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Eiga Nights: Feel Good Flicks

Free Film Screening Program

February – May 2020

Join us for our regular free film screening program, Eiga Nights, at The Japan Foundation, Sydney. This season, we’re showcasing films that help us appreciate the little things in life with a line-up of films that’ll leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

In February, we screen MAMESHIBA, the heart-warming story of a man and an adorable mameshiba (miniature Shiba), and in March A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story serves up food and romance in equal proportions. April’s quiet and contemplative films Every Day a Good Day and Equinox Flower ties into our Seikatsu Kogei: Objects for Intentional Living exhibition, depicting the daily lives of women dealing with uncertainty and difficulty from different eras of Japan. And in May, award-winning animator Masaaki Yuasa’s 2017 film Lu over the Wall explores the unlikely companionship between a sullen middle schooler and a mermaid, brought together by a love for music.

MAMESHIBA (幼獣マメシバ)

Dir Toru Kamei / 2009 / 106 mins / Cast: Jiro Sato, Yumi Adachi, Tetsu Watanabe / Japanese with English subtitles / PG, contains mild themes
February 25, 6:30pm – 8:16pm

Jiro is a 32-year-old unemployed shut-in who never leaves his parents’ house and is afraid of socialising with other people. After his father’s death, Jiro’s mother runs away from home, leaving behind both clues for himto find her and a six-month-old mameshiba dog named Ichiro. Jiro begrudgingly ventures out into the world in search of his mother together with his new fluffy sidekick in this film adaptation of a TV series that will capture the hearts of animal lovers young and old.

A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story (武士の献立)

Dir Yuzo Asahara / 2013 / 121 mins / Cast: Aya Ueto, Kengo Kora, Kimiko Yo, Toshiyuki Nishida / Japanese with English subtitles / M, contains mature themes
March 19, 6:30pm – 8:31pm

Set during the Edo-period, the Kaga-clan have become “kitchen samurai”, swapping their samurai swords for kitchen knives in order to serve their lords delicious food. Funaki Dennai, the head chef of the clan, is eager to improve his son’s skills in the kitchen so that he can take over the family profession, but his son, Yasunobu, longs to put down the kitchen knife and wield a sword instead.

Enter Haru, a highly skilled cook and lowly maid, whose sharp tongue caused her husband to divorce her. Yet Funaki knows that by arranging his son to be married off to Haru with her exceptional cooking skills, she’ll be able to whip Yasunobu into shape and prepare him for his life as a “kitchen samurai”.

Every Day a Good Day (日日是好日)

Dir Tatsushi Omori / 2018 / 100 mins / Cast: Haru Kuroki, Kilin Kiki, Mikako Tabe / Japanese with English subtitles / UNCLASSIFIED: SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES 
April 9, 6:30pm-8:10pm

Noriko and Michiko are cousins about to graduate from university. Michiko is adventurous and graceful while Noriko is clumsy and shy—so when they begin tea ceremony lessons Noriko is understandably nervous. Their first lesson is difficult and their teacher is rigid, but the intricate fine details in the practice are fascinating enough for the girls to continue learning. While the lessons are only a hobby for Michiko, Noriko develops a passion for the practice and a deep connection to her teacher. Through the changing seasons of Noriko’s life, the ritual of tea ceremony becomes a safe place to meditate on the ups and downs of life.

Equinox Flower (彼岸花)

Dir Ozu Yasujiro / 1958 / 118 mins / Cast: Arima Ineko, Kuga Yoshiko, Sada Keiji  / Japanese with English subtitles / UNCLASSIFIED: SUITABLE FOR AGES 15+
April 23, 6:30pm-8:28pm

Wataru Hirayama, a middle aged business man finds himself perplexed by the eternal parental problem of marrying off his daughter into a successful marriage. As a senior in his company, he commands obedience from those around him, including his family, though he finds that many of the people around him are women with their own ideas on how things should be done with respect to choosing a marriage partner. When his daughter tells him she’s found the love of her life and won’t be entering into an arranged marriage, Hirayama struggles to accept the upending of his traditional world-view.

Ozu Yasujiro’s first colour film examines the changing of values through the generations, through the lens of a poignant story about a family trying to find harmony as the world changes around them.

Lu over the Wall (夜明け告げるルーのうた)

Dir Masaaki Yuasa / 2017 / 112 mins / Cast: Kanon Tani, Shouta Shimoda, Shinichi Shinohara / Japanese with English subtitles / PG, contains mild themes and coarse language 
May 14, 6:30pm-8:22pm

Kai is a talented young musician who longs to leave the shores of his small fishing town. Forced to move away from the big city, he spends his days sulking and making music, which he uploads online. When his classmates invite him to join their band, his melodies catch the ears of an unexpected guest, Lu, a young mermaid whose fins morph into feet when she hears a good beat. To the surprise of Lu’s new human friends, she’s a good singer and her voice holds a magical power–it makes people compulsively dance in joy!

The more Kai spends time with Lu, the closer they grow together. However, Kai learns that the villagers believe an ancient lore that mermaids bring disaster. Will Kai and his friends be able to protect Lu’s identity?

Winner of the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival, and an Official Selection at Sundance 2018 and Melbourne International Film Festival 2018, Lu over the Wall is a toe-tapping, heart-warming, feel-good drama for the whole family. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the visionary director behind some of the most creative animations in recent years such as Night is Short, Walk on Girl; Mind Game, Adventure Time “Food Chain”, and Ping Pong.

RELATED EVENTS

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EVENT DETAILS

All films start at 6:30pm (doors open at 6pm) on the following days:

February 25, 2020 (Tuesday)
MAMESHIBA (PG)
6:30pm – 8:16pm

March 19, 2020 (Thursday)
A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story (M)
6:30pm – 8:31pm

April 9, 2020 (Thursday)
Every Day a Good Day (UNCL: Suitable for all ages)
6:30pm – 8:10pm

April 23, 2020 (Thursday)
Equinox Flower (UNCL: Suitable for ages 15+)
6:30pm – 8:28pm

May 14, 2020 (Thursday)
Lu over the Wall (PG)
6:30pm – 8:22pm

Screenings will be held in a seminar room-type event space, not a movie theatre. Please note there are no trailers before the films. Bean bags and chairs are available as seating.
Please feel free to bring bottled non-alcoholic drinks and snacks (no hot food please).

ADMISSION
Free, limited capacity. Walk-in only, bookings not necessary.

VENUE
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008

ENQUIRIES
(02) 8239 0055

Header image © 2017 Lu Film partners

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