The BFI London Film Festival is celebrating its 59th run this year, from October 7th to 18th. 238 films from 71 countries were chosen to be screened around central London for 12 days. Among those films in the lineup, there are many numbers of films that originate from Asia, and 9 of them are Japanese. From rather expected Cannes-favorite auteur films to box-office hit animations, varieties of Japanese films will be publically screened in London this fall.
After screenings at Cannes and Toronto, An, Our Little Sister and Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld are heading to London together as representatives of this year’s Japanese cinema. Honorably premiered as the opening film of Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Naomi Kawase’s An is a touching tale of Japanese bean jelly maker. Hirokazu Kore-eda reexamines auteur’s usual theme of family relationship in Our Little Sister, based on a comic by Akimi Yoshida. As a leading Japanese cult filmmaker, Takashi Miike invites us to the ferocious madness of a conflation of yakuza and vampire in Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld. In addition to three masterful works that are running around the festival circuit this year, London introduces a filmmaker/comedian Takeshi Kitano’s latest film to the populace: Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen, 17th feature film by Kitano, revives elderly retired yakuza on screen.
Other titles include two animation films, one of the biggest summer box-office hit, The Boy and the Beast by Mamoru Hosoda who directed an acclaimed Summer Wars, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie was There, a latest title from Studio Ghibli; a backstage nightmare of an actress, Ghost Theater directed by Hideo Nakata, a visionary J-horror master; A Locarno winner, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour, an exhilarating drama of thirty-something women; and Love and Peace, a punk rock orgy of Sion Sono.
Please visit the festival website for additional information.