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14° & RAINY ON FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER IN MELBOURNE
By Sarah Ward
October 23, 2019
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Japanese Film Festival 2019

Melbourne's annual celebration of Japanese cinema returns.
By Sarah Ward
October 23, 2019
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Colourful anime hits, intriguing murder mysteries and moody yakuza thrillers — they're all on the lineup at this year's Japanese Film Festival. Throw in a rom-com about renting a friend, a musical-comedy starring a former J-pop idol and a live-action version of a best-selling manga, and Melbourne viewers will have plenty to watch at the Treasury and Capitol theatres between Thursday, November 21 and Sunday, December 1.

It all starts with opening night's Masquerade Hotel, which tasks a detective (Blade of the Immortal's Takuya Kimura) with going undercover at a swanky Tokyo establishment. The reason? He believes that a murder is about to take place within its walls, and he's determined not only to stop it, but to solve three other seemingly unrelated killings.

From there, standouts include Little Love Song, about Okinawa high schoolers in a pop band; family reunion drama Born Bone Born, as set on the island of Aguni; and Melancholic, which follows a new university graduate who takes a job at a bathhouse, only to find himself working for dangerous mobsters.

On the animated front, Ride Your Wave takes to the sea on a surfboard, because Japanese animators can make surfing movies too. Final Fantasy fans might want to catch Brave Father Online, given that it focuses on a father and son reconnecting through their love of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, while Dance With Me takes its characters on a singing and dancing road trip — and And Your Bird Can Sing gets atmospheric with three friends over a long Hokkaido summer.

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