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

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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

 

 

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

 

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

20 Facts About Astro Boy

 

This Friday at the Star and Shadow Cinema, the film The Echo Of Astro Boy’s Footsteps will play, about the sound designer for the anime ‘Astro Boy’ who  effectively created the soundtrack for all anime to follow and his sudden retreat from the public eye in the 1980’s.

But what is Astro Boy? And what should you know about it before you watch the film? Well luckily for you Geordie Japan is back with another in our 20 facts series; with 20 fun facts about Astro Boy!

 

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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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[Kids Club] Arrietty

***THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED***

Film: Arretty (借りぐらしのアリエッティ)

When: Saturday 15th December – 10:30am

Where: Tyneside Cinema  (Directions)

Extra Info: This screening is dubbed in English, only for children or adults accompanying children

Price: £3.20 (all ages)

*Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. adults only admitted to Children’s Film Club screenings when accompanying children.

“Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all. From the legendary Studio Ghibli (“Spirited Away,” “Ponyo”)  comes “The Secret World of Arrietty,” an animated adventure based on Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book series “The Borrowers.”

Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger.” – Comingsoon.net

Arrietty is a sweet and beautiful film that will be great viewing for children (and us adults). I caught the film when it was first released a few years back and honestly I can’t recommend the film enough.  If you’re sad that you can only attend with a child but still want to see the film, why not pick up a copy at HMV? Either way, let us know what you think by tweeting us @GeordieJapan — GJ

20 Facts About Ringu/The Ring

 

The patrons of the Tyneside Cinema voted the original Japanese version of The Ring (リング) (which from this point on will be referred to as “Ringu” for ease”) as the North East’s favourite scary movie. Which is rather nice to hear that there is such demand for Japanese films at Halloween, we covered some Japanese films to get you in the Halloween mood in a previous article and one of our recommendations was Ringu. In order to get you in the mood for the Tyneside’s screening we present Geordie Japan’s 20 facts about Ringu to get you up to speed for Monday.

 

  1. Ringu is based on a book of the same name by Koji Suzuki (鈴木光司) in 1991, Suzuki has also written all of the sequels. The officially released books are : Ring (1991), Spiral (1995), Loop (1998), The Birthday (1999) and S (2012)
  2. Suzuki latest novel in the series is titled ‘S’ and reportedly features the video being uploaded to the internet and the curse travelling via cloud computing.
  3. Suzuki has drawn comparisons to Steven King due to his popularity in Japan with Ringu, Dark Water and other terrifying novels.
  4. It is a little known fact that the first adaptation of Ringu was in 1995, this was a television movie named Ringu: Kanzenban (リング 完全版) which literally means Ring: Complete Edition.
  5. The original novel was once again turned into a feature film in 1998 called Ringu by Hideo Nakata (中田 秀夫).  This is the more famous adaptation of Susuki’s book.
  6. Ringu was released in tandem with an adaptation of the sequel novel Spiral in a ploy to generate more revenue. This film was made by Jōji Iida (飯田譲治) and is often referred to as the ‘forgotten sequel’ due to the fact that it bombed because of the success of Ringu. Its events are ignored by later Ringu films.
  7. Ringu was remade in Hollywood as The Ring in 2002 by Gore Verbinski starring Naomi Watts. The film went on to have one sequel.
  8. Hideo Nakata made his English language debut with The Ring Two, a sequel to the remake of his original film.
  9. While The Ring is the most famous remake of Ringu it is not the first. Just one year after Ringus release it was remade in South Korea as The Ring Virus (1999).
  10. In total there have been 9 official films (6 Japanese, 3 remakes/spin offs), 2 television series, 2 video games and one short film in the Ringu series.
  11. The latest film in the Ringu franchise was Sadako 3D. The film has yet to be given a UK release and sadly a cinematic release seems unlikely, a dvd release is expected at some point.
  12. When Sadako 3D was released in Japan last year the country went Ringu crazy and some of the more unusual marketing tactics included unleashing hundreds of Sadako’s in Tokyo, driving a giant Sadako around the capital and having Sadako throw out the first pitch at a baseball game. You can watch all this insanity here.
  13. According to a recent survey by Oricon Ringu is still considered to be the scariest Japanese film ever
  14. Ringu is also the highest grossing horror film ever in Japan
  15. When the film was released on VHS in England in 2001 the back of the box was labelled with a disclaimer stating the distributor was not responsible “for any injuries or fatalities that may occur during or after the viewing of this videocassette.”
  16. Sadako may seem to Westerners like a novel and original idea but in fact she is actually a very common ghost of Japanese horror tales. She is an Onryō, a vengeful spirit, often represented in a white burial kimono, white and indigo face paint and having unkempt long dark hair. Onryō are usually women and commonly returning from the dead to exact vengeance on those who have wronged them in life.
  17. Sadako was played by Kabuki theatre actress Rie Inou, to achieve her jerky movements she was shot walking backwards and then the film was reversed, giving Sadako her trademark freaky walk.
  18. The iconic shot of Sadako’s eye was not actually Rie Inou’s eye but a male crew members!
  19. A series of Manga novels has also been released in Japan based on the franchise
  20. Scarily the tale is inspired by real events. You can read about them here, however this page contains spoilers for Ringu.

