Japanese Film Festival 2019: Four Films to Watch
This year’s lineup for the Japanese Film Festival is bigger and better than ever. With so many films to choose from, we thought we’d pick four favourites that’ll have you laughing, crying or a combination of both. Watching a Japanese film with some popcorn and a choc top? It doesn’t get better than that.
#1 Blue Hour
30-year-old Sunada heads back to her rural hometown in Ibaraki with her free-spirited friend to visit her aging grandmother. On arrival, old wounds with family are reopened, memories of simpler times are revisited and the complexities of growing up drop by to say hello.
Location Spotlight: Ibaraki Prefecture
Located north-east of Tokyo in the Kanto region, Ibaraki Prefecture offers the best of both worlds—science and nature. Stroll through the flower-carpeted Hitachi Seaside Park, explore the temples and shrines in Koga or learn more about space and beyond at the Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba City.
#2 Born Bone Born
Based on Teruya Toshiyuki’s short film, Born Bone Born, this light-hearted yet heavy-hitting comedic drama centres on a family dealing with the death of the family matriarch. Reunited on Aguni Island (Okinawa) to deal with their grief as well as their own issues, Born Bone Born is a touching tale of the importance of family—however dysfunctional it may be.
Location Spotlight: Aguni Island, Okinawa
Only 60km northwest from Naha, the capital city of Okinawa, is the quaint Aguni Island. With a population of only 800 locals, it’s one of the best getaways to enjoy nature and genuine interaction with the islanders. On the island you can scuba dive, unwind on the white sand beaches or take part in local craft or cooking workshops.
#3 Fly Me to the Saitama
Based on the 80s manga by Mineo Maya, this action-packed satirical film explores a world where Saitama Prefecture is caught in a rivalry with the elitist Tokyoites. The real-world theme of ‘cool’ and ‘uncool’ city suburbs is brought to light, with hilarious jabs at the prefectures of Chiba, Tochigi and Ibaraki. It’s sci-fi; it’s fantasy; you’d be absurd not to check it out.
Location Spotlight: Saitama Prefecture
Directly adjacent to Tokyo, Saitama is filled with scenic parks and breathtaking shrines, making it an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Known for its world-famous sake, the annual Shibazakura Festival at Hitsujiyama Park and the little Edo town of Kawagoe, there is something for nature-lovers, foodies and everyone in between.
#4 And Your Bird Can Sing
Three young adults form an unlikely ménage à trois over a long, carefree summer in Hakodate. Drinking into the night and revelling in billiard halls and clubs till sun up, the three experience love, friendship, rivalry and the ups and downs of living in the moment.
Location Spotlight: Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture
Japan’s first international trade port and window for exchange with foreign countries since ancient times, Hakodate, located on the southern tip of Hokkaido, is filled with historical treasures such as Goryokaku (a star-shaped fort), beautiful seasonal landscapes, fresh seafood and hot springs.
Book your tickets to the Japanese Film Festival 2019 here.