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

 

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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

Film: Spirited Away

***THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED

 

Film: Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し)

When: 28th of August – 16:30

Where: St Mary’s Lighthouse  (Directions)

Website: http://whitleybayfilmfestival.co.uk/event/spirited-away-the-lighthouse/

Price: £5

As part of the Whitley Bay Film Festival Hayao Miyazaki’s now classic tale will be screened at the Whitley Bay Lighthouse, a fantastic location for a fantastical film! Space is limited however so book up now to avoid disappointment! The WWFF is now in it’s third year and you can check out their full programme here

Spirited Away is the much loved tale of Chihiro, a little girl who is whiskey away to another world after her parents are turned into pigs! While in this strange and new land she takes a job working in a bath house while she, and a few friends, plot her escape back to her world. Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful opus won the award for best animated feature at the 2003 Oscars and has become one of the most iconic Japanese films of the new Millennium! This is a film not to be missed.

A Quick Guide To Some Of Newcastle’s Asian Toys

 

 

Newcastle has a vibrant centre full of lovely items to buy, but if you’re looking for something specific, and more in the eastern range; there are a number of places in the city centre to buy some cuddly eastern toys.

 

 

Animez. 48 Low Friar Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 5UE.

Animez is a specific store featuring every king of collector’s edition toys, action figures and trinkets from your favourite Anime or Manga. They have everything from Naruto headbands and sweatbands to Final Fantasy action figures and everything in-between. They also stock some of our favourite toys, including Studio Ghilbi’s Totoro.

 

Baltic Flour Mill. Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA

Though not strictly from Japan, Kozyndan are an L.A. based couple that had an exhibition in the Baltic in 2008. The Baltic gift shop sells their famous Tidal Wave of Bunnies, reminiscent of The Great Wave off Kanagawa. There is a small model version of this, as well as a portrait of bunnies on branches with pink flowers, also reminiscent of Utagawa Hiroshige woodprint Cherry Blossom art.

There are also display cased toys by Takashi Murakami, a Japanese contemporary artist. The toys descend from his famous Mr DOB work, with huge obscure, somewhat scary, expressions. The price of Mr DOB is over £55, but to own something from Japan, made by the famous artist is somewhat priceless.

 

Forbidden Planet. 59 Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5JE

Forbidden planet has a range of toys and plush. They have the typical and loveable range of Studio Ghibli toys including Totoros with a range of expressions, soot bunnies and sometimes a even cat bus!

If the nostalgia of Pokémon still washes over you (and it should) plush Pikachus are available! And many different types of Pac-Man toys are on sale, including a stress ball; all Japanese originated.

 

 

Travelling Man. 43 Grainger Street, City Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5JE

Travelling Man stocks all your favourites including Domos, and even a white Domo to pain how you may. Gloomy Bear, a more sinister Japanese toy in the disguise of a lovable pink shell is available in Travelling Man, again blank ones to paint how you may.

Travelling Man also stocks Momiji Dolls. Based on the idea of friendship, there is a large variety of Momiji dolls in Travelling Man so find one for a friend! Though the Momiji dolls we know originate from England,  Momiji originated from traditional Japanese folk-art.

 

Debenhams. St Andrews Way, Eldon Square, Newcastle NE1 7XD

Debenhams, on the top floor do have a range of toys originating from Japan. Yes you guessing it, Hello Kitty! They have Hello kitty toys and stationery sets in the kids department, most likely for little girls, but we won’t judge!

 

 

Fenwick. Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7AF

Fenwick, same as Debenhams have a whole pillar dedicated to the Japanese Hello Kitty. Based on the top floor, in the kids department, Fenwick stock Hello Kitty toys, stationery, jewellery making sets, jewellery and hair accessories.

 

–Aisha Din