Japan Cuts 2019 Preview: Dance the Summer Away With Great New Films

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)

"New York, New York, a helluva town!" So declare the lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, set to music by Leonard Bernstein, in On the Town (1944), and it applies equally well today to the city that will host Japan Cuts, the largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema in North America.

This year, Japan Cuts will get underway on Friday, July 19, showcasing Can't Stop the Dancing (aka Dance With Me) (Dansu Uizu Mii), the U.S. premiere of a comic, road-trip musical by director Yaguchi Shinobu. But that is definitely not all. In fact, the festival will premiere 26 features and 16 shorts across 10 days before concluding on July 28.

Dustin Chang and Christopher Bourne, our indefatigable Featured Critics, have barely recovered from the glory of the New York Asian Film Festival, yet they are eager to tell us about their experiences with the films. Mr. Chang has already screened several Japan Cuts titles in advance, which can be perused in the gallery below; Mr. Bourne plans to share his thoughts in a dispatch during the festivities.

Once again, all I can say is: thank you, Featured Critics, and please enjoy the show, everybody. Watch the festival's own trailer to get in the mood, and then click onward.

Dustin Chang contributed to this story.

Watch the festival's trailer below, then click through above to see all our preview picks!

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