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Films From Japan

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
Graveyard of Honour (Shin Jingi No Hakaba)JapanWhen a lone gunman walks into a Tokyo restaurant and begins gunning down the yakuza clientele, lowly dishwasher Rikuo Ishimatsu coolly walks through a hail of bullets and beats the assassin unconscious with a stool. So begins Ishimatsu's rapid ascent ... Read more
A narrative that explores the relationship between a talented intellectual mother (who is self-sufficient in all areas of her life) and her daughter. Her daughter has a wish to explore the passionate, emotional side of her nature which she cannot express to her mother. Instead she looks for what is ... Read more
Yokai / n. pl. Bizarre-looking monsters and supernatural beings from Japanese folklore who like to play tricks on unsuspecting humans. Eight-year-old Tadashi, a meek schoolboy from a broken family, finds himself leading an epic quest when he is chosen as the next Kirin Rider at an annual festival ... Read more
Japan's prince of transgressive cinema, Sion Sono brings us an erotic, psychosexual tale of sex, money and murder. ... With this risque, noir-esque film, director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, MIFF 2009; Cold Fish, MIFF 2011) presents a story based on a true-life crime, offering his trademark view on ... Read more
This film from Masao Adachi (who also co-directed Red Army/PFLP) is a radical, subversive and visually arresting parable of self-discovery. Commencing with an extended group copulation scene in which the film's young sexual veteran admits to feeling nothing, its purposefully distancing avant-garde ... Read more
“There is no melody more beautiful and eternal than the melody of love” - Persian Poet Hafez ... After memorising the Koran and passing his exams, scholar Shams al-Din is elevated to the rank of ‘Hafez' - so named after the 700-year-old Persian poet. He is asked to pass on his knowledge to ... Read more
A gentle samurai on a mission to take revenge on his father's death. To kill or not to kill - that is the question. Hirokazu Kore-eda's most recent release - and his first period film - is a decidedly unconventional samurai film. It follows an inept warrior, unable to avenge his father's killing ... Read more
Police detective Nishi (Takeshi) ditches stakeout duty with his partner and best friend Horibe to visit his wife in hospital. During the visit he is informed that his wife's condition is incurable and terminal. Distraught and overwhelmed by the news, Nishi's world is completely shattered when news ... Read more
"A beautifully made, quietist and contemplative work... a delicately romantic and even subtly erotic love story." - Guardian ... In rural Japan, three lovers face the consequences of infidelity and the complications of motherhood, along with other larger questions, in this film about humanity and ... Read more
The unfailingly prolific Takashi Miike returns with this magnificently acted retelling of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 masterpiece Harakiri. ... Set in feudal Japan during a long stint of peace, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is the story of impoverished ronin Hanshiro, played with passionate intensity ... Read more
Alchemy in the medieval ages attempted to create medicine for an eternal life by chemical reaction. This work is the first attempt to creat alchemy today through an electrical reaction with time. ... Read more
A promotional video of a miniature band called the G.I. Joe Robot Band. The dolls' movements are produced by graphic computers, rather than traditional pixilation. ... Read more
Heart, Beating in the Dark is a remake, a sequel, a making of and a continuation of Nagasaki's 1982 Super 8 classic of the same name. It is also, according to the Rotterdam Film Festival, “the finest achievement in recent Japanese cinema”. ... Not content with simply remaking his original ... Read more
"A key film from the Japanese new wave of the early-mid 80 s, Nagasaki's brilliant Heart, Beating in the Dark, reinvents the languages of cinema, sexuality and identity to come to terms with the problems' that his own generation experiences - and represents. ... A young couple, apparently on the ... Read more
A computer graphic work based upon the theme of Japan's symbolic Mt. Fuji. An experimental treatment of a traditional Japanese icon. Mt. Fuji is a common element in traditional woodprinting, sumi-e painting and now in contemporary computer graphic art. ... Read more
Gondo, the production head of a shoe factory, mortgages his house and belongings to gain control of the company. Before he proceeds, a kidnapper rings and asks for a large amount of money for the return of his son. The money demanded would take all that he had raised. Later the son returns, and it ... Read more
Takehiko returns from a pre-historic land to his own country which is ruled by the words of the sun god. Only Himiko can hear and understand these messages, and she relays them to the king, his two sons, and an old man named Nashime, One day, Takehiko goes out hunting and becomes lost. While ... Read more
“A dark masterpiece.” - Toronto International Film Festival ... One of Japan's ambassadors of extreme cinema, Sion Sono (Cold Fish, MIFF 11; Guilty of Romance, MIFF 11) turns his hand to restaging Furuya Minoru's eponymous manga against the actual disaster-ridden landscapes of the 2011 tsunami ... Read more
A young French actress has been making a film in Hiroshima. On the eve of her return to France she meets a Japanese architect. Hiroshima Mon Amour opens on their passionate embrace, she having discovered a love which revives memories of her first love in France, for a soldier of the German ... Read more
Based on an old and well-known stage-play, this comedy tells of the machinations of a landlord to conquer the beautiful wife of a provincial miller of a nearby township. The shrewd miller manages to steal the Governor's scarlet cloak, which is the distinctive attire of high officials, and sets out ... Read more
The life and work of the great master, Katsushka Hoksai (1760). His unique style exerted a powerful influence on the modern art of Europe. ... Read more
The film describes the life of Hokusai, the famous woodblock print artist well known for his "36 Views of Mt Fuji", who lived during the latter half of the Edo period of Japan Among all his woodblock prints, his artistic talent is most evident in his pornographic prints He called himself "picture ... Read more
About one million Japanese youths are afflicted with 'hikikmori'—a total withdrawal from society—shutting themselves up at home, out of frustration with school or work. Home is a fascinating documentary portraying one family's struggle with the effects of this condition. ... 25-year-old ... Read more
“Taps into the country's post-nuclear trauma so audaciously that people fled theaters in disgust upon its release.” - Midnight Eye ... Consistently banned on video and DVD since its 1969 release, and finally gaining the worldwide cult following it so deserves, Teruo Ishii's Horrors of Malformed ... Read more
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