London East Asia Film Festival: Japanese film line-up

It’s film festival season in London and the latest programme soon to be hitting screens is the London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) 19-29 October. Now in its third year, LEAFF’s vision is to bring a much wider, eclectic, and diverse programme of films from over 10 countries to show the richness and diversity of the region and its people.

Of course, LEAFF isn’t just limited to Japanese films, so check out their full programme to get an idea of what you want to see. But as this is a Japan Blog, here’s what’s in store for Japan film fans…

Outrage Coda (dir. Takeshi Kitano)

Five years after surviving the all-out war between the Sanno and Hanabishi crime families, former yakuza boss Otomo now works in South Korea for Mr. Chang, a renowned fixer whose influence extends into Japan. When eventually Chang’s life is endangered, devoted yakuza Otomo returns to Japan to settle things once and for all.

Blank 13 (dir. Takumi Saito)

Following the death of his deadbeat father, a son discovers that there was more to him than anyone in the family suspected.

Before We Vanish (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

After vanishing inexplicably, Shinji reappears. But his wife no longer recognises him. Once barely bearable, he now seems like a different person. More gentle than before, Shinji goes on walks every day and has deep conversations with strangers. In the meantime, a family is murdered in strange circumstances. A mood of gloom seems to spread in this small coastal town. As the characters look for the truth, they learn that their town may be the centre of an alien invasion.

A care-giver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two wind up stranded in a forest where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journey.

A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother’s home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.

Tokyo Sonata (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

A Tokyo salaryman who suddenly loses his job in the economic crisis decides to keep his unemployment a secret from his family. Doubt, guilt and denial begin to take hold, but a glimmer of redemption comes from his youngest son’s covert piano lessons in a memorable final sequence.

Cleopatra (dir. Osamu Tezuka, Eiichi Yamamoto)

A weird and wild tale in which three intergalactic travellers from the distant future are whisked back to the court of the ancient Egyptian queen by time machine to intervene in an alien plan to destroy mankind by altering the course of human history.

Mind Game (dir. Masaaki Yuasa)

Nishi is a comic book artist who in the course of one night meets his busty ex-girlfriend and her fiancé, gets involved in a yakuza deal and ends up being shot in the arse. Nishi decides his life can’t end the ridiculous way it just has, so he turns his back on God and begins to rewrite his life with very unexpected results.

Millenium Actress (dir. Satoshi Kon)

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

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