Apparently my other blog has gotten quite a bit of recognition. I got an e-mail this morning from a Mr. Nobi Nakamura addressing me and Live & Code and asking us to spread the word about free Japanese film screenings that are being held this upcoming Sunday in Waterloo. A short introduction by Nakamura-san follows:
Each year, The Japan Foundation sponsors a series of free screenings of popular, contemporary Japanese films in theatres across Canada. This year, we will present screenings in Waterloo (Princess Cinema) on Sunday, November 21. We hope that you can join us for these free screenings of some of Japan’s most popular and critically acclaimed films in recent years.
These are at 1:30 PM and 4:00PM on Sunday, November 21, at the Princess Cinema, they’re both absolutely free screenings, and no reservations required either! It’s lovely to see The Japan Foundation in Toronto reaching out to the cities beyond. So, what are these two most popular and critically acclaimed Japanese films in recent history?
それでもボクはやってない (I just didn’t do it!)
Director Masayuki Suo (Shall We Dance) 2006, 143 min, 14A
Starring: Ryo Kase, Asaka Seto, Kôji Yakusho
A young man, Teppei Kaneko, has been accused of groping a woman on a crowded train in Tokyo. He is arrested and forced to sign a false confession. If he chooses to fight the charges, he will be held for three weeks just for the investigation. If he is prosecuted, the case will take up to a year in court. An indictment of Japan’s troublingly labyrinthine legal system, in which defendants are often coerced into signing confessions and criminal cases go on for years, this film was Japan’s official 2007 submission for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards.
I’m really interested in seeing this one because I’ve heard stories about Japan’s legal system and how it can be very unfair to the defendant in particular cases, with a very high conviction rate that doesn’t always reflect the justice being served. And it’s by the director of Shall We Dance. How could you go wrong with that? (You did see “Shall We Dance”, right?)
嫌われ松子の一生 (Memories of Masako)
Director Tetsuya Nakashima (Kamikaze Girls) 2006, 130 min, 14A
Starring: Miki Nakatani, Eita, Yûsuke Iseya, Mikako Ichikawa
While cleaning up the apartment of his deceased aunt Matsuko, Sho Kawajiri encounters many people and things that make him think about her strange, sad and, according to his father, meaningless life. Director Nakashima has created a visually stunning and colorful world filled with music and dance. However, this is not the utopia that musicals usually promise. Instead, Nakashima pursues the themes that he has often explored in his earlier films: the need, in a tragic and disappointing world, to dream, and the problems that such dreams can create.
This one also sounds pretty interesting and based on the synopsis it seems to be a musical. I do always like a good musical, especially one that explores deeper themes of the desperate struggle of life and the hope that shines through it all.
So there you have it. Two very excellent sounding films being screened in the KW area for absolutely free. I’m looking forward to seeing both of these!