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Tanaka Kinuyo: The Wandering Princess and The Ballad of Narayama

In conjunction with the publication of “Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity”, a new volume focusing on the life and career of one of the first prominent female film directors in Japan, the Japan Foundation will be hosting screenings of “The Wandering Princess” and “The Ballad of Narayama” in London.

About the films:

The Wandering Princess

Dir: Tanaka Kinuyo, 1960, 102mins (with English subtitles)

Futetsu (Eiji Funakoshi), the younger brother of the Emperor of Manchukuo, marries Ryuko (Hiroko Aishinkakura) the daughter of an aristocratic family – in order to legitimise the relationship between Japan and its Chinese puppet state. To the surprise of all, they fall in love, but their bond is put to the test when Japan loses the war and Manchukuo is dissolved. Based on the true story of Pujie, the brother of the last Emperor of China and Hiro Saga his wife, the story revolves around the characteristically complex tale of female hardship, thwarted desire, arranged marriage and the yoke of imperial male power.

The Ballad of Narayama 

Dir: Keisuke Kinoshita , 1958, 98mins (with English subtitles)

Based on Shiro Fukazawa’s novel of the same title, the film tells the savage story of a remote mountain village where relatives carry 70-year-old family members up Narayama mountain to die. Orin (Kinuyo Tanaka) is close to approaching 70, her son Tatsuhei (Teiji Takahashi) cannot bear losing his mother, but she is content to embrace her fate. Shot in the kabuki style theatre, Kinoshita’s version of Ballad of Narayama was screened in the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was part of the submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 31st Academy Awards.

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Celebrating the life and work of Tanaka Kinuyo

Join the Japan Foundation for a series of events celebrating the publication of Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity”, a new book from Edinburgh University Press which examines the work of this legendary Japanese actress and film director.

For this book presentation and discussion, the editors of the publication, Dr Irene González-López and Dr Michael Smith, as well as Dr Alexander Jacoby, Alejandra Armendáriz-Hernández and Prof. Ayako Saito (from Japan), will explore the life and achievement of Kinuyo Tanaka, who is one of the most celebrated stars in the history of Japanese cinema and one of the first prominent female film directors in Japan.

This event will be held at the Royal Society of the Arts on 30th November, and is free to attend.

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One Cut of The Dead comes to the UK!

Don’t miss the highly acclaimed zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” from Japanese director Shinichiro Uena when it receives its UK theatrical release on the 4th January 2019!

The film has been thrilling audiences worldwide, and so far it has made 1000 times its budget (it cost 3 million yen to make and has already made 3 billion yen at the box office). The film has also received awards from multiple film festivals including the Udine Far East Film Festival, Camera Japan, Motel X Lisbon and San Sebastian Horror Film Festival.

About the film: 

A cast of relative unknowns, a brilliantly disguised low budget and an epic, 37-minute opening single take makes Shin’ichirô Ueda’s feature debut a bright, breezy and laugh-out-loud hilarious zombie comedy. A film crew is shooting a zombie horror flick in an abandoned water filtration plant, allegedly used for human experiments by the military. Just as the director browbeats his actors and demands more special effects blood, a real zombie apocalypse erupts, much to his auteur delight. Packed with meta-movie references as mocking as they are loving, this relentless takedown of the Living Dead genre is a total blast.

You can see the film in the UK at the following locations: 

The Prince Charles Cinema, LONDON – Jan 4-10
Broadway Cinema, NOTTINGHAM – Jan 4-10
Showroom Cinema, SHEFFIELD – Jan 4-10
Leicester Phoenix, LEICESTER – Jan 4-6
Quad Cinema, DERBY – Jan 4-7
Glasgow Film Theatre, GLASGOW – Jan 6&7
Cube Cinema, BRISTOL – Jan 7-9
Chapter Arts Centre, CARDIFF – Jan 11-14
Deptford Cinema, LONDON – Jan 11
Shelly Theatre, BOURNEMOUTH – Jan 17
Genesis Cinema, LONDON – Jan 17


Enjoy Japanese cinema?

Keep your eyes peeled on our page – the full lineup of the 16th Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will be revealed soon!

With 18 venues nationwide, make sure to check back and see if the programme is coming to a cinema near you.

 

Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' gets a UK release!

Exciting news! Palm d’Or winner at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Shoplifters, from visionary director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows, After the Storm), is getting its UK release on 23rd November via Thunderbird Releasing.

About the film:

After another successful shoplifting spree, Osamu (Franky,Like Father, Like Son) and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold and invite her home with them. Osamu’s wife Nobuyo reluctantly agrees to shelter her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, relying on petty crime alongside their part-time jobs and inadequate incomes,they seem to live happily together-until an unforeseen incident upsets the delicate balance the family have created, revealing long-buried secrets…

With universal themes of family and belonging, SHOPLIFTERS is a poignant drama and a complicated love letter to family, exploring the bonds that unite them.

***

“A masterful ensemble piece” – Screen International

“Steals in & snatches your heart” – The Telegraph (★★★★★)

“Charming, funny & very affecting” – Time Out (★★★★)


Enjoy Japanese cinema?

Keep your eyes peeled on our page – the full lineup of the 16th Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will be revealed soon!

With 18 venues nationwide, make sure to check back and see if the programme is coming to a cinema near you.

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