The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017

Japan_Foundation_Logo.svg3rd – 9th February 2017
at ICA, London

3rd February – 29th March 2017

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, the largest programme focusing on Japanese cinema in the UK returns in 2017, touring to 15 cities nationwide.

Taking inspiration from Charlie Chaplin’s famous quote “Life is a desire, not a meaning”, the programme features an all-encompassing introduction to Japanese cinema through the prism of “desires, hopes and impulses”.

From the newly released work, The Mohican Comes Home (2016) by Shuichi Okita to classic example Flora on the Sand (1964) by Ko Nakahira, this year’s programme spans a myriad of genres to present the multiplicity of “wanting” in all its guises and explore a theme that is both prevalent and universal.

Also showcasing younger Japanese filmmakers’ talents as well as a popular anime and rare documentary, the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017 promises to not only capture trends in Japanese cinema but also provide a vivid insight into what drives human action.

Programme for screenings at ICA, London include:

Pale Moon (Kami no tsuki)
Daihachi Yoshida, 2014

Ordinary housewife and bank employee Rika (Rie Miyazawa) turns to a life of crime by embezzling money from clients’ accounts in order to please her young lover. A mischievous dark drama adapted from the bestselling novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta.

Destruction Babies (Destruction Babies)
Tetsuya Mariko, 2016


Delinquent runaway Taira (Yuya Yagira, Nobody Knows) aimlessly roams the streets picking fights with random bystanders. Rallied on by a high schooler, Taira’s street-side scuffles soon turn into a sinister game. Tetsuya Mariko won the Prize for the Best Emerging Director, Locarno International Film Festival for this debut work.

Lady Maiko (Maiko wa redii)
Masayuki Suo, 2014

A My Fair Lady-esque musical directed by Masayuki Suo (Shall We Dance?) capturing the aspirations and struggles of naïve country bumpkin Haruko who strives to become a maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto.

Flying Colours (Birigyaru)
Nobuhiro Doi, 2015

Bottom-of-the-class Sayaka enrols in a cram school to improve her grades but soon sets her sights on passing the entrance exam for Japan’s prestigious Keio
University. Based on a nonfiction bestseller, this film depicts Japan’s highly competitive and demanding university entrance exams.

The Mohican Comes Home (Mohikan kokyo ni kaeru)
Shuichi Okita, 2016

Deadbeat rocker Eikichi (Ryuhei Matsuda) returns to his home on a remote island with news that his girlfriend Yuka (Atsuko Maeda) is pregnant. Shortly after, Eikichi’s old-school father becomes bedridden and it is up to helpless Eikichi to make his father happy.

Odd Obsession (Kagi)
Kon Ichikawa, 1959

Winner of the Cannes Special Jury Prize in 1960, this darkly comic drama follows an elderly man with a decreased libido who attempts to sexually
satisfy his captivating, younger wife. Based on Junichiro Tanizaki’s sensual and controversial 1956 novel Kagi (“The Key”).

A Sparkle of Life (San san)
Bunji Sotoyama, 2013

Tae, a 77-year-old widow, signs up with a matchmaking service in pursuit of a last chance at love in this romantic comedy, following one pensioner’s attempt to inject a ‘spark’ into her life. A film exploring the hopes and dreams
of Japan’s aging population.

A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi)
Naoko Yamada, 2016

An emotional and beautifully animated film following young Shoya, a boy tormented by his past bullying of deaf classmate Shoko. Shoya decides he must see Shoko once more to atone for his sins, but is it already too late?

Pieta in the Toilet (Toire no Pieta)
Daishi Matsunaga, 2015


Young failed painter Hiroshi falls into the depths of despair when he discovers he is incurably ill. One day he meets a teenage girl whose strong will in life gradually sheds light on his own. Inspired by the ‘God of Manga’
Osamu Tezuka’s last diary entry.


Kabukicho Love Hotel (Sayonara Kabukicho)
Ryuichi Hiroki, 2014

A Stitch of Life (Tsukuroi tatsu hito)
Yukiko Mishima, 2015

Tsukiji Wonderland (Tsukiji wandarando)
Naotaro Endo, 2016

Someone’s Xylophone (Dareka no mokkin)
Yoichi Higashi, 2016

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme is produced and organised but the Japan Foundation. Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Airlines, the Japan Centre, Sake Samurai and Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau.


For full schedule, times, dates, venues and tickets please visit the website.

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