Film is a great way to travel across time and space without buying a plane ticket or having to build a time machine. The 20th Japanese Film Festival showcases different sides of Japan that's great for anyone with an interest in Japanese culture, fashion, history or even music. We picked 5 films that shows us different versions of Japan, giving us a peek into the lives of different people, from high school kids in the big city to twenty-somethings leading lonely lives in Tokyo.
1. Wolf Girl & Black Prince
Image credits: © Ayuko Hatta/Shueisha © 2016 “Wolf girl and Black prince” Film Partners
This rom-com plays everything by the book but it's far from a tired old romance story. The on-screen chemistry between its main characters is too good to not watch this movie!
Watching the film would also feel like a sightseeing trip around trendy Tokyo as the film takes us from the busy shops of Shibuya to stylish cafes in the neighbourhood of Hirano. Wolf Girl & Black Prince takes place in a high school setting as well so audience get to see the latest fashion trends amongst high school kids in Tokyo.
2. Twisted Justice
Image credits: © 2016 "Twisted Justice" Film Partners
There's definitely a lot of yakuza swagger in Twisted Justice. Based on a real life police scandal, the film follows rookie Moroboshi who has a hard time in the police force. A veteran detective takes Moroboshi under his wing, pretty much transforming Moroboshi into a hotshot cop–but not without the help of gangsters and criminals. It's a pretty bold film that doesn't shy away from depicting corruption from the late 60s to the early 90s.
3. Pink and Gray
Image credits: © 2016 “Pink and Gray” Film Partners
Pink and Gray is an arthouse film about friendship, celebrity fame, and existential crises. The characters are interesting and the plot is unpredictable. Just when you thought you’ve predicted the story, Pink and Gray strays from movie formulae and turns everything on its head with a clever twist. Not only does the perspective change half-way through, the film even switches from full colour to black-and-white. And as expected of a film about celebrities, the visuals are stylish and there's a lot of cool fashion as well.
4. Sing My Life
Image credits: © 2016 Ayakano Film Partners, © 2014 CJ E&M Corporation
Sing My Life is a bundle of fun to watch, think of Seventeen Again except instead of Matthew Perry it's a feisty grandma who returns to her 20-year-old body. Nana's always to be a singer so when she unexpectedly gets her youth back she does just that – hijacking a punk band and turning it into a retro cool band.
5. A Bride for Rip Van Winkle
Image credits: © RVW Film Partners
A Bride for Rip Van Winkle is one of the titles that we're really excited to bring to Australia this year. International film festival favourite Shunji Iwai is back his first non-animated feature film in four years: it's beautiful, dreamy, and full of feels.
The film follows Nanami, a timid substitute teacher working in Tokyo. Her only solace comes through social media interactions. She decides to tie the knot with a man she meets online, but the marriage soon falls into pieces. She finds herself lost with literally no place to go and no one to turn to except for a stranger named Amuro who promises to make things right.
The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) tours nationally from
Canberra 14-23 Oct
Adelaide 21-30 Oct
Brisbane 26-30 Oct
Perth 2-6 Nov
Sydney 17-27 Nov
Melbourne 24 Nov-4 Dec
For your chance to win a double pass to either the Sydney (November 17 - 27) or Melbourne (November 24 - December 4) screenings: