Film Season: Kurosawa’s Samurai Films

 

Film Season: Samurai! …The Code According To Kurosawa

When: Saturday 5 – Monday 27 May

Where: The Star And Shadow Cinema (Directions)

Mifune-Kurosawa

Mifune and Kurosawa relax away from the set

Website: http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/on/season/147

 

Films:

The Seven Samurai (1954) – Sun 5 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Yojimbo (1961) – Sun 12 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Sanjuro (1962) – Sun 19 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

The Hidden Fortress (1958) – Sun 26 May 2013, 7:30 p.m.

 

The shadow of Akira Kurosawa looms large over the wider landscape of Japanese cinema. Much in the same way that Alfred Hitchcock  will always be looked back upon as a master craftsman of suspense, Kurosawa will always be regarded as a master craftsman of the Samurai film, and although he was by no means limited only to that genre it’s certainly what he is best remembered for.

The Star and Shadow celebrates this with four of his greatest films which he made featuring his long time associate Toshiro Mifune, who Kurosawa once said the following about “I am proud of nothing I have done other than with him“. After 15 films working together the pair parted ways because of an argument stemming from the financial peril that Kurosawa’s (1965) film Red Beard was putting Mifune’s production company into. After some very public negative statements about one another the pair would not reconcile until meeting each other at a mutual friends funeral in 1993, however they would never work again and both passed away within a year of the meeting. A sad end to a story of two unbelievable talents rise to success, but you can celebrate their glory years working together onscreen on beautiful 35mm prints(!!!).

 

“A season of films celebrating the collaboration of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune.

As digital technology surplants celluloid, this is your last chance to see these classic films of world cinema on 35mm.

Samurai !  the word litterally means, ” Those who serve .”   Their code an ancient and unsparing unswerving allegiance to a single master, loyalty integrity and personal honour.

Their lives are dedicated to a constant honing of martial skills, and “The way of the Samurai is found in death.” – Star & Shadow

 

 

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Film: I Wish

***This Event Has Now Passed***

Film: I Wish (奇跡, Kiseki)

When: Sat 9 March (13:00), Tue 12 March (13:00 & 17:50), Thur 14 March (20:10)

Where: The Tyneside Cinema (Directions)

Website: https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/view/i-wish

Sometimes it really sucks being a fan of Asian cinema in the West, you hear about fantastic films and you want to see them right now but you have to wait for 1) subtitling and b) for a Western release. But sometimes it’s worth the wait and ‘I Wish’ is certainly worth the wait, don’t let this beautiful film from Hirokazu Koreeda pass you by.

“Filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (Still Walking) delivers another fascinating exploration of family relationships with this emotionally stirring tale of childhood and innocence. Two young brothers find themselves divided by their parent’s separation and forced to live at opposite ends of Kyushu in Japan. Keen to reunite and repair the rift between their parents, the boys cook up a mystical solution whereby they will both make a wish at the split-second when two speeding Bullet Trains pass each, believing this powerful force will make a miracle happen and magically bring their family back together.” — Tyneside Cinema

Film: In The Realm Of The Senses

 

Film: In The Realm Of The Senses (愛のコリーダ, Ai no Korīda)

When: Saturday 13 April, 15.20

Where: The Tyneside Cinema (Directions)

Website: https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/view/in-the-realm-of-the-senses

 

Be sure to catch this rare theatrical screening of Nagisa Ôshima’s controversial 1976 erotic classic which had Japanese censors up in arms over its depiction of unsimulated onscreen sex. Upon its original UK release it was confined to private clubs to avoid outrage, now years later it you can enjoy the film where it was supposed to be viewed, on the big screen!

 

“One of the most famously controversial releases of the 70s, Japanese erotic drama In The Realm Of The Senses gets another chance to rile up the censors with a special screening to mark the sad passing of its director Nagisa Ôshima in January. Based on one of the biggest scandals in Japanese history, that of Sada Abe who asphyxiated and mutilated her lover in 1936, Ôshima’s controversial film effectively skirts the line between pornography and art. The story follows servant and former prostitute Sada who becomes sexually obsessed with her employer Kizicho. After making love, the two become inseparable leading to more and more dangerous sexual acts. Limited to private cinema clubs on it initial release in the UK, this screening is your chance to see what all the fuss was about with this serious slice of provocative cinema.” — Tyneside Cinema

 

 

Event: N.E. Convention Manga and Anime II

***This Event Has Now Passed***

 

Event: North East Convention Manga and Anime II

What: Anime convention, cosplay, art, competitions

Where: The Moon Gallery & Newcastle City Library

When: Sunday 17 March 2013

Tickets: £10 in advance, £15 on the day (Buy Here)

Website: http://www.necon.co.uk/
“NECON in her second year will be hosted in The Moon gallery and Newcastle City Library with lots of guest, artists, competitions and music . The registration process start in January and will last till 2nd March.

