This November, you won’t want to be anywhere but the seat of your nearest film theatre which is screening The Japanese Film Festival. The program, for this year, has been carefully curated by The Japanese Foundation. With an array of comedies, samurai, action and romances you’ll have your calendar full to the brim with a new film each night.
In it’s 21st year, the festival will be running over 10 days (23rd November -3rd December). With so many incredible films to choose from, The Plus Ones have chosen our top 5 picks. You won’t want to miss this year’s event.
Delivered by first-time feature film director Yoshiyuki Kishi, ‘A Double Life’ is a poignant drama. This film, shot in a documentary style, is about Tama, a university student struggling to find an intriguing topic for her university thesis. She is advised by her professor to focus on a single subject and it doesn’t take long until her focus is upon Shiro. A must see film.
For the first time, in this year’s festival, three short films will be featured. Produced under New Directions in Japanese Cinema (NDJC), comes ‘Dad’s Wedding’. Aoko, an unmarried, 28 year old make-up artist leaves her ever-changing life in Tokyo to see her family after her Father has re-married. It’s a refreshing film with a modern day twist on the usual family genre.
JFF program coordinator Margarett Coretz has handpicked films to represent fresh perspectives and showcase the next generation of Japanese cinema in this year’s festival. This has clearly been depicted in veteran filmmaker’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s ‘Before we Vanish’. In this sci-fi like film, the fate of earth is in the hands of three humans forced to decode a language before invasion strikes.
Another fresh film from Kazuya Shiraishi who also directed ‘A double Life’ comes ‘Birds without names’, a visceral story of commitment, lust and redemption in a crime style film. This mysterious film will have you wanting more as you try and understand the emotions depicted throughout this intriguing film.
This year’s festival will open in true Japanese style with Mumon: The land of Stealth. This action-packed film directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura details a battle between a warlord’s army and other ninja’s who are living in his province. The feature film for this year also stars Satoshi Ohno. This film will really set the bar for this year’s festival – you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat wanting more.
When she’s not globetrotting, Caitlin Martin loves to scope out Sydney and Melbourne’s hidden gems, with a camera and coffee in hand. Follow her adventures @caitlineliseeee
The 21st Japanese Film Festival runs from 23 November–3 December 2017 at ACMI and Hoyts Melbourne Central. Entry prices vary. Purchase tickets now at www.jff.com.au
Venues are accessible.