Features
10 movies lined up for Japanese Film Festival 2008


Date Posted: 02 July 2008

1 Jul – The Japanese Film Festival is back again this year with screenings at GSC Mid Valley, GSC 1 Utama and GSC Gurney Plaza. 10 special titles have been finalised and lovers of Japanese movies and international films can make their pick with the guide below.

The annual Japanese Film Festival at Golden Screen Cinemas (now in its fifth year) is held in partnership with Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur. Accordingly, a special appearance of Ultraman Mebius at GSC Mid Valley on Saturday, 19 July 2008, is also on the cards to celebrate the festival.

Kaidan

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Release Date: 5 June 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Hideo Nakata
Cast: Kumiko Aso, Hitomi Kuroki, Tae Kimura, Mao Inoue, Reona Hirota
Running Time: 1 hr 59 mins
Synopsis:
250 years ago, Soetsu, a humble moneylender, is murdered by Shinzaemon, a cruel samurai. His body is disposed of in Kasane-ga-fuchi - the pool of a snaking river where legend has it those who sink into the water will never float to the surface again. 20 years later, in a chance encounter, Shinkichi, the handsome son of Shinzaemon, meets Toyoshiga, the daughter of Soetsu, and they fall in love. When Toyoshiga dies from a strange disease, Shinkichi finds that not only is he unable to avoid the mysterious fatality of the past and Toyoshiga's tenacious love for him, but he is also forced to confront the ghostly truth held by Kasane-ga-fuchi.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
17 July – 3.00pm
18 July – 3.00pm
19 July – 1.45pm
20 July – 9.15pm
27 July – 9.00pm

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Genre: Animation
Release Date: 17 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Mamoro Hosoda
Cast: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi
Running Time: 1 hr 38 mins
Synopsis:
This movie is the first animated adaptation of a 1965 novel that was an instant sensation in Japan, spawning many films and TV programmes over the ensuing decades. Schoolgirl Konno Makoto obtains the literal power of ‘time leaping' following a car accident. To her contentment, she starts using the power to improve her grades and prevent personal mishaps. When best friend Tsuda Kosuke is involved in an accident, Makoto selfishly changes the past. She soon learns that there is a price to pay for changing the natural order of things.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
20 July – 2.30pm
21 July – 2.30pm
17 July – 3.30pm
18 July – 9.00pm
19 July – 12.00pm
26 July – 12.30pm

Harp Of Burma

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 17 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Cast: Rentaro Mikuni, Shoji Yasui, Jun Hamamura, Taketoshi Naeto
Running Time: 1 hr 26 mins
Synopsis:
Japan's army is on the run in 1945. A platoon in Burma sings to keep the spirit up. Inspiration comes from their self-taught lute player, Mizushima. At war's end, while they await repatriation at Mudon prison camp, he is sent to convince a Japanese company dug into a mountain that it must surrender. He fails, the British attack, many die, and his companions fear he's been killed. However, he has survived and disguised himself as a Buddhist priest. En route to Mudon to join his comrades, the frequent sight of dead Japanese soldiers overwhelms him. He vows to live a life of prayer, burying bones and bodies – but his friends want him to return with them to Japan.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
20 July – 1.00pm
17 July – 6.30pm
19 July – 2.15pm
27 July – 3.00pm

Ten Dark Women

Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 17 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Cast: Masumi Ariake, Eiji Funakoshi, Jun Hamamura, Hajime Hana
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Synopsis:
A selfish married TV producer Kaze (Eiji Funakoshi) is a wheedling love rat that conducts ongoing affairs with nine different women, practically simultaneously. The philandering man gets done for when the women he used and abused decide to join forces and bring a permanent halt to his disgraceful activities.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
20 July – 3.30pm
17 July – 9.00pm
19 July – 4.45pm
27 July – 6.00pm

Dora-Heita

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 18 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Yuko Asano, Bunta Sugawara, Ryudo Uzaki
Running Time: 1 hr 51 mins
Synopsis:
30 years after writing the script with fellow maestros Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi and Keisuke Kinoshita, director Kon Ichikawa brings the story of an unruly samurai (Koji Yakusho) to the screen. Nicknamed Dora-Heita ("Alley Cat") for his penchant for debauchery, the samurai is assigned to clean up a lawless small town. His reputation precedes him so the local thugs are in disbelief when the new magistrate gets down to business.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
20 July – 6.30pm
21 July – 9.30pm
18 July – 3.30pm
19 July – 7.00pm
25 July – 6.00pm