Just like last time, we’ll have Manga! Music! Anime! Pokky! Ponies! Artsszs! Cats! Cosplay! Onigiri! Books! Tentacles! Lolita! Chillin’ space! Figures! Ayumi Hamasaki! Goodies! MANGA!! MOE!!! ANONS!! NYANCATS!!! PONIES!!!! COSPLAY!!!! ROBOTS!!! KYARY PAMYU PAMYU!! NEKO MIMI MODE!! JAPAN!!! SPACE!!! PLATFORMS! LENSES!! ALL THE CAPS!!!! GET GETTING ALL OF YOUR AWESOME READY!! BECAUSE WE’RE ABOUT TO HAVE ANOTHER OF THE BEST DAYS EVER!!!

Anybody who bought a ticket for the event can participate in the cosplay. You have to register for this competition when you arrive showing your ticket.

For the Art Competition: Send your work by email or post to 19 Saville Row Newcastle, NE1 8JE by 10th March 2013.”  – Text Courtesy of NECon

NECON

Film: Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme

 

 

Film Event: Once Upon a Time in Japan- Reinventing the Past Through the Eyes of Japanese Contemporary Filmmakers

When: Sun 3 March – Sun 24 March

Where: Tyneside Cinema  (Directions)

Extra Info: Buy tickets for four films in the programme and get the fifth FREE! (Only at the Tyneside Box Office in person)

Website:  Please click on the film titles below

 

We are very pleased to announce that Geordie Japan is working closely with The Tyneside Cinema to promote this exciting touring film festival! Once Upon A Time In Japan aims to explore the past through the eyes of modern Japanese film makers and includes some gems that have never been screened in the UK before! We can’t wait for this event, it’s been hard to keep it under wraps until now! But we will be providing you will all the information you will need leading up to and during the programme. See you there!

 

The films are as follows;

(Please find synopsis of the films further down the page)

 

Bubble Fiction: Boom Or Bust (Tasuo Baba) – Sun 3 March, 3.30pm

Please note, Bubble Fiction is listed in the Tyneside brochure as SAT 3 MARCH, but it is Sun 3 March

Castle Under Fiery Skies (Mitsutoshi Tanaka) – Wed 6 March, 5.45pm

Kaidan Horror Classics (Various) – Sun 10 March, 3.30pm

Rebirth (Izuru Narushima) – Wed 13 March, 5.45pm

Mai Mai Miracle (Sunao Katabuchi) – Sun 17 March, 3.30pm

Zero Focus (Isshin Inudo) – Wed 20 March, 5.45pm

Ninja Kids!!! (Takashi Miike) -Sun 24 March. 3.30pm

 

“Since 2004, the Japan Foundation, London has organised a Japanese film programme in close partnership with distinguished film venues and programme advisors in the UK. Each year, a programme of six to seven, largely contemporary, Japanese titles are put together under a carefully chosen theme to highlight trends in Japanese cinema and showcase the versatility and uniqueness displayed by Japanese filmmakers. The programme also showcases directors and works which, while being worthwhile, may have slipped under the radar of other film festivals or programmes.” – Japan Foundation

 

Bubble Fiction

Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust (Baburu e go!: Taimu mashin wa doramu-shiki)
Dir. Yasuo Baba
Cast: Ryoko Hirosue, Hiroshi Abe, Hiroko Yakushimaru
2007 / 116min / Colour / English Subtitles
With the Japanese economy on the blink of collapse with 80 trillion yen in debt, government bureaucrat Shimokawaji (Hiroshi Abe) conjures the crazy idea of going back in time to 1990 in an attempt to prevent Japan’s financial collapse. Luckily, Shimokawaji’s ex-lover Mariko (Hiroko Yakushimaru) has a created one of the most unusual time machines; a DeLorean-esque washing machine, transporting anyone who dons a wetsuit and climbs into the drum some twenty years back in time. Having lost Mariko somewhere in the past, Mariko’s daughter (Ryoko Hirosue), a ditzy bar hostess, spins back to 1990 to the height of the bubble economy, teaming up with a 17 years younger Shimokawaji to look for her mother and prevent Japan’s ‘bubble’ economy from bursting. Yasuo Baba’s 2007 time-travel comedy is a hilarious satire of bubble-era Japan, filled with nostalgic gags, retro fashion and music, guaranteed to lift your spirits and cast away any recession blues!

