Japanese Film Festival 2017 Programme Launched


For the last nine years, the Embassy of Japan has partnered with Access Cinema to bring the best of Japanese cinema to Irish shores. Many of these films never even get a full international release, but the Embassy and Access Cinema, with the support of the Ireland Japan Association and the Japan Foundation have been opening a cinematic window into Japanese life and culture, showing Japanese films at venues throughout the country. The 2017 Japanese Film Festival, which will be taking place in cinemas in Dundalk, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Maynooth, Limerick, Dublin and Waterdord throughout April, now has its full lineup of films announced. The festival programme was unveiled at the Light House Cinema on Sunday, marked by a screening of the film A Silent Voice.

The Chester Beattie Library, the Light House and the cinema at UCD will be the venues for Dublin’s participation in the Japanese Film Festival, with a diverse range of cinema both live-action and animated being shown from the 2nd to the 13th of April. Full details of the festival’s events around the country can be found at jff.ie, but we’ve got the full schedule for films showing in Dublin for you right here, and you can see them all below.

The Chester Beattie Library

Apr 2

The Letter 2pm

Based on a novel by best-selling author Keigo Higashino, The Letter shows the far-reaching impact of crime through its story of Takeshi, a man sent to prison after his efforts to provide for his younger brother Naoki’s education take a violent and tragic turn. (Dir. Jiro Shono)

The Letter is also showing at the UCD Cinema on Apr 9 at 3.30pm.

The Light House Cinema

Apr 5

We are X 9.15pm

This documentary tells the story of the heavy metal band X Japan, one of the most iconic and successful bands that Japan has to offer. From their formation as X in school, to mainstream success to a spot of cult brainwashing and their return to the limelight, We Are X explores the full history of the band. (Dir. Stephen Kijak)

Apr 6 

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son 6pm

This year’s submission from Japan for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, Nagasaki: Memories of My Son is a story of grief. When a promising medical student Yoji becomes one of the many victims of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki by the US in 1945, his mother Nobuko is left distraught and alone, save for the occasional visit by Yoji’s fiancée Machiko. And, years later, visits from the ghost of Yoji… (Dir. Yoji Yamada)

Tsukiji Wonderland 8.15pm

Tokyo’s Tsukiki Fish Market is the largest of its kind in the world, a bustling centre of activity where thousands of people scramble to secure the best and freshest fish for their restaurants in Tokyo and beyond. This documentary looks at the teeming market, the people who work and shop there and the changes that are starting to come to Tsukiji. (Dir. Naotaro Endo)

Apr 7 

Fires on the Plain 6pm

Shinya Tsukamoto, the director of the famous cult film Tetsuo: The Iron Man – you may have seen him most recently acting in Silence -directs and stars in this harrowing wartime nightmare. Tsukamoto plays a sickly private in the Japanese army in the dying days of World War II, adrift in the Philippino jungle where he witnesses a series of horrors. (Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto)

Harmonium 8.15pm

A family drama that takes a dark twist. Harmonium sees Toshio, his wife Akie and daughter Hotaru have their home lives unravel when the Toshio invites an old friend (a former convict) to work for him in the workshop where Toshio spends most of his time. (Dir. Koji Fukada)

Destruction Babies 10.45pm

A Fight Club-esque story about frustrated, stunted young men, Destruction Babies tells the story of Taira, who leaves his dead-end town suddenly one day for the city. Once there, Taira starts fighting random people on the streets, as you do. (Dir. Tetsuya Mariko)

Apr 8 

Kizumonogatari: Parts 1 & 2 11am

With the conclusion of the Kizumonogatari trilogy premiering in the afternoon, JFF presents the first two installments in a double feature. Based on the light novels by Nisio Isin and artist Vofan, Kizumonogatari is a youth horror series packed with violence, vampires, Guillotinecutters, and teen drama. Kizumonogatari Part 3 premieres following the double-feature at 1.30pm. (Dir. Tatsuya Oishi)

