The Japan Foundation presents four free screenings of recent Japanese films at the Bloor Cinema, Wednesday, Nov. 26 - Saturday, Nov. 29. Films include a stop motion puppet animation, a crime drama, a drama set in Okinawa and a comedy from cult favourite Takashi Miike. All films are rated PG and screened in Japanese with English subtitles. No ticket or reservation is required for these screenings, so please arrive early to ensure seating. See bloorcinema.com or jftor.org for more information.
Wednesday, November 26, 7:00 p.m.
THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, Dir. Kihachiro Kawamoto, 2005
A stop motion puppet animation film set in a time when Buddhism was first being introduced to Japan, The Book of the Dead tells the story of Princess Iratsume, a devoted Buddhist who encounters the ghost of Otsu, a long-dead prince with a legendary connection to one of her ancestors. 70 min.
Friday, November 28, 7:00 p.m.
SHANGRI-LA, Dir. Takashi Miike, 2002 Umemoto (Yu Tokui), the owner of a small printing company, loses everything when his largest customer, Uwazoko-ya, goes bankrupt and defaults on their debts. Umemoto ends up at an orderly homeless people's community called Shangri-La where, under the guidance of an ex-assassin known as the Village Chief (Sho Aikawa), he and the people of Shangri-la decide to seek revenge against the Uwazoko-ya organization. 104 min.
Saturday, November 29, 4:30 p.m.
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT, Dir. Tetsuo Shinohara, 2004
Hinami (Karina) applies for a part-time job cutting sugarcane on a plantation in Okinawa. She finds herself working with four other young men and women under the supervision of the experienced Yutaka (Nao Omori). Their task is to harvest all 70,000 sugar cane plants by the end of March, but the demanding physical labor and Yutaka's leadership soon cause problems. 123 min.
Saturday, November 29, 7:00 p.m.
HALF A CONFESSION, Dir. Kiyoshi Sasabe, 2004
Former police detective Soichiro (Akira Terao) turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murder of his wife (Mieko Harada), explaining that the shock of their son's death brought about the onset of Alzheimer's disease in his wife, leading her to ask him to end her suffering. However, he refuses to explain his movements in the two days between his wife's death and his surrender. 122 min.