2017 FILMS

SUNDAY, March 19, 2:00 p.m.

Kaizoku To Yobareta Otoko (145 min) (2016)
Fueled: The Man They Called “Pirate”

Adapted from the best-selling roman a clef novel by Naoki Hyakuta, Kaizoku to Yobareta Otoko is based on the true-life story of Sazo Idemitsu, the founder of Idemitsu Kosan, one of Japan's major corporations. The film's protagonist, Tetsuzo Kunioka, is the owner of a small local oil company in pre-war Japan. Through sheer determination, he develops his company into a national player. Following Japan's defeat in World War II, Kunioka is determined to rebuild his company, and he takes on not only the Japanese oil cartel but also the major international oil companies. He is determined that Japan and his company will rise again. His belief that Japan must control its own oil supply (and therefore its own destiny) is what drives him forward, at times in a risky and ruthless manner.

One of 2016's blockbuster hits, it was nominated for five Japanese Academy Awards, including a Best Actor nomination for Junichi Okada, who plays Kunioka.



MONDAY, March 20, 7:00 p.m.

TSUKIJI WONDERLAND (築地ワンダーランド) (110 min) (2016)

Tsukiji Wonderland is the first documentary that CineMatsuri has presented. It tells the story of the most famous fish market in the world through the four seasons. But it is more than just the story of the Tsukiji market. It depicts Japanese business ties and the importance of personal relationships. It also pays homage to Japan's food culture by showing the care that Japan's chefs take in selecting quality fish and in preparing sushi and sashimi for their customers.



TUESDAY, March 21, 7:00 p.m.

Nagai Iiwake
The Long Excuse

Two newly bereaved widowers bond over their shared grief in The Long Excuse, a sardonic Japanese drama with leavening moments of dark comedy. Working from her own novel, the writer-director Miwa Nishikawa was partly inspired by the aftermath of the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In his first lead role since starring in Yojiro Takita's 2008 Oscar-winner Departures, Masahiro Motoki plays Sachio Kinugasa, an arrogant celebrity author whose loveless marriage to Natsuko has degenerated into frosty mutual tolerance.

At the very moment when Natsuko dies in a bus crash, Sachio is in bed with his mistress. Though more shocked and confused than sad, his fame requires him to mourn in public, even staging a cynical pilgrimage to the accident site for a voyeuristic TV crew. Meanwhile, truck driver Yoichi Omiya also loses his wife in the same crash. Consumed by guilt and self-loathing, Sachio recognizes Yoichi's grief as much more heartfelt than his own, especially as the impoverished blue-collar driver is suddenly struggling to raise two young children alone. He impulsively offers to help. (Film description from The Hollywood Reporter)



WEDNESDAY, March 22, 7:00 p.m.

Satoshi No Seishun (124 min) (2016)
Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow

This is the true story of shogi prodigy Satoshi Murayama, whose tragic death at 29 sent shock waves through the shogi world. Sickly from birth, Murayama was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome as a child and with cancer in his twenties. Murayama said it was because of his useless body that he turned to shogi. Wracked with pain, he endured his physical symptoms with the stoicism of a samurai, as he rose to beat the reigning Meijin champion Yoshiharu Habu in a historic match. (Film description from The Hollywood Reporter)

The actors who play the two shogi champions, Kenichi Matsuyama and Masahiro Higashide, were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.



THURSDAY, March 23, 7:00 p.m.

Yu wo Wakasuhodo no Atsui Ai (125 min) (2016)
Her Love Boils Bathwater

Nominated for six Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Script, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress.

Rie Miyazawa plays Futaba, a cheerful woman whose family owns a bath-house – now out of business. When her husband (Joe Odagiri) ran away a year ago, she switched to part time job to support their daughter (Hana Sugisaki). One day, she hears the horrifying verdict: she has no more than 2 months left. When the initial shock passes, she decides what she must do in this limited time. She brings back her husband (now with a second daughter of his own), revives the bathhouse business, and helps her delicate daughter to deal with her issues. She brings her patchwork family closer together, and soon they come to terms with their mother’s condition and decide to say their farewells with the same amount of love.  (Film description from Arama Japan)


銭湯「 幸(さち)の湯」を営む幸野家。しかし、父が1年前にふらっと 出(しゅっ)奔(ぽん)し銭湯は休業状態。母・双葉は、持ち前の明るさと強さで、パートをしながら、娘を育てていた。