Japanese Film Festival 2021: Movie highlights

Japanese Film Festival 2021: Movie highlights

The 17th edition of the Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is joyously welcomed in January 2022 as the festival returns with an exciting selection of 13 films, albeit slightly delayed this time round due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

JFF begins its first leg in the Klang Valley starting this 6 January before simultaneously moving to the north in Penang and to the south in Johor Bahru on 13 to 16 January.

It will then cross over to the East Malaysia to wrap up in Kuching, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from 20 to 23 January.

Do start scheduling your watch-list around these 13 movies, so that you don't miss out on watching them on the big screen, and before they move on to the next location! CLICK HERE for more info on the festival and check the cinema showtimes for the films!

Thanks to our friends at The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, we have complimentary passes to giveaway! Use Cinema Online's promo code during checkout to redeem your JFF 2021 complimentary pass: JFFCON000003F

Cinema Online is pleased to highlight below, half a dozen films, that will keep you entertained and in suspense, tug at your heartstrings, and even make you bawl your eyes out or laugh out loud.

"The Fable"

What is it about:
The elite assassin nicknamed "The Fable" is ordered by his boss to lay low. He and his mischievous colleague try to settle down in Osaka and live normal lives, taking up part-time jobs and adopting a parakeet. As The Fable is just starting to get used to living a life worthy of his new, normal name "Akira Sato", he's sucked into Osaka's dark underbelly. His crush seems to be the target of some yakuza thugs, and he has some crazy fans trying to kill him to get themselves some fame and glory. As Akira, he needs to learn how to solve his problems without killing anyone along the way.

Why you should watch it:
The film supplies both laughs and adrenaline rushes with the way its talented director, Eguchi Kan, blends humour and action together. Dark and gritty sequences are contrasted by scenes of the main character doing his best to impress his lady-love, making it the perfect combination to keep you entertained for the entirety of its 2-hour runtime. The manga that the film is based on also won the Kodansha Manga Award in 2017.

"One Summer Story"

What is it about:
Teenager Minami develops an unbreakable friendship with Moji based on their shared love of anime, peppering their conversations with quotes and references from a cult TV anime series. One day during their summer vacation, she unexpectedly starts a journey to find her missing father with Moji joining her along the way.

Why you should watch it:
Ah, the folly of youth that throws caution to the wind and thinks that nothing is impossible is charming in this adolescent drama-comedy. Minami and Moji's warm and endearing friendship grows as they endeavour to track down her father, and learn some surprises along the way. This film was an official nominee for the Golden Goblet at the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival.

"Masked Ward"

What is it about:
On a midnight shift in a hospital, the newly transferred Dr Hayami finds himself up against a masked man in a clown costume who takes the entire hospital hostage. But there's something suspicious about the hospital and as he escapes from 'clown', Hayami starts to investigate and discovers deeper mysteries and conspiracies about the hospital.

Why you should watch it:
A tense mystery film set in the eerie confines of a hospital, where a chilling psychological battle unfolds and eventually leads into a chain of surprising twists. The film is an adaptation of the medical mystery novel by real-life doctor Chinen Mikito.

"Moonlight Shadow"

What is it about:
A grieving young woman learns of a mysterious phenomenon that may allow her to meet the dead again, when she was never ready to say goodbye.

Why you should watch it:
Directed by Malaysian director Edmund Yeo, the movie is adapted from Banana Yoshimoto's "Moonlight Shadow" novel that has been translated in more than 30 countries worldwide. Yeo is familiar with Japanese culture as he had lived in Tokyo while pursuing his master's degree in film over a decade ago. However, the book and the movie's theme on loss, grief and closure transcend cultures and touches on our humanity and the strength of the protagonist in overcoming tragedy.

"We Make Antiques! Kyoto Rendezvous"

What is it about:
Antiques dealer Norio and potter Sasuke meet once again in Kyoto. When they meet a tragic kimono beauty whose father's keepsake was swindled from her, they vow to help her get her beloved keepsake back. But in order to do so, they will need to trick a bigshot antiques dealer. Fueled by their love for chaos, revenge and the pretty kimono-wearing lady they ran into, they start to plot their grand plan.

Why you should watch it:
Who can resist a good heist or con movie? As our chaotic pair do their best to help the pretty lady they've both fallen for, you can't help cheering for them and rooting for them to succeed, especially when the person they're conning isn't close to being a good guy. This short and sweet joyride of a movie - only 106 minutes - is sure to keep you entertained with its light-hearted comedy and drama.

"It's a Summer Film"

What is it about:
When Hadashi's high school film club rejects her samurai film project, she and her friends decide to craft a period samurai film on her own terms. She meets Rintaro and convinces the reluctant young man to be the lead in her film. But halfway through the shoot, Rintaro reveals a shocking secret about himself .. that he is not from now.

Why you should watch it:
The film not only deals with adolescence and the coming-of-age of its characters, but also has romance and suspense dabbed with a science-fiction narrative in a time-travelling twist. What a delightful cocktail! These mixed genres provide a fresh perspective at the youthful passion of those who are serious about filmmaking. Marika Ito, former member of Nogizaka46, is refreshingly charming as Hadashi.

Related Movies:
The Fable (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
It's A Summer Film! (Japanese) (15 Jun 2024)
Liar x Liar (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
Masked Ward (JFF Online) (Japanese) (14 Feb 2022)
Mio's Cookbook (JFF Online) (Japanese) (14 Feb 2022)
Moonlight Shadow (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
The Night Beyond The Tricornered Window (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
One Summer Story (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
Poupelle Of Chimney Town (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
Step (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
Theatre: A Love Story (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
Talking The Pictures (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)
We Make Antiques! Kyoto Rendezvous (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Jan 2022)

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