My Japan Foundation Film Tour Top Five

Japan Foundation Touring Film ProgrammeYou don’t get much chance to see Japanese films in London (or the rest of the UK) but, thanks to the Japan Foundation, over the next couple of weeks there’s going to be a positive glut. So suddenly we go from nothing to see to too much to see. How are you going to prioritise? Let me help out, with my Japan Foundation Touring Programme top five. Continue reading

Studio Ghibli Marathon at Prince Charles Cinema

My neighbour Totoro

Great news for Studio Ghibli fans! The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is having an all-night marathon of Hayao Miyazaki’s magical films this Saturday, the  27th July. They’re in the original language with English subtitles. That’s Saturday night sorted then, right? Continue reading

BFI Nikkatsu Film Season

Yujiro IshiharaThe BFI have a season of films from the Nikkatsu Film Studio’s glory days in the fifties and sixties, starting on 1st June, and I just know you won’t be able to make up your mind which ones to go and see without my advice. So here it is in two words: Yujiro Ishihara. Don’t know who he is? He’s the Japanese Elvis Presley, the man whose untimely death broke a million hearts.  Continue reading

Poets of the Dark – Benshi Film Narrators

Ozu - Walk CheerfullyIf you’re a BFI member there’s a treat in store for you tomorrow (Monday 22 April). They’e showing Yasujiro Ozu’s silent film, Walk Cheerfully, an early gangster movie, accompanied by a benshi performance from Tomoko Komura. Continue reading

Japanese film fest coming to the ICA!

Japan Foundation Film Programme

Isn’t it always the way? You wait ages for a Japanese film and then ten come along at once. Following hard on the heels of Jiro Dreams of Sushi (see my last post) comes an entire season of Japanese films titled Once upon a Time in Japan. It’s at the ICA and then tours the country, courtesy of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. With ten films in a week (the season runs from 1st to 7th February) some hard decisions have to be made. Not to worry; as usual I’ve got a few suggestions to help you out. Continue reading

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Ono

I’ve just been to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi and I think you should go and see it too. In fact, a lot of other people think you should go and see it. It has a rating of 7.8 on the IMDb and a 99% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Guardian film reviewer loved it; the Telegraph film reviewer loved it; the Observer film reviewer loved it…and so on. You get the picture. So what is it? A documentary about a sushi restaurant, that’s what. But it’s not your average sushi restaurant. Continue reading

Don’t panic – here’s which Japanese film to see at the London Film Festival

Key of LifeThe 56th BFI London Film Festival opens on 10 October and amongst all its goodies are seven new Japanese films. Frustrating isn’t it? You wait months for a Japanese film to come along and suddenly you get seven all at once. We’re all busy people so the question I’ve challenged myself to answer on your behalf is this – if you’ve only got time to see one of them, which one should it be? Here’s my unscientific guide, put together with the help of some Japanese friends in Tokyo. Continue reading