Skip to main content

Films From Japan

We are shown a glimpse of the complicated system of life through the functions of glucuronic acid which is indispensable for the preservation of youth and energy. ... Read more
“A climactic, delirious, wall-busting murder fantasy.” - Village Voice ... Yoshishige Yoshida's exigent Eros Plus Massacre centres on anarchist Sakae Osugi, who was killed in the devastating wake of the great Kanto earthquake of 1923. His dramatic story comes framed in the musings of a group of ... Read more
Winner of the International Critics Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Eureka is an extremely powerful film that examines the effects of the brutal hijacking of a provincial bus in provincial Japan. Only three people survive: the driver, a schoolgirl and her older brother. Suffering from ... Read more
God is in his heaven, all is (Not) right with the world. ... The Angels have descended. These colossal extraterrestrial monsters besiege the fortress-city of Tokyo-3 and our last line of defence is the Evangelion battle machine and its teenage pilot. A decade on, Hideaki Anno has reimagined his ... Read more
An extraordinary essay on how one woman finds freedom, from a filmmaker famous for his obsessive interest in the world of men. Now Sakamoto's thematic layers of macho uber cool toughness, pathos and all consuming revenge, are rendered through the lens of a uniquely feminine struggle for redemption ... Read more
A port in southern Japan, in 1980. Inspired by a news item, the film describes how a hero violates all the taboos of his community by his loving relationship with the mountain goddess. During the Fire Festival season, an annual ceremony reserved for men, he celebrates, in an immoderate fashion, his ... Read more
Fires on the Plain, like director Ichikawa's earlier Harp of Burma, is concerned with the futility and horror of war, and protests at the private suffering which comprises this social catastrophe. It reveals the Japanese army on the island of Leyte, in the final stages of defeat and disintegration ... Read more
As the forces of the Third Reich clash with the Red Army on the Eastern Front, a hidden war is waged between Nazi occultists and a Russian psychic. ... In 1942, as Nazi Germany marches on the Russian homeland, Nadya, the lone survivor of a secret organisation of teenage Soviets with supernatural ... Read more
After a masterful series of films about the history of Taiwan, Hou Hsiao-hsien turns his gaze to a fascinating saga from Chinese history. Qing Dynasty 'Flower Houses', a polite euphemism for elegant brothels, were a meeting place for the male elite in the British conces­sion. The strict social ... Read more
Synopsis not available Read more
“Takashi Miike['s]... deliriously daft romantic epic unfolds with a mixture of dynamic gang rumbles, sadistic slapstick violence and showstopping high camp musical numbers that would not seem out of place at a Eurovision gathering.” - Screen Daily ... After many years, high school student Ai ... Read more
For My Crushed Right Eye is a split-screen short by Toshio Matsumoto, constructed while he was shooting his masterwork, Funeral Parade of Roses. Sharing footage and using cuts from the feature project, this is a harried montage of unrest, sexuality and pop culture in the late 60s. ... Screens in ... Read more
“The child of a rich moment in history where all of the art forms commingled in an incredibly free playing field.” - Jim O'Rourke ... At the forefront of Japan's 60s avant-garde film revolution was filmmaker Toshio Matsumoto, whose whirling maze of sex, surrealism and psychedelic pop-art ... Read more
Katsuhti Ishii teams up with two like-minded directors and creates a film, well, from another planet! Funky Forest invites you to get out of your mind and experience a world where the secrets of the universe can be unlocked by dancing, where freaky dreams, strange aliens, kinetic forehead laser ... Read more
Aliens, Corona and Crescent live as the pets of Betty Boop-style starlet Funny after crash-landing on earth. Despite its sugar-coated look, this series from the creator of Mr Stain on Junk Alley is twisted, comic and truly surreal. Four episodes will screen separately: Black Hole, Photography ... Read more
Overflowing with raucous humour, heart and guts, Gachi Boy is about putting tragedy in a headlock and not letting it define you. ... When undergrad law student Ryoichi joins a university pro-wrestling team, his diligent note taking on the wrestling moves mystifies his teammates. With Ryoichi ... Read more
Japanese films like Rashomon and Jigokumon have been the surprises at recent International Festivals, and the high standard of these and the few other Japanese films presented abroad in late years lead us to suspect that more good films are being made today in that country than elsewhere in the ... Read more
Distinguished by the extraordinary visuals for which he is justifiably celebrated, the latest project by director Shinya Tsukamoto is an atmospheric, eerie exploration of identity, destiny and psychological torture. Dr. Yukio Daitokuji seems to have it all. It is 1910, Tokyo, he runs a successful ... Read more
Get Up (Gerropa!) JapanA Japanese yakuza comedy with soul! The soul of James Brown, that is. Ageing mob boss Habara has two days of freedom left before being sent off for a five-year stretch in prison. As the days count down to his incarceration, Habara realises he will never fulfil his two main ... Read more
"Nowhere is the level of sophistication of Japanese animation more apparent than in the work of Studio Ghibli ([Princess Mononoke], [Spirited Away], [The Cat Returns]). It also happens to produce the most artistically advanced examples of cel animation in the world" - writer, filmmaker, MIFF ... Read more
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the series, [Godzilla: Final Wars] has been touted by Toho Pictures as not only the most spectacular Godzilla film ever, but the last in the hugely popular series. From the incendiary Kyle Cooper-designed opening title sequence to the outrageously frenzied ... Read more
In this spectacular adventure, Ishii Sogo has married the kinetic energy of Akira Kurosawa's great samurai pictures with a uniquely deranged brand of Buddhist spirituality. Gojoe liberally employs the latest computer FX technology to increase the wonder and beauty of its awe-in spiring images. ... Read more
In his highly accomplished, self-financed, first feature, Chisho Itoh focuses on the friendship that develops between Kagau a lonely, neglected Tokyo schoolgirl and Ryo a window cleaner, recently arrived in the big, high-rise-studded metropolis. She keeps birds and he dreams of his hometown, a ... Read more
Shinoda's second adaptation of an 18th century puppet play by Chikamatsu is very different from the earlier DOUBLE SUICIDE (1969) — more realistic, less flamboyant, less experimental in that there is no attempt now made to deconstruct the film image. However, despite the surface realism, and ... Read more
This Cannes Directors' Fortnight selection relates the story of Ozaki, a senior Japanese gangster whose increasingly peculiar behaviour is beginning to worry his Yakuza superiors. When Ozaki interrupts a gang meeting to voice his concerns that the Chihuahua staring through the window has been sent ... Read more
Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director