In an expansive selection, QUAD will be screening nine contemporary Japanese films as part of this year’s Japan Foundation UK’s annual Touring Film Programme. This year’s programme, which is themed ‘encounters’, is an enlightening introduction to Japanese cinema and offers a broad picture of the daily reality and experiences of a country. Director Shinobu Yaguchi will be in QUAD to give a director’s Q&A to his new film Wood Job! which begins the season in QUAD on February 6.
Wood Job! is based on a bittersweet, best-selling coming-of-age novel by Shion Miura about an ordinary 18-year-old high school graduate, Yuki, who has failed his university entrance exams. Finding himself without a job or anything much in the way of career prospects, he abruptly decides to leave the city life behind, prompted by a brochure that advertises a one-year forestry programme. Yuki ends up in Kamusari, a backwater village nestled deep in the mountains, far beyond civilization and mobile phone coverage. There he meets Iida, a combination of mountain boy scout, handyman and Wildman, and consequently Yuki learns to love life in the woods and finds himself embracing the dream of forging a new ‘green’ lifestyle. Wood Job! screens in QUAD on Friday February 6 at 6:15pm.
Nobody To Watch Over Me, directed by Ryoichi Kimizuka, is a deep drama which depicts the fears of a modern day society; portraying the distress of the family of a juvenile criminal and the conflicts of the detective ordered to protect them. The Funamura family is the target of mass media attention after their first son commits an act of murder. Furthermore, every move detective Katsuura takes in protecting Saori, the bewildered daughter of the family, is being fully exposed over the internet. In a deadly game of hide and seek.Nobody To Watch Over Me (Daremo Mamotte Kurenai) screens at QUAD on Friday February 13 at 6:15pm
In the epic fresco Blood And Bones, director Yoichi Sai brilliantly uses the biography of one man as a key to an entire social history of a vanished community, raising difficult questions about Korean-Japanese identity. A virtual companion piece to Hou Hsiao-Hsien’sThe Puppetmaster. Kim Shun-Pei emigrates as a young man from Jeju Island in Korea to Osaka and works his way up to head a small criminal empire. A lifelong fear of poverty meshes with his compulsive womanising, and his capacity for violence, to turn him into a monster. Blood And Bones (Chi To Hone) screens at QUAD on Friday February 13 at 8:50pm and will be introduced by Peter Munford,
Carmen From Kawachi is an interesting variant on Bizet’s Carmen from acclaimed director Seijun Suzuki. It tells of young Karumen, who leaves home after being gang-raped by thugs from school. She goes to Osaka, where men fall at her feet when she becomes a nightclub singer. This experimental film is shot variously in black-and-white, red-and-white, blue-and-white; the colours used to accentuate the story. Carmen From Kawachi screens at QUAD on Saturday February 14 at 3:45pm.
The Handsome Suit, directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa, is about a kind-hearted chef Takuro who has lots of friends, but has never been considered attractive to the opposite sex. One day, Takuro is approached with an offer of a special suit that can make him instantly handsome simply by wearing it. He jumps at the opportunity to change his appearance, and it works so well he begins working as a top male model. The suit is not without its flaws, however, and often short-circuits at the worst possible moments. When Takuro is given the choice of wearing a permanent version of the suit which can never be removed, he has a serious decision to make. The Handsome Suit (Hansamu Sutsu) screens at QUAD on Saturday February 14 at 6:30pm.
A Bolt From The Blue follows 39-year-old Haruo Todoroki, a magician who works in a dingy Tokyo club with little career success and no family, who has become depressed with life. Receiving a call from the police informing that him a rough sleeper – identified as his father – has been found dead, he is requested to collect his belongings.
Todoroki visits the area where his father took shelter when a bolt of lightning appears from the sky and strikes him. Coming round Todoroki find himself in a world 40 years earlier and stumbles upon a theatre where he begins to make a living by performing magic. He meets a young magician Shotaro and his assistant Etsuko who turn out to be his parents. Concealing his identity, Todoroki begins to learn more about his family. A Bolt From The Blue (Seiten No Hekireki) screens at QUAD on Saturday February 14 at 8:55pm.
In the romance Scattered Clouds, trouble begins after a young Tokyo man is involved in a fatal car accident. Though deemed blameless in the crash, his company transfers him to a remote branch in a small town. Before he leaves, overcome with guilt, he offers the dead man’s widow a large sum of money. She refuses it at first, but then decides to return to her hometown to recover – naturally it is the town where the young man has been assigned….. Scattered Clouds (Midaregumo) screens at QUAD on Sunday February 15 at 2:30pm.
A Letter To Momo is a heartwarming, animated fantasy from Jin-Roh:The Wolf Brigade director Okiura Hiroyuki that was seven years in the making. With the assistance of key animation supervisor Ando Masashi (Spirited Away), director Okiura presents a richly expressive depiction of the beautiful scenery of Japan’s Seto Inland Sea region; and won the New York International Children’s Film Festival’s Best Feature Film Grand Prize.
An 11-year-old girl named Momo moves to a tiny island in the Seto Inland Sea. She continues to cling to the memory of her late father who left her an unfinished letter, and finds herself unable to adjust to her new lifestyle or make friends. Then one day, she is visited by three bizarre creatures. A Letter To Momo (Momo e no tegami) screens at QUAD on Sunday February 15 at 6pm
Finally From Me to You director Kumazawa Naoto latest film Jinx!!! depicts love with a touch of pathos about the different perspectives on love in Korea and Japan. When Korean exchange student Ji-Ho meets plain college girl Kaede and her childhood friend Yusuke he decides he wants to jumpstart things for this lukewarm couple, and lets loose a series of Korean-style love jinxes on them.
In this romance, popular K-POP group T-ARA member Hyomin transforms into a Korean exchange student who teaches Japanese college students all about love. Jinx!!! (Jinkusu!!!) screens at QUAD on Sunday February 15 at 8:35pm
All films in the season are advised certificate (15) and will be screened in Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are £7.80 and £6.50 concessions, a reduced price pass is also available, priced £36, which entitles entry to all nine films screenings (equivalent to £4 per screening). For more information or to book seats, please call QUAD Box Office on (01332) 290606 or go to: http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/film/jftfp-wood-job-director-qa-advised-15