Japan Cuts 2017 Preview: A Country at a Crossroads and the Movies at the Heart of it All

Japan Cuts: The Festival of New Japanese Film comes roaring back to life for another season of fresh flicks with the ninja-samurai action epic MUMON: The Land of Stealth kicking things off July 13 at the Japan Society in New York City. From the 13 - 23 of July, you can expect a veritable smorgasboard of cinematic treats, along with a wave of Q&As, special guests, and parties, before the fest closes out with the Kinema Junpo selected "best film of 2016" In This Corner of the World.

Today I am joined by Dustin Chang and Christopher Bourne with a preview of ten films from this year's lineup. While the fest is as wide-ranging in subject and tone as ever, my colleagues and I find ourselves setting the spotlight on primarily independent dramas, documentaries and avant-garde curiosities. Many of these films are fascinating examples of a Japan that finds itself at a political, cultural and economic crossroads; one that is perhaps unlike any seen since post-war. In these films we meet younger generations stunted by tradition, driven by fetish and fantasy, powered by music, and devestated by one's own longings. These are somber, silly and sobering works, offering us pause to consider the nature of human folly before reving us up all over again.

To get a further sense of what's in store, check out our short takes in the gallery below!

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