Memories Of Matsuko

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 18 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Cast: Miki Nakatani, Eita, Yusuke Iseya, Teruyuki Kagawa
Running Time: 2 hr 10 mins
Synopsis:
This award-winning tear-jerker chronicles Kawajiri Matsuko (Miki Nakatani), a woman who was born in Onoshima, Fukuoka prefecture in 1947. Full of conventional dreams of happiness and marriage, she was on course until sacked as a teacher, wherefore her life starts going downhill. Jail, suicide and treason are only some of the trials and tribulations that fail to tame the courage that is Matsuko.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
20 July – 9.00pm
21 July – 6.45pm
18 July – 6.00
19 July – 9.20pm
26 July – 6.00pm

Tony Takitani

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 20 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Jun Ichikawa
Cast: Issei Ogata, Rie Miyazawa, Hidetoshi Nishijama, Shinohara Takahumi
Running Time: 1 hr 16 mins
Synopsis:
Due to his Western name, Tony was shunned by other kids and spent a solitary childhood. Though gifted as an artist, his drawings lacked feeling, so as an adult, he carved a career as a technical illustrator. Then in mid age, Tony suddenly falls for a pretty young girl named Eiko Konuma who visits him one day on business. Eiko is an angel in Tony's daily existence - for the first time in his life, he feels connected to the world. However, confusion begins when it appears that Eiko has a double!
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
18 July – 9.00pm
19 July – 12.00pm
20 July – 5.00pm
21 July – 3.30pm
26 July – 9.00pm

Tokyo Tower – Mom And Me And Sometimes Dad

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 20 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Joji Matsuoka
Cast: Joe Odagiri, Kirin Kiki, Yayako Uchida, Takako Matsu, Kaoru Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Hirayama
Running Time: 1 hr 22 mins
Synopsis:
This is an adaptation of a famous autobiographical novel by Lili Franky about Masaya (Odagiri Joe) and his mother Eiko (Kirin Kiki). Leaving her alcoholic husband, Eiko takes her son away from Tokyo to her coal-mining hometown. She supports him though many years of schooling although he wastes his time studying art in Tokyo. After graduation he struggles to find work but finally pulls together for his mother's sake, ending up with multiple jobs, even one as a perverted radio personality. However, when tragedy strikes Eiko, the roles of support are suddenly reversed
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
17 July – 6.00pm
19 July – 4.20pm & 9.35pm
20 July – 2.05pm
26 July – 3.00pm

Fourteen

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 20 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Hiromasa Hirosue
Cast: Hiromasa Hirosue, Namiki Fuiji Kaori, Watanabe Makiko
Running Time: 1 hr 54 mins
Synopsis:
Ryo, a young junior high teacher, spends her extra time mediating the intensity between her students and the faculty. Her colleagues have self-fuelled desires to help those who are in need. For her young students however, there is only the frustration of having their ambitions crushed by selfish, self-important adults who they believe treat them as children. This bitterness uncoils in flashes of anger; and when Ryo is subjected to the unique viciousness of fourteen-year-olds, her troubled past reveals itself.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
17 July – 9.00pm
18 July – 6.30pm
19 July – 7.10pm
20 July – 6.45pm
21 July – 9.00pm
25 July – 9.00pm

Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers

Genre: Action
Release Date: 20 July 2008
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Director: Kazuya Konoka
Cast: Jiro Dan, Shunji Igarashi, Aiko Ito, Susumu Kurobe, Koji Moritsugu, Keiji Takamine
Running Time: 1 hr 59 mins
Synopsis:
20 years ago in Japan, the Ultraman Brothers (Ultraman Seven, Ultraman Ace and Ultraman Jack) were fighting a deadly foe. By joining forces, they managed to defeat the monster after a long battle. However, to seal the monster in the waters of Kobe, they were forced to sacrifice part of their cosmic powers – the ability to transform. As a result, the Ultraman Brothers quietly retired into normal human society. 20 years later, Ultraman Mebius travels to Kobe to investigate an evil presence that has surrounded the area. True enough, the monster has risen again from the sea.
Showtimes:
GSC Mid Valley GSC 1 Utama GSC Gurney Plaza
19 July – 12.45pm, 3.00pm,
6.45pm, 9.00pm
20 July – 12.00pm
21 July – 6.45pm
25 July – 3.00pm
27 July – 12.30pm

Related links:
Another round of Japanese Films Writer: Jill Khoo






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