Over the weekend of February 12th to 14th this year The Japan Foundation Touring Programme brings nine Japanese films to QUAD. The theme of the season is ‘The Highs And Lows Of Japanese Life’ and none of the films has been screened in the UK previously.
A pass is available allowing entry to all nine films for just £50 (even less if you are a concession or QUAD member) and can be obtained by calling 01332 290606. Alternatively, you can buy tickets to individual films at QUAD’s usual ticket prices. Below is a short rundown of the exciting and varied line up of films that will be screening.
Friday 12th February at 7:00pm
THE COWARDS WHO LOOKED TO THE SKY WITH DIRECTOR Q+A (Advised 18)
Dir. Yuki Tanada 2013 141m
Life is about to take a drastic turn for Anzu (Tomoko Tabata), a bored housewife who desperately tries to have a baby to resurrect her dying marriage and appease a less-than-amiable mother-in-law. A random encounter with student Takumi (Kento Nagayama) at an event for anime fans leads to torrid sex and a deliciously illicit affair at the conjugal home. Her husband begins to notice and soon a video of the adulterous couple finds its way onto the internet. Hilarity does not ensue.
Yuki Tanada, the director of The Cowards who Look to the Sky will be attending this screening of her film and will be taking part in a post screening Q&A
Book tickets for The Cowards Who Looked To The Sky at THIS PAGE.
Saturday 13th February 12:30pm
THE ELEGANT LIFE OF MR. EVERYMAN (Advised 12)
Dir. Kihachi Okamoto 1963 116 mins
While drunk, Eburi declares that he would write something for a magazine. Once sober, he writes a novella using himself as a model. Utilising audacious editing to insert sequences of animation, the film skilfully describes the everyday life of an ordinary salaryman with a comical pace. Within the framework of “Salaryman Comedies”, Okamoto expresses the scars of World War II at every turn.
Book tickets for The Elegant Life Of Mr. Everyman event at THIS PAGE.
Saturday 13th February at 3:00pm
A FAREWELL TO JINU (ADVISED 12)
Dir. Suzuki Matsuo 2015 121m
Takeharu, a former bank clerk, moves to a remote village after developing an inexplicable “money allergy.” He attempts to live a peaceful rural life without currency, but Kamuroba village’s bizarre characters draw him out of his shell in this increasingly surreal madcap comedy. When a nearby town leader attempts to overthrow the handyman/bus-driver /mayor, Takeharu must prove his attachment to Kamuroba and its people. Based on the Manga series by Mikio Igarashi.
Book tickets for A Farewell To Jinu at THIS PAGE.
Saturday 13th February at 6:20pm
UZUMASA LIMELIGHT (Advised 12)
Dir: Ken Ochiai 2014 104 mins
Fukumoto Seiji is Japan’s top “kirareyaku” actor, whose job it is to be felled with a sword by a film’s star. With appearances in numerous samurai movies, he plays a utility actor reminiscent of himself in his first starring role in a film. Fewer samurai films are being made and the studio has fallen on hard times. One day, veteran actor Fukumoto is tasked with teaching sword action techniques to fledgling actress Satsuki (Yamamoto Chihiro). A few years later, the now-retired Kamiyama is visited by Satsuki, who has now become a popular star.
Book tickets for Uzumasa Limelight at THIS PAGE.
Saturday 13th February at 8:45pm
THE LETTERS (Advised 12)
Dir: Jiro Shono 2006 121 mins
Brothers Tsuyoshi (Tetsuji Tamayama) and Naoki (Takayuki Yamada) have been helping each other since they lost their parents. But when the elder brother, Tsuyoshi, becomes unemployed he commits a robbery in order to obtain the school tuition fees for Naoki and in the process kills someone by mistake. While his elder brother is serving his sentence, Naoki undergoes a rough life and gradually begins to despise his elder brother so writes to explain all the difficulties he’s been facing and requests to sever their family ties. Tsuyoshi realises for the first time the significance of his crime. Based on a mystery novel by Keigo Higashino.
Book tickets for The Letters at THIS PAGE.
Sunday 14th February at 2:00pm
CHEERS FROM HEAVEN (Advised PG)
Dir: Makoto Kumazawa 2011 114 min
A drama based on a true story, the film depicts the life of Nakasone Hikaru, (Hiroshi Abe) who owns a small lunch shop right next to a high school. He learns that his young customers don’t have a place to practice their music, and being obliging, he builds a music studio in his garage and lets the students use it free of charge. Before long, the students grow very fond of him. Then, he gets hit by sickness…
Book tickets for Cheers From heaven at THIS PAGE.
Sunday 14th of February at 4:30pm
A JAPANESE TRAGEDY (Advised 15)
Dir: Keisuke Kinoshita 1953 99 mins
Having lost her husband in the war, Haruko Inoue (wonderfully played by Yuko Mochizuki) struggles to raise her children. Making innumerable sacrifices for them, including prostituting herself, Haruko decides to send them to live with her brother in Tokyo. Her daughter becomes compromised in a flirtation with a teacher and Haruko rushes to the city. Once in Tokyo, she realises her children could not love her less and actually have no respect for her and her sacrifices.
Book tickets for A Japanese Tragedy at THIS PAGE.
Sunday 14th February at 6:45pm
MISS HOKUSAI (Advised 12)
Dir. Keiichi Hara 2015 93 mins
This is the story of O-Ei, the female artist and daughter of famous Ukiyo-e (woodblock print artist) Katsushika Hokusai (The Great Wave). His daughter O-Ei is an accomplished painter who frequently assists her father. She goes so far as to create complete works that her mentor then signs, but few today are even aware of the woman who assisted the artist all his life, and greatly contributed to his art while remaining uncredited. Based on a manga of the same title, the film uses animation to bring the rich world of Ukiyo-e to life.
Book tickets for Miss Hokusai at THIS PAGE.
Sunday 14th February at 8:55pm
ANTHEM OF THE HEART (Advised PG)
Dir: Tatsuyuki Nagai 2015 119 mins
Jun Naruse is a girl who carries the guilt of breaking up her family with the words she carelessly uttered when she was young. Suddenly, a mysterious “Egg Fairy” appears in front of Jun and casts a curse on her so that she can never again hurt anybody with her words. Jun’s ability to speak is sealed away and hides her feelings deep inside of her heart, using e-mail messages on her mobile phone as her sole means of communication. Now a second year high school student Jun and three other students are appointed as the Regional Friendship Exchange Executive Committee. As it turns out, the appointed group is a rather unexpected mix of students…
Book tickets for Anthem Of The Heart at THIS PAGE.
That concludes the line-up, but if your appetite for Japanese cinema has still not been satiated then fear not, Satori Screen brings you Takashi Miike’s blood-drenched gangster vampire movie YAKUZA APOCALYPSE on March 4th. More info on that can be found HERE.