Time Out Melbourne

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Since its humble beginnings in 1997, the Japanese Film Festival has become one of the biggest festivals outside of Japan itself. Now in its 16th year, and taking on the theme ‘totally sweet’, there will be a range of classic cinema, new releases and everything in between.

This year's Japanese time travel comedy box office smash, Thermae Romae, opens the festival, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, historical saga The Floating Castle closes it. In between you can expect all sorts of treats, including; A Chronicle of My Mother starring Koji Yakusho (13 Assassins); Postcard, by the late director Kaneto Shindo about his own war experiences; Tenchi: the Samurai Astronomer (the name's self explanatory); the film version of cult TV series Goose Bumps; samurai blockbuster Rurouni Kenshin; Helter Skelter, about the ugly side of plastic surgery; and family flick Friend: Naki on the Monster Island.

There'll be a special guest, too. Drector Kenji Uchida, who's won Cannes awards for the likes of A Stranger of Mine and After School will attend the screening of his film Key of Life. And this year the Festival honours Yasuzo Masumura, whose three-decade career as a director spanned many genres. The free screenings include Giants and Toys, Man of Biting Wind (aka Afraid to Die), With My Husband’s Consent, The Hoodlum Soldier, Seisaku’s Wife and The Red Angel.

Japanese Film Festival 2012 video

Japanese Film Festival 2012 details

Around Melbourne, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 02 8239 0055

Price $11.00 to $15.00

Date 29 Nov 2012-09 Dec 2012

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