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Japanese Film Festival
January J-Film News
The first few months of 2017 is an exciting year for J-film fans in Australia. While we're not exactly getting any films produced by Japanese studios, there are a number of Hollywood films that are set in Japan or featuring Japanese actors. Further down we also fill you in on some interesting tidbits from current Japanese cinema. And if you're in Sydney, we're giving away double passes to the preview screening of Martin Scorsese's Silence. Hurrah!
Japan in Hollywood
Check out these upcoming Hollywood films featuring Japanese talent.
Tsukamoto in SILENCE
Director and actor Shinya Tsukamoto talks about Silence
Director, actor, and Scorsese fanboy Shinya Tsukamoto (Fires on the Plain) talks to Time Out Tokyo about filming Silence. Tsukamoto originally auditioned just like any other actor would, and Martin Scorcesewho was familiar with the Japanese director's workwas surprised upon learning that he came to try out for the role.

Silence is based on Shusaku Endo's critically-acclaimed novel of the same title. The film is 26 years in the making, with Scorcese wanting to adapt it for the big screen since he first read the novel 28 years ago.

Watch the
Japanese version of the trailer, which showcases the Japanese cast involved in the production. Australian release date 16 Feb 2017.
Giveaway: Double passes to Silence preview screening

Adapted from Shusaku Endo’s novel, SILENCE tells the story of two Jesuit missionaries who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

The preview screening will take place at Palace Norton St, 6.30pm on Monday 13th February. To enter the lucky draw email competitions@jpf.org.au with 'SILENCE' in the subject. Contest ends at midnight on 6 Feb.
Beat Takeshi in GITS Movie


Ghost in the Shell
Scarlett Johansson's casting as Major Kusanagi has been a much debated topic last year, some fans of the anime were opposed to it, while some Japanese people seem to think that it's alright (given how anime faces often imitate caucasian features). 

Debate aside, the trailers are out and the film is coming out soon. (And Beat Takeshi looks very much like Chief Aramaki!) Watch the trailer here and tell us what you think!

AU release date 30 March 2017, (31 March for NZ).


Rola rolls into Hollywood
Rola, a Japanese model and TV celebrity (or "talent" タレント), has an army of fans back from when she first started gracing the pages of fashion magazines. However, she also gets flack for her high pitched voice. Well guess what, she made it to Hollywood, debuting in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter!

Watch her interview in English where she talks about the film.

Now in AU and NZ cinemas. Released 26 January 2017.
J-Film Radar
Berlinale is coming up in February, Kinema Junpo's annual film list is out, and can you recognise who this actor is?
Change Chen in Mr. Long
Sabu's new film
enters Berlinale competition
Cult director Sabu's new film, Mr. Long, will be in competition at Berlinale this February. The film stars Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, who plays a hitman-turned-noodle-vendor stranded in Japan. Sabu has praised Chen for his brilliant performance combining the intensity of his hitman character and the sensitivity of a simple man wanting to lead a quiet life.
Read more about the film


In this Corner of the World
Kinema Junpo Best Ten 2016
Independently produced anime In this Corner of the World took first place in Kinema Junpo's Best Ten Movies for 2016. The Best Male and Female Actor awards went to Yuya Yagira (Destruction Babies) and Eri Miyazawa (Her Love Boils Bathewater). Meanwhile, the Best Supporting Actor awards went to Pistol Takehara (The Long Excuse) and Hana Sugisaki, who you might remember from JFF 2015's Pieta in the Toilet.
Kinema Junpo 2016 Winners (in English)
Shota is that you?!
Shota comes in like a lion
Keishi Otomo's new film, March Comes In Like A Lion, is a drama starring Ryunosuke Kamiki (The Sun, BAKUMAN。) as a shogi player. Meanwhile, there is another film about shogi, Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow, based on real-life shogi player, Satoshi Murayama!

In case you're wondering, the still image above is from Mach Comes In Like A Lion. And who could that be, you may ask? Well, it's Shota Sometani (Wood Job, Kabukicho Love Hotel)!
See film stills and trailer


The Tokyo Night Sky is always the densest Shade of Blue
Mood Film Alert:
The Tokyo Night Sky...
One of the films that have intrigued us as of late is the latest Yuya Ishii (The Great Passage) film, The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the densest Shade of Blue (夜空はいつでも最高密度の青色だ).

In the trailer, which doesn't have any dialogue, we recognise Shizuka Ishibashi and Sosuke Ikematsu interspersed with moody shots of Tokyo at night. We're definitely looking forward to reviews of the film after it debuts at Berlinale this year!
Check out other Japanese films at Berlinale
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Japanese Film Festival
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

General Enquiries: japanesefilmfestival@jpf.org.au
Phone: (02) 8239 0055
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