Preview: Japan Cuts 2016, As Dynamic as Ever

Japan Cuts, Japan Society's annual festival of contemporary Japanese cinema, turns 10 this year.

What the value of a film festival is may seem easy to talk about in terms of age and program focus. It  can also be hard to determine said value from these factors. Quality is often equated with fests that have been around for a few decades. This equates prestige. Most media may turn the other cheek to niche offerings, leaving genre fests in their respected ghettos, however brightly lit and populated with passionate devotees. Festivals that offer all kinds of films from a particular place on the map seem the most curious. But that's just it, this criteria shouldn't matter. We shouldn't even be having this discussion.

Japan Cuts proves something that is supremely simple: No matter its size, the town it takes place in, or how long it has been around, a good film festival dares to divide and unite by programming an entertaining, eclectic, and if at all possible challenging slate of films; one that will ultimately expand a viewer's cinematic pallet and educate in the most thrilling way we can use the term "media literacy"... and this time these kinds of offerings just so happen to come from one very fascinating island nation.

From cyberpunks to just plain punks, lonely actors and romantic manga artists, ScreenAnarchy featured critics Dustin Chang and Christopher Bourne preview just exactly what one can expect from this year's festival, happening July 14 - 24 at Japan Society in New York City.   

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