This year marks the seventh edition of the Japanese Film Festival, which sees the continuation of the very successful collaboration between the Embassy of Japan and access›cinema, with the support of the Ireland Japan Association and the Japan Foundation.
Screenings will be held in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford, with this year’s Japanese Film Festival expanding to include Sligo and Dundalk, giving audiences throughout Ireland the chance to see Japanese films.
This year’s programme of 18 films is as varied as ever: highlights include Uzumasa Limelight, a moving portrait of an elderly actor of samurai roles facing redundancy as he is eclipsed by younger actors, and the unconventional and brilliantly acted love story The Light Shines Only There, which was Japan’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Academy Awards.
Audiences can also look forward to Tokyo Tribe, a gangsta-rap musical set amidst the warring gangs of a stylised version of Tokyo, already tipped to be a future cult classic of Japanese cinema.
Four award-winning Japanese films, Kwaidan, Railways, Tug of War, and Villon’s Wife, are presented from the Japan Foundation Film Library with each chosen for their diverse representation of past and present Japan. The highlight is the classic horror film Kwaidan, a selection of four Japanese ghost stories by Lafcadio Hearn, the Irish-Greek writer known as Koizumi Yakumo in Japan where he lived for many years. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1966 Academy Awards as well as being the winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival.
Other films that will be shown at the festival include A Letter to Momo, Forma, Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats, Lady Maiko, Only Yesterday, Pale Moon, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, Thermae Romae II, Time of Eve, and Wood Job!.