The 18th edition of the Japanese Film Festival, making its first trip to Auckland, unveils a 20-title programme.
Masayuki Suo’s geisha dramedy Lady Maiko (based on My Fair Lady) will open the festival, which will close with Yuzo Asahara’s based on a true samurai chef story, A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story. Another food-themed title, Takashi Innami’s The God of Ramen, is the programme’s one doco serving.
In what sounds like a challenge, there’s also JU-ON – The Beginning of the End, “voted by Japanese viewers as the most frightening of all horror series”. Also on offer is the previously announced Rurouni Kenshin trilogy and another manga-based pair of titles, Thermae Romae 1 and 2 (“the adventures of a time-travelling Roman architect specialising in bath culture”).
A trio of teen-focused tales get free screenings, Daihachi Yoshida’s much awarded The Kirishima Thing, Shinobu Yaguchi’s Wood Job! and Yasuhiro Yoshida’s Leaving on the 15th Spring.
If you missed it during this year’s NZIFF, Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell plays hilariously with extremes.
The Japanese Film Festival plays the Rialto, Auckland, 6 – 12 November. Tickets are on sale from 8 October. JFF Mini will present free screenings in other centres, including Christchurch and Wellington.