Poolsideman 3.30pm

Yusuke is a quiet man living a solitary life, working at the local pool and barely speaking. Beneath his calm exterior, something darker is coming closer to the surface, as news of atrocities around the world brews anger in this quiet loner. (Dir. Hirobumi Watanabe)

The Long Excuse 6pm

Sachio is a successful but arrogant author who is cheating on his wife Natsuko. When she and her friend Yuki are killed in a bus accident, Sachio finds his life unravelling without Natsuko. He eventually encounters Yuki’s husband Yoichi and agrees to look after the man’s two children during his long absences truck driving. (Dir. Miwa Nishikawa)

Sword Art Online The Movie: Original Scale 8.15pm

Taking place after the second season of the anime series Sword Art Online II, Original Scale is set in a world where Virtual Reality gaming is king and the lines between the virtual and the reality are beginning to blur. (Dir. Tomohiko Ito)

Japanese Girls Never Die 10.45pm

One day, frustrated 30-something Haruko disappears without a trace. Her wanted poster catches the attention of graffiti artists who start spray-painting her image all over town, turning her into a pop-culture phenomenon. All this while a group of schoolgirls is being blamed for a series of random attacks on young men in the area. (Dir. Daigo Matsui)

Apr 9 

Happy Hour 11am

Four female friends who are approaching middle age meet up for a workshop being held by an eccentric artist. Heading out for a few drinks after the workshop, one of the women casually reveals that she’s getting divorced, a revelation that prompts everyone to take a look at their own relationships and direction in life. (Dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

A Bride for Rip Van Winkle 5pm

Shy and lonely schoolteacher Nanami decides to marry a man she met online. When he’s frustrated by her lack of friends or relatives to attend the wedding, Nanami finds a business that offers ‘extras’ to pose as friends at social events and when the marriage goes south, she joins the business herself… (Dir. Shunji Iwai)

Her Love Boils Bathwater 8.15pm

When Futaba finds out that she doesn’t have much time left to live, she decides to bring her fracturwd family back together. That involves finding her departed husband, restarting the family bathhouse business with him and helping her daughter Azumi stand up on her own. (Dir. Ryota Nakano)

Apr 10 

Pecoross’ Mother and Her Days 6pm

Made by one of Japan’s oldest working director Azuma Morisaki, Pecoross’ Mother and Her Days is a dramatic comedy about caring for the elderly. Laid-back baby boomer Yuichi looks after his mother through her dementia and tries to decide with his son whether to keep caring for her or to put her into a home. (Azuma Morisaki)

Apr 11 

Being Good 6pm

A heart-wrenching film about the impact of simple acts of kindness. Newly-graduated school teacher Okano is struggling to connect with his students and must figure out what to do when he finds out one of the children in his care is being maltreated by his parents. Agining dementia sufferer Akiko is greeted good morning and goodbye every morning by a disabled boy as she sweeps her front garden. Ayane showers her mother Masami with affection, despite Masami’s abusive behaviour prompted by her own dark childhood. (Dir. Mipo Oh)

Apr 12

Sketches of Kaitan City 6pm

Set in the fictional shipbuilding city of Kaitan, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s film tells five stories of working class people struggling to keep going in the face of economic hardship. (Dir. Kazuyoshi Kumakiri)

Apr 13 

All Around Us 6pm

Set in 1993, All Around Us follows Kanao and Shoko, a Tokyo couple expecting their first child. Both former art students who settled for more comfortable jobs, they’re both forced to confront the darker side of life, through one of Japan’s most sensational murder trials and more personal tragedies. (Dir. Ryosuke Hashiguchi)

Luke Dunne
About me

Luke is a writer, film addict and Dublin native who loves how much there is for film fans in his home county. A former writer for FilmFixx and the Freakin' Awesome Network, he founded Film In Dublin to pursue his dual dreams of writing about film and never sleeping ever again.

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