 

The Tyneside Cinema will play Ringu at 6pm on the Wednesay  31 October 2012. Details here.

 

Japanese Horror Films

 
 
Being October, and just over a week away from Halloween you’re probably wanting to get in the Halloween mood, and seeing as you are visiting this site you most likely like Japanese things, so why not combine the two with a good old scare-fest of Japanese films to chill you to your core!

Please note that this is not intended to be a definitive list of any kind, merely some suggestions. Also ‘horror’ is a rather loose genre, some films here may not be simply regarded as horror films but all contain strong elements of horror.

For those who want classic horror

Ugetsu Monogatari

 Ugetsu Monogatari (雨月物語)

After a raid on their village, Genjuro and Tobei move their families and pot making business to the city. The city is not kind to them and they send their wives home promising to return home with money soon…but who is the mysterious Lady Wakasa and why is she so interested in Genjuro’s pots…

1953, Dir. Kemji Mozoguchi (溝口 健二) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Kwaidan  (怪談)

Made up of four chilling stories: ‘Black Hair’ in which a man returns to his ex-wife after leaving his new lover only to find something is very different with her. ‘The Woman and The Snow’ in which a young man is saved from a snowstorm by a spirit but he can never tell anyone about it…until one day he does. ‘ Hoichi the Earless’ in which a blind musician is slowly having his life force sucked away by ghosts & ‘In a Cup of Tea’ in which a samurai is haunted by the spirit of a dead samurai.. 

1964, Dir. Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Onibaba (鬼婆)

In 14th century Japan a civil war wages, a mother and daughter do their best to survive and prey on hapless samurai, killing them and selling their armor for money. One day a friend of one of these samurai turns up and the women learn what has become of him…

1964, Dir. Kaneto Shindo (新藤 兼人) — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who want films from the J-Horror boom

Ringu

Ringu (リング)

A reporter begins investigating an urban legend of a cursed video tape. She quickly finds herself in possession of the tape but her young son watches it first, now she must race against time to save his life… 

1998, Dir. Hideo Nakata (中田 秀夫) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Audition (オーディション)

At the encouragement of his family and friends Ayoama begins to search for a new wife years after being widowed. His friend suggests setting up a fake movie audition to meet women and Ayoama falls for a beautiful ex-ballerina named Asami, on the surface she appears to be the perfect woman… (Warning: The DVD cover contains a big spoiler for the film, try to avoid it)

1998, Dir. Takashi Miike (三池 崇史) — Trailer (Spoilers!) — Buy Here.

 

Exte: Hair Extensions (エクステ)

A man obsessed with hair steals the hair from a newly killed woman and adds it to his collection,he sells parts of the hair to hair salons to be used as extensions, only this hair starts possessing women, driving them insane or worse… 

2007, Dir. Sion Sono (園 子温) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

For those who want contemporary horror

Confessions

 

Confessions (告白)

A class of high school students hold a dark secret relating to their former teacher and a series of events that shocked the school… One of the most stylish films ever made.

2010, Dir. Tetsuya Nakashima (中島哲也) — Trailer (Spoilers!) — Buy Here.

 

Cold Fish (冷たい熱帯魚)

When a man’s teenage daughter is caught stealing she is offered a job in a fish store to set her straight. The man soon discovers that the owners of the fish store have a dark secret however…

2010, Dir. Sion Sono (園 子温) — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who want anime horror

Vampire Hunter D

 

Vampire Hunter D (吸血鬼バンパイアハンターD)

In a strange future time the world is ruled by supernatural forces, a young girl requests the help of the mysterious ‘D’ to hunt down the vampire who bit her in order to save her from becoming one of the creatures… 

1989, Dir. Toyoo Ashida (芦田 豊雄) — TrailerBuy Here.

 

Perfect Blue (パーフェクトブルー)

A retired pop singer turned actress’s sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

1997, Dir. Satoshi Kon (今 敏) — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who don’t want subtitles 

(A selection of the better American Remakes)

The Grudge

The Grudge

The closest thing to watching the Japanese original, made by the same director with the same vision. An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.

2004, Dir. Takashi Shimizu (清水 崇) — Trailer Buy Here.

 

The Ring

A fairly faithful remake of the original. A young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it, now she must race against time to stop the tape’s effects.

