A wonderful film about listening, and about the value of great public institutions. Nicolas Philibert (To Be and To Have) turns his probing, sensitive camera on the inner workings of public broadcaster Radio France to enchanting, enlightening and frequently surprising effect. "A terrific documentary… humorous as well as continually insightful."—Variety
Master director Jia Zhangke’s most popular film yet, this Cannes prize-winning drama shows China’s gangsters, massage parlours, vicious bosses and desperate workers drawn into a whirlwind of violence, passion and vengeance. This brilliantly achieved film is a vital state-of-China bulletin, torn straight from today’s bloody headlines. Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes 2013.
Koreeda Hirokazu’s prizewinner asks: what if two male babies were accidentally switched at birth and, six years later, the parents decided to restore the boys to their "rightful" homes? The conundrum is a clever pretext for a study of differences in class, temperament and the ability to love. Winner, Jury Prize, Cannes 2013.
Midway between a rave concert and a Koreeda documentary, Matsue Tetsuaki’s trippy film (in hypnotic 3D) looks at Goma, a Japanese didgeridoo player who has trained himself to play again after an accidental brain injury. Small film, big experience!
"Anime helmer Hosoda Mamoru tenderly imagines the complications that follow when an ordinary girl takes a lupine lover… Embracing the patient, poetic style of such Japanese masters as Ozu and Mizoguchi… this elegant project lovingly upholds Japan’s hand-drawn tradition."—Variety. Winner, Best Animated Feature, Sitges 2012. Note: Families welcome at the matinee screening!
Kim Hakhyun’s anime on divided identities.
A delicious anime from Mizushiri Yoriko.
After Sawako Decides and Mitsuko Delivers, Ishii Yuya gives us: the making of a dictionary! Matsuda Ryuhei (Gohatto) plays the geek who finds spiritual fulfilment—and a side-order of true love—in a huge editorial challenge. The humour and warmth you might expect; the Dickensian flavour is a wonderful surprise.
The spirit of Eraserhead lives on in Ikeda Akira’s droll, deadpan story of a paperclip maker and his romantic longing for a butterfly woman. Featuring weird juice drinks, unknown languages and a human cocoon! Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.
Zentai are full-body-suit fetishists, and Hashiguchi Ryusuke’s wonderful comedy introduces us to four of them, two men and two women. Warning: secret identities are involved.
Onishi Shima and Maki Yoko give breathtaking performances in a mystery drama by Omori Tatsushi. They play a seemingly happy couple with a very active sex life who by chance become tabloid newspaper targets; it turns out the guy has a very dark secret. So what keeps the couple together?
Tsuruoka Keiko’s excellent debut feature adapts Turgenev’s story to Tokyo in 1994. Eighteen-year-old Kyoichi develops the mother of all crushes on bar owner Megumi. Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.
Remember high-school drop-outs Masaru (the yakuza) and Shinji (the boxer) in Kitano Takeshi’s 1996 film? Here’s what happened next, as imagined by Kitano and directed by his former assistant Shimizu Hiroshi. The key issue—how to succeed?—is played out vividly by an excellent young cast.
Healthy sperm have a long, long way to run in Yamamoto Keisuke’s short…
A disturbing anime from Iwasaki Hirotoshi.
Kato Ikuo’s anime on boyhood misdemeanours.
An ant-war anime from Hirabayashi Isamu.
Japan, France, Hong Kong
Wang Bing is one of the greatest documentary filmmakers working today: his new film explores the patients/inmates of a run down mental institution somewhere in China. Wang’s astonishingly observant camera reveals these patients’ inner beings, their loves and their sometime madness with absolute respect and limitless compassion.