2012 JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM UNVEILED
Opening with Japan’s biggest box office hit of the year Thermae Romae
29 November – 9 December
The 16th Japanese Film Festival (JFF) opens in Melbourne with its biggest line-up yet. Boasting many titles that are now showing in Japan, with some yet to be released the JFF will screen at Hoyts Melbourne Central and ACMI Cinemas.
Opening the Festival is Japan’s biggest box office hit of the year, Thermae Romae, a laugh-out-loud comedy starring Hiroshi Abe as a time-travelling Roman architect that journeys between ancient Rome and present-day Japan. The film is centred on bath culture, from Japanese bathhouses to Roman baths becoming the portal between the two eras.
The Festival will close with epic saga The Floating Castle, based on historical events. Set in 16th century feudal Japan, it’s the tale of a 20,000 strong army battling for their lives against 500 men. Originally set for a September 2011 release, it was postponed to this November due to a large water attack scene that was deemed inappropriate to be released in the same year as the tsunami.
Fresh from Japan comes the 35th Montreal World Film Festival ‘Special Grand Prix Jury’ Prize winner, A Chronicle of My Mother starring Koji Yakusho (13 Assassins).
Earlier this year, Japan’s oldest active film director Kaneto Shindo passed away, aged 100. Postcard was Shindo’s final film, written from his own war experiences and was Japan’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2011 Academy Awards.
From the director of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film Departures, Yojiro Takita returns with Tenchi: the Samurai Astronomer, a samurai assigned with the task of charting the stars across the length and breadth of Japan.
Fans of Japanese thrillers will be pleased to see Goose Bumps – the Movie in the mix. Initially a cult TV series, this is a compilation of six chilling stories not about the supernatural, but the curiosity and madness that lurks deep within us all.
Rurouni Kenshin, another film currently topping Japan box office grossing over 555 million yen ($7 million) in its first five days, is a must-see for all samurai lovers. But for those who are after a different type of blade action, Helter Skelter gives you a glimpse of the ugly side of beauty – when plastic surgery gets out of hand.
Families will enjoy newly animated feature Friends: Naki on the Monster Island, a heart-warming story about an unlikely friendship that forms between a monster and a human child.
For the full program, visit www.japanesefilmfestival.net
Tickets go on sale now!
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