2015 FILMS

Uzumasa Limelight

sunday, March 22, 4PM

Uzumasa Raimuraito (103 min) (2014)
Uzumasa Limelight

The Uzumasa film studio in Kyoto has produced many “jidaigeki” films (period dramas with sword fighting) that are loved by many Japanese, and are highly praised all over the world. These films wouldn’t be what they were if it weren’t for the “kirareyaku” (actors whose main job is to be killed by the lead star). Men who are killed, without ever being lit by the limelight…

This story is about those men, the unsung heroes of classic jidaigeki films. They loved and respected the art, even when the production of classic jidaigeki films began to dwindle. Using Charlie Chaplin’s film “Limelight” as an underlying theme, the admirable story of these men dealing with a new generation and fading craftsmanship is told with melancholy and soul. The lead role is played by the famed "kirareyaku," Seizo Fukumoto, who has had over 50,000 death scenes in his career.


Our Family

MONDAY, March 23, 7PM

Bokutachi No Kazoku (117 min) (2014)
Our Family

Based on a true story…
Based on an original novel by Kazumasa Hayami, "Our Family" traces the emotional journey of a four-member family that is falling apart until the mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer and told that she has one week to live. Another wonderfully-told film by Yuya Ishii, the director of last year’s Best Picture in Japan, Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage).

ある日突然、若菜家の母・玲子(原田美枝子)に「脳腫瘍」が見つかる。末期症状で、余命1週間をも宣告されたのだ。 つい昨日まで元気だった母と家族に突然訪れた事件。それは”普通の家族”に潜んでいた秘密や本音を表面化させたー家族になって27年、培ってきたものは波風を立てないことと、見えない借金だった。 どうしたらいいか分からない。 けれど終わらせることなんてできない。 そして浩介と俊平は、「悪あがき」を決心するー。

Our Homeland

TUESDAY, March 24, 7PM

Kazoku No Kuni (100 min) (2012)
Our Homeland

Set in the 1990s and based on the personal story of the film’s director, Yonghi Yang, this is the story of Sungho, who 25 years earlier was sent to North Korea by his Korean parents, who are among the 150,000 Korean residents of Japan who have pledged their loyalty to North Korea. Now he has returned to Japan temporarily for medical treatment with his North Korean “handler.” His younger sister Rie grew up in freedom in Japan, while Sungho has lived in a society where no choices in life are given. His parents now realize that North Korea is not the socialist “Paradise on Earth” that they sent their son to. Will the family be able to make up for the 25 years’ lost time? Kazoku no Kuni was Japan’s official submission for best foreign language film of the year in the 2013 US Academy Awards.


Shirayukihime Satsujin Jiken

Wednesday, March 25, 7pm

Shirayukihime Satsujin Jiken (126 min) (2014)
The Snow White Murder Case

When a beautiful employee at a Japanese cosmetics firm is murdered, suspicion points to one of her co-workers, Miki Shirono. More than just a murder mystery, the film shows how the internet, tweets, ratings-driven television shows, and reporters all compete to fulfill the public’s demands for scandal. Is Miki Shirono really the murderess, or is she actually a victim of the media, and now the social media, in today’s world?

国定公園・しぐれ谷で誰もが認める美人OLが惨殺された。全身をめった刺しにされ、その後火をつけられた不可解な殺人事件を巡り、一人の女に疑惑の目が集まる。彼女の名前は城野美姫。同期入社した被害者の三木典子とは対照的に地味で特徴のないOLだ。テレビ局でワイドショーを制作するディレクター・赤星雄治は、彼女の行動に疑問を抱き、その足取りを追いかける。取材を通じてさまざまな噂を語り始める、美姫の同僚・同級生・家族・故郷の人々。「城野さんは典子さんに付き合っていた人を取られた……押さえていたものが爆発したんだと思う、あの事件の夜」「小学生の頃、よく呪いの儀式をやってたって。被害者の殺され方が呪いの儀式と同じでしょう?」「犯人です、間違いありません!」。テレビ報道は過熱し、ネットは炎上。噂が噂を呼び、口コミの恐怖は広がっていく。果たして城野美姫は残忍な魔女なのか? それとも──。

The Small House

THURSDAY, March 26, 7PM

Chiisai Ouchi
The Little House

Nominated for nine Japanese Academy Awards including Best Picture, Chiisai Ouchi is directed by the legendary Yoji Yamada, now 83 years old and famed as the director of the Samurai Trilogy and the Otoko wa Tsurai Yo film series. Set in the 1930s, it tells the story of a young country woman who becomes the maid for a Yokohama businessman and his “modern style” wife -- and the secret that she kept for over five decades. The Pacific War serves as a backdrop to the film.