 

Castle under Fiery Skies (Katen no shiro)Castle Under Fiery Skies 2
Dir. Mitsutoshi Tanaka
Cast: Toshiyuki Nishida, Shinobu Otake, Saki Fukuda, Isao Natsuyagi, Renji Ishibashi
2009 / 139min / Colour / English Subtitles
In the Age of the Country at War, peasant carpenter Motaemon Okabe (Toshiyuki Nishida) renowned for his ‘divine hands’ is summoned by Lord Nobunaga to oversee the mammoth task of the construction of the fabled 7 story fortress Azuchi Castle, a huge castle to be built on Mount Azuchi overseeing and guarding the then-capital Kyoto. However Motaemon must overcome some persistent obstacles on the path towards its completion. This film introduces a fascinating insight into the world of traditional Japanese architecture. Mitsutoshi Tanaka’s well-crafted spin on the period drama genre is a heart-warming tale of one ordinary man’s skill and determination, and journey towards success beyond his normal capabilities.

 

Kaidan Horror Classics (Ayashiki bungo kaidan)Kaidan Horror Classics
Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, Sang-il Lee, Hirokazu Kore-eda
2010 / 121min / Colour / English Subtitles
Three haunting stories written by Japanese literary masters, reinterpreted and revived by some of Japan’s greatest directors, Kaidan Horror Classics is a collection of beautiful yet terrifying tales of the darkness of the human heart.

The Whistler (Hazakura to mateki)
Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto
2010 / 36min / Colour / English Subtitles
Yuko (Aoba Kawai) spends her days caring for her terminally ill younger sister Itsue (Eri Tokunaga), however upon finding a bundle of anonymous letters addressed to Itsue, Yuko is determine to find out from whom and why have they been sent. Based on the original story by Dazai Osamu, Shinya Tsukamoto’s distinctive cinematic style portrays the inner rage of adolescents towards those dear to them.

The Nose (Hana)
Dir. Sang-il Lee
2010 / 34min / Colour / English Subtitles
A monk named Zenchi (Yutaka Matsushige) attempts to save a child from drowning in a river, but when the child sees the enormous nose he was concealing the monk impulsively pushes him away. Racked with guilt, Zenchi becomes fearful of silently watching eyes. Inspired by an early short story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, this loose interpretation retains the protagonist’s predicament, and includes elegant cinematography, reminiscent of classic period films.

The Days After (Nochi no hi)
Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
2010 / 51min / Colour / English Subtitles
A child appears before a young couple who lost their beloved son at an early age. Is he the reincarnation of their son, or a ghost? This strange and serene story of a family’s days spent with the son who seems to have come back to life, is adapted from the fantasy stories by Murou Saisei.

 

Rebirth (Yokame no semi)Rebirth
Dir. Izuru Narushima
Cast: Mao Inoue, Hiromi Nagasaku, Konomi Watanabe, Eiko Koike, Hitori Gekidan
2011 / 147min / Colour / English Subtitles
Kiwako (Hiromi Nagasaku) runs away with her married lover’s baby, spending four years on the run and bringing up the child as her own until one day she is arrested. The child abductee Erina (Mao Inoue) is returned to her birth parents, but is never able to come to terms with what happened in her childhood. Now grown up, Erina travels to the town where she grew up to discover the truth about her past. Based on the popular novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta, Izuru Narushima’s acclaimed drama questioning nature over nurture scooped an astounding 11 awards at the 2012 Japanese Academy Awards 2012, including best film and best director. A huge hit both critically and commercially, the film also ranked first in the Readers’ Choice awards in Kinema Junpo 2011.

 

Mai Mai Miracle (Maimai shinko to sennen no maho)Mai_Mai_Miracle
Dir. Sunao Katabuchi
Cast (voice): Mayuko Fukuda, Nako Mizusawa, Ei Morisako, Manami Honjo
2009 / 93min / Colour / English Subtitles
Inspired by her grandfather’s stories, nine-year-old Shinko journeys into the past through her magical method of time travel, conjured entirely by her vivid imaginings of the past. Upon making a new friend with the upper class Kiiko, they quickly discover they both have a fascination with history and what happened in the past, and transport back to the town a thousand years before, almost as if their dreams could become a reality. Adapted from Nobuko Takagi’s famous novel, Mai Mai Miracle is a beautifully animated nostalgic tale of friendship in post-war Japan. A former assistant of the great Hayao Miyazaki, director Sunao Katabuchi recreates 1950s south western Japan in its full-animated glory, inviting the audience to embark on a miraculous journey into the past with young Shinko.

