Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 Hits The UK

Writer; London/Tokyo (@seven_cinemas)
Now in its thirteenth edition, London's Japan Foundation has returned with another fine selection of contemporary Japanese film titles with which to tour the UK. 

This year the choices are based around the theme, 'Ikiru: The Highs and Lows of Life in Japanese Cinema'. Ikiru, a word instantly familiar to Japanese cinema fans as the Shimura Takashi-starring, Kurosawa Akira classic, was the profound tale of a man trying to make a difference in the lives of others at the twilight of his own existence. Inspired by that film's themes, the programme aims to "Look [sic] at the way in which Japanese filmmakers have been observing and capturing people's lives, and how people across the ages persevere, negotiate and reconcile with the environment and situation they live in.".

The exciting lineup contains mostly recent live-action works with a couple of anime features and golden-age classics thrown into the mix. Check the gallery below for my highlights from the program.  

The Lineup

Miss Hokusai dir. Keiichi Hara, Japan 2015

Being Good, dir. Mipo O, Japan 2015

Cheers From Heaven, dir. Makoto Kumazawa, Japan 2011

I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow, dir. Yuichi Fukuda, Japan 2013

The Cowards Who Looked To The Sky, dir. Yuki Tanada, Japan, 2012

A Farewell to Jinu, dir. Suzuki Matsuo, Japan 2015

The Recipe For Fortune, dir. Akira Ogata, Japan 2009

Anthem Of The Heart, dir. Tatsuyuki Nagai, Japan 2015

The Letter, dir. Jiro Shono, Japan 2006

A Japanese Tragedy, dir. Keisuke Kinoshita, Japan 1953

Uzumasa Limelight, dir. Ken Ochiai, Japan 2014

The Elegant Life Of Mr Everyman, dir. Kihachi Okamoto, Japan 1963

Tale Of A Butcher Shop, dir. Aya Hanabusa, Japan 2013

Pecoross' Mother And Her Days, dir. Azuma Morisaki, Japan 2013

Running from 5th February-26th March, the tour will be touching down in major cities across the UK. Check the website for your nearest screening:

Miss Hokusai dir. Keiichi Hara, Japan 2015

Director Hara Keiichi creates a vivid snapshot of Edo era Tokyo in his adaptation of Sugiura Hinako's manga series Sarusuberi. The Miss Hokusai in question is O-Ei, daughter of master painter Hokusai Katsushika, who inherits her father's talent along with his flaws.

Read Kurt’s review here:

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