to staying at a villa with him. Her plans are ruined when he introduces her to his potential new wife. Oshare is upset at the presence of the woman and decides to visit an eccentric spinster aunt, inviting her friends along for the trip. After a long journey the girls arrive at the aunt’s house but find their presence has triggered a hostile force that immediately attacks them, picking them off one by one while the eccentric aunt watches.

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Metrograph in New York to Screen Takeshi Kitano Movies throughout November

People in New York have a nice winter treat since Metrograph will play host to a series of movies by the genius that is Takeshi Kitano. This event will see most of his major works screened on 35mm prints from November 17th to November 25th. It features highlights such as Sonatine, Boiling Point, A Scene at the Sea and Kids Return. There’s also one of his weaker efforts, Getting Any?, a comedy that wears out its welcome after 30 minutes… Otherwise, this is a stellar selection of films.

Kikujiro Takeshi Kitano Masao Yusuke Sekiguchi
Kikujiro Takeshi Kitano Masao Yusuke Sekiguchi

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Kikujiro 菊次郎の夏 (1999)


菊次郎の夏「Kikujiro no Natsu」   Kikujiro Film Poster

Release Date: June 05th, 1999 (Japan)

UK Release Date: February 22nd, 2016

UK Distributor: Third Window Films

Running Time: 121 mins.

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Writer: Takeshi Kitano (Screenplay),

Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi, Kayoko Kishimoto, Yuko Daike, The Great Gidayu, Rakkyo Ide, Fumie Hosokawa, Beat Kiyoshi,


Kikujiro is Takeshi Kitano’s most innocent film. The titular character was inspired by his own father (also named Kikujiro) who was a bit of a chancer, it’s a story of a little boy and his unlikely adult guardian on a summer trip full of friendship and misadventures that make up for some heartbreak.

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Takeshi Kitano Comedy Kikujiro on Blu-ray from February 22nd

Third Window Films are set to release a number of films by legendary director Takeshi Kitano on Blu-ray this year. So far we have had the release of Hana-bi (my review here) and we are going to get a number of others such as Kids Return, A Scene at the Sea, Dolls, and Kikujiro. It’s a phenomenal run of titles and Kikujiro is a very popular film. It’s a family film, a road movie and it will make you laugh and cry and laugh even more. Here’s some info from a press release!

Third Window Films are all set to release Kikujiro on February 22nd and it’s going to be available on Blu-ray with a new 2K master from Office Kitano.

Kikujiro Fishing

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