JAPAN CUTS is upon us! Tonight's opening screenings are the North American premiere of Sawako Decides [review] at 6:45 followed by the SOLD OUT screening of Confessions (here's a review if you don't already have a ticket).
The screenings are followed by an informal get-together, with beer and various refreshments available. If you have tickets, be prepared to provide each other emotional and psychological support after the darkly intense Confessions.
There are many other special screenings and events at JAPAN CUTS this year:
• Director Toshiyaki Toyoda holds film intros and Q&As for his films Hanging Garden and Blood of Rebirth.
• Masanori Mimoto, the main actor of Alien vs. Ninja attends the July 3 screening as a guest of NYAFF and will take part in a Q&A.
• Director Isao Yukisada and actor Tatsuya Fujiwara are on hand for the July 10 screening of Parade, and the director will also be there for screenings of his other film, Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World.
From Parade• Two of the three auteurs behind Mutant Girls Squad, Yoshihiro Nishimura and Noboru Iguchi, hold a Q&A after the screening.
• Here representing Oh, My Buddha! are director Tomorowo Taguchi and actor (and singer) Daichi Watanabe.
• The closing film of the festival, Sweet Little Lies, has a Q&A with its director Hitoshi Yazaki.
And let’s not forget to mention the parties! In addition to the Launch Party on opening night, there’s the Sushi Typhoon Party on Saturday July 3 following Mutant Girls Squad. Come dressed as an alien, ninja or mutant girl, and help celebrate the launch of the Sushi Typhoon DVD label! On Saturday, July 10, there’s the Night of the Filmmakers Party following Oh, My Buddha! Keeping with the 1970s setting and laid-back hippie vibe of that film, Night of the Filmmakers will be a throwback to the time period.
From Bare Essence of Life (Ultra Miracle Love Story)Although we at the Japan Society strive to provide you with a hearty smorgasbord for this year’s JAPAN CUTS, there really was a huge variety to choose from. Perhaps one reason for this is how the film business is works in Japan.
The Japanese film industry is structured pretty differently from Hollywood. In Hollywood, film productions – even "independent" ones sometimes – are overseen by major studios that provide the vast majority of the funding. In Japan, most major studios (Kadokawa, Toei, Nikkatsu) have less capital to invest in film productions, and therefore funding is often procured from other sources. Smaller, or boutique, film production companies, television stations, publishers, or corporations, from Japan or elsewhere (South Korea and France are two big examples) all invest in various Japanese films. This means that filmmakers can often have more creative leeway to make the films they want how they want.
Regardless of how the film business works in Japan, we’re just glad to have so much cool stuff to show you. Tickets are zooming off the virtual shelves, so take some time and reserve yours!