2002, Dir. Gore Verbinski — Trailer Buy Here.

 

Dark Water

A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building. Adding further drama to their plight, they are targeted by the ghost of former resident.

2005, Dir. Walter Salles  — TrailerBuy Here.

  

For those who want something unique

Shirome

Shirome  (シロメ)

The  real life J-pop band ‘Momoiro Clover‘ are the victims of this horror mockumentary in which the girls are forces to investigate a haunted school for a supposed Japanese television series. In the haunted house the girls hope (or rather don’t hope) to find Shirome, a spirit that can grant wishes, but only if the person asking completely believes in the spirit… This is not available on DVD in the UK, the full movie is available below from youtube. Please not that we are not hosting any content and do not endorse piracy.

2010, Dir. Kōji Shiraishi (白石晃士) — Watch the full movie here

 

Uzumaki/Spiral  (うずまき)

After coming home to find her father obsessively staring at a snail Kirie notices the whole town appears to slowly becoming obsessed in the same way with the shape of a spiral and begin turning into spiral’s themselves. Totally bonkers and more than a little scary.

2000, Dir. ‘Higuchinsky’ — TrailerBuy Here.

 

House  (ハウス)

When Oshare finds out that her Father’s girlfriend is joining them on their summer trip, she and her friends decide to go to her aunt’s farmhouse instead. From the moment they arrive, strange things begin to happen and the girls slowly begin to realize Oshare’s Aunt may not have their best interest in mind. A cult classic that has to be seen to be believed!

1977 Dir. Nobuhikio Obayashi  (大林 宣彦) — TrailerBuy Here.  

 

For those who want something not scary

Happiness of the Katakuris

The Happiness of The Katakuris  (カタクリ家の幸福)

A family moves to the country to run a rustic mountain inn when, to their horror, the customers begin befalling sudden and unlikely fates. An utterly entertaining film that smashes horror, musicals, comedies, mysteries, angry volcanos, a charismatic dog and a Japanese man who claims to be a member of the British royal family… 

2001 Dir. Takashi Miike  (三池 崇史) — Trailer Buy Here.  

 So there you go, I hope that has given you some insperation for some Japanese Halloween scare-fests!

 

Want to recommend a Japanese scary movie to other users? Leave a comment below!  
 

Film: Somi – The Taekwon-do Woman

 

***THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED***

 

Film: Somi: The Taekwon-do Woman (ソミ:高麗女人拳士)

When: Friday 9th of Novemnber – 19:30

Where: Star and Shadow Cinema  (Directions)

Website: http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/

Price: £5/£3.50

 

The Star and Shadow cinema, in association with Zipangu Fest, will be showing this highly unusual North Korea/Japan co-production! Screened for the first time in the West…as if you needed any more convincing!!!

 

“All is not well in the medieval Kingdom of Koryo (918-1392), a distant precursor of today’s Korea, ruled over by a corrupt dynasty in the north. While the Koryo overlords become bloated on a lifestyle of luxury and decadence, a series of farmer’s revolts rock the country, only to be mercilessly quashed. During one such uprising, the parents of a young girl, Somi, are ruthlessly murdered by the brutal government vassal Hyon Ryu Bal. The shock causes Somi to lose her voice, as she flees by boat for her life. She is rescued and taken in by Dosa, a white-haired martial arts master, along with another young boy from Somi’s village, Ung Gom, orphaned in the same raid. As Dosa raises the two in his martial arts school, Somi and Ung Gom grow up together like brother and sister, waiting until their day of vengeance arrives.

 

On the surface, Somi – The Taekwon-do Woman may not look like a Japanese film, and one doesn’t think often think of Japan in relation to international co-productions, especially during the 1990s. However, the film was financed 100% on the Japanese side and was intended for an international audience, to be released under the alternative English title ofWoman Warrior of Koryo. The story follows a similar narrative arc to that celebrated Japanese tale of tyranny and revenge, Lady Snowblood, but benefits from the sets, locations and solid craftsmanship provided by its North Korean cast and crew, resulting in a far higher production values than one would expect of a historical martial arts action movie made in Japan during the same period.

 

According to the film’s producer, Masao Kobayashi, the actress playing Somi, Ri Mi Yang, was an amateur who was chosen by the North Koreans “because they thought that the Japanese might like her face”. As fortune would have it, however, the film was only screened once in Japan, at the Yubari Film Festival in 2001. It didn’t fare much better in North Korea either, screening only once on its premiere on New Year’s eve 1997/98. Meanwhile global political developments saw potential markets for the film closing, and though an English-language 35mm print was prepared, it was never used outside of its international festival debut at Yubari and remained in storage, until now…” – Zipangu Fest

 

This looks like its going to be something VERY special!