01 PM | 02 Nov

2012 #Japanese #Film #Festival Program #Melbourne

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!

 Facebook – japanesefilmfest – and on Twitter @japanfilmfest / #jff16

04 PM | 18 Feb

Japanese manufactures ‘net’ for space junk #spacetravel #geekgirl

Japan’s JAXA space agency, is apparently working with a fishing net manufacturer to make a steel wire net for collecting space junk floating in orbit around the earth. The net will be several kilometers wide and after a “catch” of junk is made, it will be electrified by an attached control box, causing the whole mess to fall back to earth and be burned up upon re-entry. JAXA is still some years away from making anything solid from the project, but needless to say, the roughly 320,000 pieces of junk exceeding 1cm in diameter and in orbit at the moment is causing some risks to space travelers and someone needs to clear it. Clean-tech takes on a new dimension. (Source: http://on.msnbc.com/gnjjKX )

04 PM | 26 Mar

Desire of Codes – technology and art – Japan

Desire of Codes exhibition introduces a brand new installation piece by Seiko Mikami at the Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media. Seiko Mikami creates precise depictions of the gradually transforming relationship between information technology and sensory perception. 

until — 6 June, 2010 Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media 7-7 Nakazono-cho Yamaguchi-city 7530075 JAPAN

To find out more go to http://doc.ycam.jp/outline/index_en.html

03 PM | 19 Mar

Japan to ignore bluefin tuna ban

While we’re not sure just how Japan will ignore it, Japan’s vice minister for fisheries has said that if  Atlantic bluefin tuna exports are banned at an upcoming CITES-related vote later this month, then Japan would not comply with the ban. The problem for Japan is that the U.S. has come out in support of the ban, meaning that Japan will not have any major allies when the 175-nation vote comes up in Doha, Qatar.

So what does “not comply” mean? We presume that Japan might try to send its own fishing boats into the Atlantic high seas and see if anyone challenges them. Do we get the sense that the whale hunt confrontation in the Southern Ocean was just Act One for a bigger showdown yet to come? ** (Source: TT commentary from upi.com)