 

Zero Focus (Zero no shoten)Zero Focus
Dir. Isshin Inudo
Cast: Tae Kimura, Ryoko Hirosue, Miki Nakatani
2009 / 131min / Colour / English Subtitles
Teiko (Ryoko Hirosue) has her life thrown into turmoil when her newly wed husband of only a week leaves on a business trip and never returns. Brought together by an arranged marriage and knowing little of her husband’s past, Teiko embarks on a journey to discover the dark truth of her husband’s sudden disappearance. Uncovering evidence to suggest her husband was not who she had thought, Teiko learns that her husband was close to two women: elegant aristocrat Sachiko (Miki Nakatani) and receptionist Hisako (Tae Kimura); two mysterious women who may know more than they protest. Isshin Inudo’s gripping Hitchcockian murder-mystery set in the beautiful location of post war Kanazawa features an all-star female cast in an adaptation of the celebrated crime novel by Seicho Matsumoto and revival of the classic 1961 Yoshitaro Nomura film.

 

Ninja Kids!!! (Nintama rantaro)NINJA KIDS!!!
Dir. Takashi Miike
Cast: Shindo Nakamura, Naoto Takenaka, Susumu Terajima, Hiroki Matsukata, Mikijiro Hira
2011 / 100min / Colour / English Subtitles
Set in the early 16thcentury, the story follows little Rantaro (Seishiro Kato), a young aspiring ninja born into a family of farmers in disguise. Blessed with opportunity to leave his family’s farm and enrol into a Ninja Academy run by Denzo Yamada (Susumu Terajima), Rantaro plunges into a crazy school packed full of explosive and dangerous tasks and madcap teachers. However, when a rival clan arrives, the school’s future is thrown in jeopardy and it’s down to Rantaro and his loveable classmates to save the day. This wacky live-action adaptation of the long-running children’s cartoon Nintama Rantaro is full of slapstick gags and comic schemes from the warped mind of the ever prolific director Takashi Miike, guaranteed to entertain kids and big kids alike! 

 

Synopsis courtesy of The Japan Foundation

 

Music: FACT

***This Event Has Now Passed***

 

Band: FACT (Supporting ‘Your Demise’)

When: Wednesday 20 February – 6.30pm Doors

 Where: Newcastle O2 Academy (Directions)

Price: £11.25 ( Buy Tickets Here)

Website: http://www.o2academynewcastle.co.uk/event/46815/your-demise-tickets

Other Support: ‘Heights’& ‘Counterparts’

 

The masked Japanese punk rock six piece return to the UK as part of their ’FACT World Tour 『burundanga』2012-2013′. Formed in 1999 FACT has gone on to great success in the Japanese punk scene and fresh on the heels of both gaining a new member (Adam on guitar, who is British) and releasing their 4th album the band are ready to hit the UK once again for the first time since 2010.

Exhibition – Tsunami: Archaeology of a Disaster

***This Event Has Now Passed***

 

Event:  Tsunami: Archaeology of a Disaster (Photography Exhibition)

When: Now – Saturday 16 March. Gallery Open Tue – Sat, 11am – 5pm (Thurs until 7pm)

Where: Side Gallery (Directions)

Website: http://www.amber-online.com/sections/side-gallery/pages/current-exhibition

Price: Free

A new exhibition of work from Photographer Dean Chapman documenting the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. This ongoing event is free and highly recommended.

“On Friday 11th March 2011, as the end of the working week moved to its close, many people in Japan would have been looking forward to a late winter’s weekend. Then, at 2:46 in the afternoon, a colossal earthquake struck deep beneath the Pacific Ocean some 45 miles off of Japan’s northeast coast. Tsunami sirens wailed along the length of Japan’s eastern seaboard and local announcements repeatedly implored people to flee to higher ground: it wasn’t an exercise and that a “major tsunami”, was heading their way. It is reckoned the first tsunami reached the coast some 26 minutes later. Within an hour thousands had drowned, towns and cities had been destroyed, and a major nuclear accident was unfolding.

