Over the past century, Japan has given audiences the samurai epics of Akira Kurosawa, the monster mayhem of Godzilla, the manic violence of Takashi Miike and the animated splendour of Studio Ghibli. That's quite the achievement, and it's only scratching the surface of their marvellous movie output.
It is little wonder then that the annual cinema showcase of the nation's next batch of film treasures — aka the Japanese Film Festival — is a highlight of every cinephile's calendar. Here, you'll see what it takes to become a manga star and you'll unravel a boxing-centric love affair, and that's just in Bakuman and 100 Yen Love, the program's opening and closing night films.
The rest of the lineup is similarly diverse, whether exploring a schoolyard transforming into a training camp for killers in Assassination Classroom, showing a strange fondness for sea creatures in Princess Jellyfish or saving Japan from nuclear disaster in The Big Bee. Of course, it wouldn't be a Japanese Film Festival without the latest Sion Sono movie as well. After wowing viewers with the genre mashup of Why Don't You Play in Hell? and the hiphop musical that was Tokyo Tribe, this time he offers up Tag, a gore fest playing with parallel existences.
To view the full Japanese Film Festival program, visit their website.