For its UK-wide Japanese film festival dubbed “What Lies Beneath,” the Japan Foundation is excited to return to the big screen after temporarily going online due to the Covid-19 crisis last year.
Working with partner theatres the Japan Foundation presents an exceptional line-up of Japanese movies that Japanese film aficionados will not want to miss.
From criminal thrillers to charming dramas, the programme will exhibit the cinematic voices and abilities of both seasoned and young directors.
Inspiration for the Japanese film festival
From recently released contemporary works to anime and rare classics, this programme aims to demonstrate how films, seemingly different in tone and style, have the same facet running through them and that all ultimately deal in human darkness. With an assortment of stories about people from different walks of life, this programme will showcase the cinematic voices and skills of both experienced and emerging filmmakers and aims to cater to the varied tastes of the UK audiences.
In the twenty-first century, what does it mean to have a mysterious “dark mind” lurking under the surface? What would happen if it became a driving factor in one’s life? Is it possible that a broader range of people would agree on what it means today that our society is more complex than ever before? Is such a state of mind fascinating to see in a film?
The Dark Side of the Human Mind
The human mind is very complex. Our minds are filled with a variety of emotions and sensations that may change from positive to negative depending on the situation we find ourselves in.
According to Christians, the seven deadly sins have been historically used to identify an “evil mentality,” which includes anything from wrath to jealousy to pride. We all have varying degrees of this attribute, and it is part of our nature, regardless of whether we are conscious of it or not.
Ironically, these gloomy feelings make life more intriguing and give a fascinating source of creativity since they frequently lend an unique flavor to works of entertainment. Because of this, thrillers have always remained a popular genre.
A ‘Dark Mind’ in Japanese Cinema
There is enough inspiration in the darkness that smoulders in our brains to make pictures that are acknowledged as relevant by viewers even when the films do not deal with illegal circumstances.
Vengeance Is Mine by IMAMURA Shohei, a Japanese ‘crime and punishment’ film, is an example of a successful crime film in Japan that has been popularised by film-makers for many years.
Keeping the theme in mind and posing these questions, the 19th Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will select some of the very best films released in Japan: Spaghetti Code Love is a stylish film that faithfully explores the lives of contemporary young people in Tokyo who juggle a variety of feelings to survive.
I Shall Live by Myself is a rare film focusing on an aged woman living alone. This charming work is not only concerned with the strength of her personality but also subtly depicts the remorse and loneliness in her long life.
Ever the socially conscious director, ZEZE Takahisa explores the issues and problems that three contemporary mothers face in his recent work, Tomorrow’s Dinner Table.