Three months after the catastrophe, Dean Chapman traveled down the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island, photographing devastated communities that he had previously documented in the summer of 1999. This journey was repeated in the autumn of 2011. Then in the autumn of 2012, eighteen months after the disaster, Dean traveled north through the devastated region, again documenting the widespread damage and loss, as well as the slow methodical clean-up, and the beginnings of the reconstruction of infrastructure, communities and businesses. The documentation concentrates on the ‘Sanriku’ coast of Honshu, from Ishinomaki to Taro, and does not cover Fukushima.

The downstairs component of the exhibition will feature monochrome photographs of locations ‘before and after’ the tsunami, that are complemented by single and multi-print images of locations, objects and people. Consisting of colour images, the upstairs component of the exhibition will extend the narrative; featuring landscape, interior and portrait photographs, as well as images of fragments of everyday lives, and copy photographs of unclaimed snapshots slowly dissolving because of exposure to the elements. The exhibition seeks to examine the representation of catastrophe and loss, and perceptions of ‘the Japanese’ and their unique cultural heritage. The photographer’s travel map will also be on display in the upstairs space.

Dean Chapman is an award-winning photographer who has work extensively in Asia for over twenty years, and is the winner of the 1998 European Publishers’ Award for Photography for his documentation of the Karenni insurgency in Burma. Based in Newcastle and represented by Panos Pictures Agency in London, his photographs have been exhibited internationally and widely published. He has photographed in Japan periodically since 1993.” – Side Gallery

Film: Jiro Dreams Of Sushi

***This event has now passed***

Film: Jiro Dreams Of Sushi

When: Monday 11 & Thursday 14 February, Time TBC

Where: The Tyneside Cinema (Directions)

Website: https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/view/jiro-dreams-of-sushi

 

Finally the Tribecca selected documentary comes to Newcastle! We’ve been hearing buzz about how great this documentary is for a while now and if it’s Rotten Tomatoes score (99%) is anything to go by we are in for a real treat!

“85 year-old Jiro Ono, is considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a ten-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow. An elegant and tasty tale that will even satisfy people who aren’t fans of this little delicacy.” – Tyneside Cinema

Event: Chinese New Year

***THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED***

 

Event:  Chinese New Year

When: Sunday 10 Feb 11am – 5pm

Where: Stowell Street (and surrounding area) Newcastle City Center

Website: http://www.newcastlegateshead.com/chinese-new-year

Price: Free

Okay so it’s not Japanese, but it’s probably the biggest Asian celebration in Newcastle so we would be silly not to promote it! 2013 is the Year of the Snake and to celebrate there will be a parade and a host of events in Chinatown.

The events are as follows;

Chinatown Map

  1. Parade, Chinese Arch, Stowell Street, From 12.30pm approx –Traditional dragon, lion and unicorn dances.
  2. Chinese Exhibitions, North East Chinese Association, Stowell Street, 12.30pm – 4pm – The North East Chinese Association presents an exhibition of Chinese costume, food, arts and crafts.
  3. Chinese Market & Fairground, Bath Lane & Thornton Square – 11am – 5pm – Funfair and stalls featuring traditional arts and crafts and Chinese food.
  4. Various Events At The Bath Lane Stage – Bath Lane11.30am: Speeches – Speeches from key representatives of the Chinese Community and Newcastle City Council from 11.30am.
    1. b.      12noon: Eye Dotting CeremonyA unique opportunity to witness the auspicious Eye Dotting Ceremony of the new Chinese Dragon as he is awoken from his slumber to the sound of firecrackers.
    2. c.       12.30pm – 5pm: Performances An exciting spectacle of performances and demonstrations, with the lion dance arriving to distribute Lucky Money at 4pm approx.
  5. Chinese Activities, The Chinese Centre, Westgate Road,11am – 5pm – Chinese zodiac, calligraphy, foods, card and calendar making, fortune telling, lucky draw and games.
  6. Children’s Marquee, Thornton Square, 11am – 5pm –Traditional Chinese arts and crafts and fun for all the family.
  7. Chinese Activities and Games, Dance City, Temple Street, 11am – 5pm – The Chinese Students and Scholars Association and Newcastle University invite you to understand the real Chinese culture; come along and take part in Chinese activities and games old and new.

You can download the brochure with all the information in here.

Geordie Japan’s 2012 Year In Review

 

 

Wow what a year, since launching on the 13th of March 2012 Geordie Japan has exploded far beyond what was ever expected of it. 2013 is set to be an exciting year for us but before we look to the future we should look back at the year that was 2012. In this review article you will find some interesting stats about the site and handily, for those of you who are new to the site, links to every article across the past year.

 

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