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access>CINEMA and the Embassy of Ireland have long been committed to bringing the best of Japanese cinema to Ireland. That includes April of this year when they hosted another successful edition of the Japanese Film Festival and last night, when the excellent Shin Godzilla was finally shown in Ireland. Preceding that screening at the Light House Cinema was an announcement that the Japanese Film Festival and the Light House will be showing an impressive line-up of anime films throughout the rest of the year. Mixing eagerly anticipated upcoming releases with an anime classic, ‘Anime House’ ensures there’s a lot to look forward to for fans  of Japanese animation in Dublin for the rest of 2017.

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Director: Makoto Shinkai Starring: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi Running Time: 107 minutes

After a year with two Disney films and a Pixar sequel, it’s going to be difficult for other animated features to distinguish themselves either in the hearts of the viewing public or in the ballots of voters during the busy awards season. Your Name, an anime film by Makoto Shinkai, does not boast the wide audience of Zootropolis or Moana or even the street-cred of Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings. What it does have though is emotion in abundance, more than enough to connect with viewers. The film received a tiny release here in Ireland, with a small handful of screenings. Worth noting though, is that were Your Name was shown, more screenings were added by demand. Those that saw it were talking about it, recommending it. And so they should. Beautiful in both story and animation, Your Name is one of the year’s hidden gems, a mind (and body) bending romance that’s deeply rewarding.

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