Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 line-up


A Farewell to Jinu

A Farewell to Jinu

One of my highlights in the UK-Japan calendar is the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, now in its 13th year. This is the largest film programme in the UK focussing on Japanese cinema and each year has a different theme. 2016’s line-up has been inspired by iconic film-maker Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, a humanistic portrayal of a salaryman facing a terminal illness. The challenge for the organisers was to select a wide range of Japanese films – from documentaries, classic and contemporary films to the anime blockbusters – looking at human existence and how we persevere through life’s hardships.

Additionally, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, a disaster through which many lost their lives, but also many showed the strength and might to live on. The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on the human life.

The screenings will run from the beginning of February to the end of March across 13 cities: including London, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Exeter and Edinburgh. You can check where your nearest cinema is – and what dates the films are screening there – on the website here. Have a look below then go to the website to book your tickets before they sell out, and comment below to let us know which ones you’re seeing!

The films on offer this year are:

Miss Hokusai – Keiichi Hara, 2015

Set in early 19th century Japan during the Edo period, this animation by Keiichi Hara (Colorful) brings to life the story of O-Ei, the daughter of ukiyo-e master, Hokusai. Often contributing to his art whilst remaining uncredited, this anime is a tribute to the woman overshadowed by her large-than-life father.

Being Good – Mipo O, 2015

Tasuku (Kengo Kora) is a new primary school teacher who discovers one of his pupils is being neglected, whilst in the same city, a woman who appears to be a good mother can’t help hitting her own child. A heart-wrenching story of people caught in downward spirals by director Mipo O.

Cheers from Heaven – Makoto Kumazawa, 2011

An emotional drama based on the true story of Hikaru (played by Hiroshi Abe), an Okinawan “bento” (lunch box) shop owner who, whilst battling a terminal illness, devoted himself to helping a group of young aspiring musicians follow their dreams.

I’ll Give it My All…Tomorrow – Yuichi Fukuda, 2013

Fed-up forty-something Shizuo (Shinichi Tsutsumi) quits his job to embark on a reluctant pursuit to follow his dreams and eventually realises his true passion in life: Manga! Without much preparation or any skill, Shizuo begins work on his masterpiece…

 The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky – Yuki Tanada, 2012

An emotionally-engaging film that rotates around an illicit affair between cosplaying housewife Satomi and high school student Takumi. Acclaimed director Yuki Tanada’s masterpiece is a bold expression of the inner lives, hardships and cooped-up feelings of individuals in modern day Japan.

 A Farewell to Jinu – Suzuki Matsuo, 2015

After developing an unusual ‘money allergy’, Takeharu (Ryuhei Matsuda) leaves the city for a remote village aspiring to live without using any money – will a completely zero-yen life be possible? The long-awaited new film by playwright, author, actor and filmmaker Suzuki Matsuo (Otakus in Love).

Noriben – The Recipe for Fortune – Akira Ogata, 2009

After leaving her jobless husband, Komaki tries to make ends meet by opening her own “bento” (lunch box) shop and offering inexpensive but undoubtedly delicious food. A heartfelt story of a woman’s journey to independence that is guaranteed to whet your appetite!

Anthem of the Heart – Tatsuyuki Nagai, 2015

Young girl Jun loses the ability to speak after feeling her words cause her trouble. One day Jun is grouped with students at her high school and needs to put on a musical – will Jun be able to find her voice? A charming animated story from the creators of the smash hit movie Anohana.

 The Letter – Jiro Shono, 2006

A portrait of two brothers, Tsuyoshi and Naoki, torn apart when Tsuyoshi accidently commits murder. Despite the good intentions behind the crime, Naoki begins to despise his brother for the trouble he caused. A film exploring the toll a crime can have on the offender’s family.

A Japanese Tragedy – Keisuke Kinoshita, 1953

Director Keisuke Kinoshita creates a bleak portrait of the social realities of the postwar existence through mother Haruko’s story of self-sacrifice as she struggles to raise her materialistic-minded children after losing her husband in the war.

Uzumasa Limelight (Uzumasa Limelight) – Ken Ochiai, 2014

An award-winning film telling the admirable story of Seiichi, a ‘kirareyaku’ actor whose main role in samurai movies was simply to be killed-off. When the studio where he works decides to discontinue its samurai epics, Seiichi finds himself at a loss.

The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky  Yuki Tanada, 2012

An emotionally-engaging film that rotates around an illicit affair between cosplaying housewife Satomi and high school student Takumi. Acclaimed director Yuki Tanada’s masterpiece is a bold expression of the inner lives, hardships and cooped-up feelings of individuals in modern day Japan.

The Elegant Life of Mr Everyman  Kihachi Okamoto, 1963

A ‘salaryman comedy’ about Eburi, who drunkenly promises to pen his clients a masterpiece and who must stay true to his word. Featuring animation and audacious editing, this idiosyncratic and inventive classic film is a timeless treatment of life in postwar Japan.

Pecoross’ Mother and Her Days – Azuma Morisaki, 2013

A heart-warming comedy exploring Japan’s ageing population through the story of a dementia-suffering mother and her manga artist son, who faces the reality that his mother must be moved to a nursing home and begins to discover more about her past.

Tale of a Butcher Shop – Aya Hanabusa, 2013

An award-winning documentary about the Kitades and their family-run butcher shop in Kaizuka City (outside Osaka), where they have been raising and slaughtering cattle, and selling their meat in their small shop for over 100 years.

 

One thought on “Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 line-up

  1. Pingback: WIN Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme tickets! | Sophie's Japan Blog

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