2017’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme has now been revealed! With a selection of 14 films across 15 venues, this year’s films look at ‘desires, hopes, and impulses’ – sounds fascinating!
With everything from documentaries to animation, from both established and up-and-coming directors, there’s a really broad range of films on offer! Here’s the list of titles that will be showing:
The Mohican Comes Home
After seven years away, deadbeat rocker Eikichi (Ryuhei Matsuda) reluctantly returns to his home on a remote island near Shikoku with news that his clumsy girlfriend Yuka (Atsuko Maeda) is pregnant and that they will be getting married. After a wild welcome party, Eikichi’s old-school father collapses and a subsequent doctor’s visit reveals the worst – Osamu diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Showing at ICA (London), Exeter Phoenix (Exeter), Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast), Eden Court (Inverness), and Watershed (Bristol).
Delinquent runaway Taira (Yuya Yagira, Nobody Knows) leaves his hometown for the city, where he aimlessly roams the streets picking fights with random bystanders. Rallied on by a high schooler, Taira’s street-side scuffles soon turn into a sinister game.
Showing at ICA (London), Watershed (Bristol), QUAD (Derby), and Showroom Cinema (Sheffield).
Seemingly happy middle-aged housewife Sayoko (Takako Tokiwa) is blessed with a kind salaryman husband and a sweet-natured daughter. Yet, somehow, Sayoko finds herself becoming hopelessly infatuated with her young hairdresser Kaito (Sosuke Ikematsu), an interest that rapidly spirals out of control.
Showing at ICA (London), Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast), and Exeter Phoenix (Exeter).
Bottom-of-the-class Sayaka (played by newcomer Kasumi Arimura) enrols in a cram school in a last ditch attempt to improve her grades. There Sayaka meets the overly optimistic and unconventional teacher Mr Tsubota (Atsushi Ito) who soon encourages Sayaka to set her sights on passing the entrance exam for Japan’s prestigious Keio University.
Showing at ICA (London), QUAD (Derby), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee), and Showroom Cinema (Sheffield).
Pieta in the Toilet
Young failed painter Hiroshi (Yojiro Noda) falls into the depths of despair when he discovers he is incurably ill. Having given up on his dreams, everything changes when he encounters bold and outspoken Mai (Hana Sugisaki). Her strong will is infectious and pushes Hiroshi to reassess his outlook on life.
Showing at ICA (London), Watershed (Bristol), Showroom Cinema (Sheffield), QUAD (Derby), Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling), and mac birmingham (Birmingham).
A Stitch of Life
For dressmaker Ichie (Miki Nakatani, Memories of Matsuko), creating an item of clothing is a hugely personal process. Having inherited her grandmother’s shop, Ichie specialises in tailor-making clothes for each client using an old sewing machine. Her dressmaking shop is bustling and the locals adore her unique vintage creations. When a department store offers to turn her clothing into a brand, Ichie must choose between honouring her grandmother’s will or fashioning her own path.
Showing at ICA (London), Dundee Contemporary (Dundee), Exeter Phoenix (Exeter), Phoenix (Leicester), and Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast).
Kabukicho Love Hotel
A love hotel in Kabukicho, Tokyo’s well-known entertainment district conveniently conceals people with problems; a cleaner who lives with a criminal at large, a pimp and a girl who has run away from home. An ordinary day begins at this extraordinary hotel…
Showing at ICA (London), QUAD (Derby), HOME (Manchester), and Watershed (Bristol).
Naïve country bumpkin Haruko (Mone Kamishiraishi) arrives in the traditional heart of Kyoto to attempt the impossible. Rough-hewn and with an impenetrable accent, Haruko begs to be given a chance to become the epitome of cultural sophistication: a Kyoto geisha.
Showing at ICA (London), QUAD (Derby), Eden Court (Inverness), Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast), and Phoenix (Leicester).
Set in the mid-1990s, shortly after the burst of Japan’s economic bubble, ordinary housewife and bank employee Rika (played by award-winning actress, Rie Miyazawa) turns to a life of crime by embezzling money from clients’ accounts in order to please her younger lover, college student Kota (Sosuke Ikematsu). What begins as a few yen soon spirals into large sums of money and while it looks like Rika will get away scot-free, one eagle-eyed bank supervisor has her suspicions.
Showing at ICA (London), Watershed (Bristol), Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast), QUAD (Derby), Showroom Cinema (Sheffield), Eden Court (Inverness), Phoenix (Leicester), mac birmingham (Birmingham), and Exeter Phoenix (Exeter).
A Sparkle of Life
Tae, a 77-year-old widow, attempts to inject a ‘spark’ into her life and signs up with a matchmaking service in pursuit of a last chance at love. Despite the impending bad dates and the unrelenting opposition from those around her, Tae stays in search of her silver-haired knight in shining armour.
Showing at ICA (London), mac birmingham (Birmingham), Phoenix (Leicester), Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast), Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling), and Showroom Cinema (Sheffield).
Flora on the Sand
One evening, at the Marine Tower observatory, cosmetics salesman Ichiro Iki is drawn into conversation with an unfamiliar young lady Akiko. She invites Ichiro back to a hotel where they make love but part without even exchanging names.
A week later, they have a second chance encounter at the observatory. This time, Ichiro is the one who pursues her. Back at the hotel, Akiko begs Ichiro to give her sister – Kyoko, a bar hostess – absolute hell. Akiko resents her sister for lecturing on chastity, while wantonly indulging in promiscuous activity. Ichiro takes an interest in Kyoko and sets out towards her bar…
Showing at ICA (London), QUAD (Derby), HOME (Manchester), Phoenix (Leicester), Showroom Cinema (Sheffield), and Eden Court (Inverness).
A winner of the Cannes Special Jury Prize in 1960, Odd Obsession is a darkly comic drama following Kenmochi, an elderly man who attempts to sexually satisfy his captivating, younger wife. Struggling with his virility and a decreased libido, Kenmochi orchestrates an affair between his wife and future son-in-law in order to inflame his jealousy and restore his sexual virility. Kenmochi’s cunning plan however, has tragic consequences.
Showing at ICA (London), QUAD (Derby), Eden Court (Inverness), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee), HOME (Manchester), and Showroom Cinema (Sheffield).
The world’s largest fish market, Tsukiji is a place like no other. Known as “the kitchen of Japan”, Tsukiji has been at the heart of Japanese cuisine since opening almost 80 years ago. Boasting over 700 wholesalers who have dedicated their lives to supplying quality produce, the incredible scale of trade at Tsukiji is a testament to their pride and determination.
Showing at HOME (Manchester), ICA (London), Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast), Eden Court (Inverness), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee), and Exeter Phoenix (Exeter).
A Silent Voice
Shoko, a young Deaf student, transfers to a new school where she is bullied by Shoya for her hearing impairment. While Shoya originally leads the class in bullying Shoko, the class soon turn on him for his lack of compassion. When they leave elementary school, Shoko and Shoya do not speak to each other again, but Shoya, tormented by his past behaviour, decides he must see Shoko once more to atone for his sins – but is it already too late?
Showing at ICA (London), Showroom Cinema (Sheffield), QUAD (Derby), Watershed (Bristol), Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling), HOME (Manchester), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee), Exeter Phoenix (Exeter), Phoenix (Leicester), and Queen’s Film Theatre (Belfast).
Further information and tickets are available on the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017 website.
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