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Films From Japan

Battle Royale II: Requiem (Batoru Rowaiaru II: Chinkonka) Japan'Battle Royale II is bigger, bolder and bloodier than the original.'Midnight EyeThree years after he survived the bloody mayhem in the first Battle Royale 'game', Nanahara, together with fellow escapee, Nakagawa, leads a terrorist unit ... Read more
“It's as though Sofia Coppola had scrapped Lost in Translation midway through to focus instead on elephant beetles.” - Austin Chronicle ... The ineffable mystery of Japan's age-old love affair with insects is put under the microscope in Beetle Queen, which sees filmmaker Jessica Oreck - a ... Read more
Belladonna is a full-length animation feature from the Japanese film maker, Eiichi Yamamoto. ... Two younq lovers. Jean and ... Jeanne, live in a small French farming village during the Middle Ages. They are married, and, after the ceremony, present themselves at the court of the local Count ... Read more
“Homoerotic prison life acts as an inscrutable metaphor for what's wrong with modern Japan.” - Variety ... Jun leads an isolated life working in a gay bar but after being brutalised by a customer who picks him up, Jun goes into a frenzy and kills him. This single violent act leads Jun to a ... Read more
"Okatsu is a widow raising five children - adults but still mama-dependent - in mid-eighteenth century Edo, Japan. Her frugality attracts unflattering comment even amid national tough times (the region is in famine) What Okatsu tells no one is that she saves so that a friend can start his own ... Read more
Black Jack is the long-awaited feature-length animation of Tezuka Osamu's (Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion) classic comic book of the same name. When a group of mysterious 'superhumans' suddenly come down with a debilitating illness that robs them of their power, Black Jack (a reclusive medical ... Read more
“Only the Japanese - perhaps only Imamura - could have made a film in which the bomb at Hiroshima is simply the starting point for an unforgiving critique of Japanese society itself.” - Chicago Sun-Times Everyone now knows what happened on the morning of 6 August 1945 in Hiroshima, which makes ... Read more
Blood and Bones centres on Kim Sun-pei, a Korean migrant attempting to build a fortune in Japan. Contrary to his hopes, the Japan he encounters is a brutal world of discrimination and hard labour. Responding with all the violence, selfishness and severity imaginable, he becomes hated and abandoned ... Read more
This killer Japanese animation packs a stake-snapping whallop. Dispensing with exposition, Blood-The Last Vampire propels the viewer headlong into the story. Saya, a teenaged girl, sits alone on a subway train, late at night. She is alone, except for a shadowy man who somehow manages to move ... Read more
MIFF has brought together the amazing and imaginative works by Image Forum, Japan. Exclusive to MIFF, these short films are at the epicentre of experimental filmmaking in a range of styles. [The Trains] (Hirata Takahiro, 8 mins) is a rhythmic rendition of [Kaerunoouta] (Frog song), created by the ... Read more
Blue Film Woman is an astonishing example of full colour and widescreen pinku eiga - a highly stylised hotbed of sex and violence, the two elements often coinciding to uncomfortable effect. Kan Mukai's morality tale sees a family brought to its knees in sexual servitude to repay their financial ... Read more
Little Amaniku holds the fate of a planet in her hands. She and her parents return to Earth after devastating atom wars, taking refuge deep under sea to escape contamination. Genetic codes they have preserved are the key to regenerating life. Now, out of hypersleep, Amaniku finds her parents dead ... Read more
Blue Spring is about high school anarchy, hairstyles and rock'n'roll. In a school where the students set the rules while teachers are dangled from windows, students play a deadly game of chicken to decide who is boss. When hip Kujo, idolised by childhood friend Aoki, wins the game, he at first ... Read more
... ... In Japan, Takeshi Kitano currently advertises a product called 'Jolt Cola'. Aside from his endorsement, the selling point is that it boasts twice the caffeine of regular colas. For once, star and product are perfectly matched. The crowds that saw Violent Cop will not be sur­prised to ... Read more
Two young brothers, Nita and Itta, live in a derelict town on a small Japanese island populated by an eccentric bunch of characters. One day, out of the blue, their mother returns with Kanoko, a sister they never knew they had. As quickly as she appears, their mother flees, taking the deed to the ... Read more
A delightful prize-winning Japanese puppet film. A discarded guitar responds to a flower-girl's plight. The village is attracted and her flowers sold - and so the tale continues . . . a theft, a fight, and a happy ending. Techniques used in live cinema are transferred to the puppet stage ... Read more
Bounce allows us to sneak into the real-life under-belly of Shibuya, Tokyo's teen capital. The film is fast, twisted, thoroughly involving, and easily stands alongside Kids and La Haine as no holds barred accounts of disaffected youth. In Shibuya - where the world's best accessorised youth come out ... Read more
An itinerant family of four makes a living by faking road accidents as pedestrians, with the drivers of expensive cars as victims. The game is to claim indemnity from the driver in the hope that he will pay up rather than become embroiled with the police. The father was wounded in the war and ... Read more
Brain Monkey Shorts Japan MIFF pulls together a programme of cutting-edge live action and animation shorts'a selection that could truly only come out of Japan. Films include:The Fuccons: Special Edition (7mins)A special Festival selection from the fantastically warped series of tales about the ... Read more
At the core of this program of Japanese shorts are the highlights, of Samurai Shorts the latest HD-cam wonders produced by Wataru Furuta (Burst the Earth, MIFF 2001) which are having their international premieres at MIFF. ... Emu is a thoroughly modern and highly stylised re-visiting of an ancient ... Read more
Possibly Suzuki's most infamous film, Branded To Kill certainly retains its searing punch after repeated viewing. Curiously, it is also his least Pop Art and quivers with a heightened otherness. While proclaiming the stylistic hallmarks of his neo-Kabuki cinedrome of violence, it stands out in his ... Read more
A Japanese widow goes as a mail-order bride to a Japanese archaeologist living deep in the Andes in a primitive Peruvian Indian village. She hates her life there, hates the Incan relics, hates the Indians — who in turn hate her. She runs away and returns; goes to the city and again, comes ... Read more
Bright Future (Akauri Mirai) JapanMamoru (Asano Tadanobu) is a 27-year-old factory worker, whose sole purpose in life is to mutate his hauntingly luminous yet poisonous jellyfish into a freshwater creature. His intense antisocial behaviour is echoed by his co-worker, and sole friend, Yuji. They ... Read more
A string of gags based on 20s-style animation and the self-reflexiveness of Windsor McCay's surreal comic strips from the same period. While the gags are familiar, the extent to which Tezuka pushes the medium's break-down is quite extreme. Tezuka himself considered that if this film Is booed off by ... Read more
A magnificent return to form for Japan's reigning master of the gangster film. Takeshi Kitano (Hana-Bi MIFF 1998). The director, who also stars, plays a Yakuza banished from Tokyo as a result of a gang war. Looking up his younger brother in Los Angeles, he finds his sibling engaged in some highly ... Read more
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