The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2023
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, the UK’s ever-evolving and largest festival of Japanese cinema, celebrates its 20th anniversary!
With an exciting lineup of films, this year’s programme explores the theme of “the evolution of Japanese cinema”. Audiences will be provided with food for thought: Where has Japanese cinema come from? What is its current position in the world of cinema? And where is it heading next?
Ten screenings will take place between Friday 24 – Sunday 26 February and one screening will take place on Saturday 18 March.
A pass to see all screenings within this programme can be purchased, priced as follows:
Info on all of the films screening can be seen below.
Friday 24 February 6:00pm
2016. Japan. Dir: Yamada Yoji. 108 mins.
All his wife wants for her birthday…. is a divorce. This single sheet of divorce paper sends the ‘happy family’ into a panic. Hirata Shuzo and his wife Tomiko have been married for fifty years. In an attempt to find a solution, they hold a ‘family conference’ to discuss the issue, but soon everyone starts revealing their secrets and dissatisfactions in this comedy from the director of The Twilight Samurai.
Friday 24 February 8:35pm
2021. Japan. Dir: Kojima Oudai. 118 mins.
Takeshi returns to Tokyo after serving two years in prison and aims to go straight, but must first dive back into the criminal world to earn money. Catching up with his past yakuza contacts, he starts a business selling personal data for fraud schemes and before long finds himself dragged back into the underworld just as a major clash between competing yakuza organisations is on the horizon.
Saturday 25 February 1:00pm
1935. Japan. Dir: Yamanaka Sadao. 97 mins.
The lord of the Yagyu Clan discovers the pot he used to own contains a map that reveals the whereabouts of a huge amount of money. However, the pot has already been given to his younger brother, Genzaburo, who has recently married into a family in Edo (Tokyo). The lord sends a messenger to Genzaburo to get back the pot, only to find out that his wife has sold it off. The chase to reacquire it is on.
Saturday 25 February 3:00pm
2014. Japan. Dir: Motoki Katsuhide. 119 mins.
Lord Naito Masaatsu suddenly receives a demand from the shogunate to perform “Sankin Kotai” – a ritual visit to the shogun in Edo (Tokyo) – within five days. If he fails the clan’s lands will be confiscated. This seems like an impossible mission, as it usually takes six months to prepare for such a visit and eight days to travel to Edo. However, Masaatsu is determined to prove that he can achieve the impossible
Saturday 25 February 6:20pm
2022. Japan. Dir: Ilzuka Kasho. 112 mins.
Jungo is an angry high school boy. He cannot focus on his studies nor on his relationship with his boyfriend. His main source of anger is his mother, Reina, a Filipina bar hostess. One day, unexpectedly, he finds an unfamiliar man on the living room, who turns out to be his mother’s new boyfriend. This shock sets Jungo off on a search for his real father.
Saturday 25 February 8:45pm
2018. Japan. Dir: Tetsuya Nakashima. 134 mins.
Tahara Hideki and Kana are blessed with a baby girl, whom they name Chisa. Hideki’s life seems to be perfect until one day a visitor to his company leaves him a message with his colleague that mentions “Chisa-san”. Soon his colleague who took the message meets a mysterious death – which is only the beginning of the family’s nightmare.
Sunday 26 February 1:35pm
2022. Japan. Dir: Hirayama Hideyuki. 95 mins.
Forty-nine-year-old Fumi spends her time relaxing with her co-workers and hanging out with her astronomy obsessed best friend. One day, Fumi happens to see a man about her age playing a tune using a leaf as an instrument. Both bearing their own scars, the two become attached to each other. After a rare one in one in a million occurrence Fumi determinedly sets off in pursuit of new happiness.
Sunday 26 February 3:35pm
2021. Japan. Dir: Yokohama Satoko. 116 mins.
High school student Soma Ito has a remarkable talent for playing the Tsugaru shamisen – a three-string instrument. However, Ito’s extreme shyness makes it hard for her to play in public, and together with her strong accent, she finds human communication difficult. To change this, she decides to start a part-time job at a maid café, much to the concern of her father.
Sunday 26 February 6:00pm
2022. Japan. Dir: Tachibana Masaki. 103 mins.
Tamaki, a university fresher from Nagasaki, is determined to have a fairy-tale romance in Tokyo by joining the right student club. However, Tamaki ends up joining the aviation club after damaging their prized glider. Far from the university life that Tamaki had dreamed of, she is at first reluctant to attend the training sessions, but gradually discovers a fascination towards flying.
Sunday 26 February 8:25pm
2021. Japan. Dir: Nishikawa Miwa. 126 mins.
Mikami Masao (Yakusho Koji) is released from prison after thirteen years for murder. Having no friends or family and no valid skills for work opportunities, he struggles to re-enter society. But Mikami is determined to leave his shadowy past behind him and desires to find his mother, from whom he was separated as a young child.
Saturday 18 March 6:00pm
2021. Japan. Dir: Iwama Gen. 112 mins.
More than fifty years after his debut, photographer Moriyama Daido, now in his eighties, continues to be active at the forefront of photography. Winning the Hasselblad Foundation, International Award in Photography in 2019, he is probably best known for his distinctive photographic style of black and white, grainy, harsh contrasts, and blurred movements.This is a rare documentary that offers a close-up view of Japan’s most iconic photographer and the secrets of his work.
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