Japanese Film Events in the UK June/July

June and July will provide many opportunities for people interested in Japanese films to get to see some of the best anime and films that the country has produced. The variety is massive and some of these events are free. Here’s a list of the highlights.

Himizu UK Theatrical Release

Third Window Films is releasing Sion Sono’s live-action adaptation of the manga Himizu in selected cinemas across the UK this month:

In London, screenings will take place at the ICA, Prince Charles, Renoir and Riverside Studios cinemas while in Wales the film will be screened at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre from the 11th to the 13th of June. The film will be screened n Scotland at the Eden Court Cinema in Inverness from the 31st of June to the 02nd of August and Ireland will get the opportunity to see it at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin from the 22nd of June until the 28th, and Check this page at Third Window Films for more information.

Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozaburo Yoshimura

The BFI and the Japan Foundation have co-organised a two-month tribute to Kaneto Shindo and Kozaburo Yoshimura which will screen a selection of major works by both directors with June’s programme focusing primarily on the 1950s, and July’s programme span the period stretching from the 1960s to the 21st century. The list of films from both directors includes many classics. More information on the season can be found on the BFI website.

BFI Anime Season

This is a reminder for the British Film Institute’s Anime Season taking place on London’s South Bank from 8th-10th June where it will be showing eight films including Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill (8th June, 18.00), Oblivion Island (9th June, 16.00), Children who Chase Lose Voices from Deep Below (9th June, 18.30), A Letter from Momo (10th June, 16.00) and Akira (10th June, 20.45). A number of forumites have already made selections but for those who are unaware there are tickets are still available. For a full schedule of events head over to the festival page.

Edinburgh Film Festival

Scottish AUKN forumites might be interested in heading to the Edinburgh Film Festival to check out the large selection of Japanese films on offer. Shinya Tsukamoto’s latest award-winning film ‘Kotoko’  will be screened alongside newly restored versions of both ‘Tetsuo: The Iron Man‘ and ‘Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer‘, all three of which will be released by Third Window Films later this year. ‘Kotoko’ will be screened on the 25th and 26th of June while the double-bill of Tetsuo 1 & 2 on the 27th of June. Other films worth checking out include Rent-a-Cat (21-23rd June), Isn’t Anyone Alive (25th+ 26th June) and Tokyo Drifter (27th+28th June).

Japanese Cinema for Busy People

The Japan Foundation is holding a series of lectures for anybody interested in Japanese cinema. The talks will cover a broad range of topics and come from some of the best film critics and academics in the country.

Here is a small selection of lectures:

Beyond Rashomon: A Golden Age of Japanese Cinema, but for Whom? by Jasper Sharp (13 June 2012 – 6.30pm) which will look beyond the Japanese filmmakers of the 1950s championed in the West to focus on the technological and industrial developments of the era considered the ‘Golden Age’ of Japanese cinema.

Collaboration or Exploitation? The Relationship Between Japanese Directors and their Stars by Tony Rayns (4 July 2012 – 6.30pm) which will explore the creative relationships between Japanese directors and their stars, many of which instigated by contractual bounds under the Studio system, and how recurring actors can be both fruitful and restraining in film production.

What’s Happening Now in Japanese Cinema?
by Dr Rayna Denison (11 July 2012 – 6.30pm) which will look into the current climate of the Japanese cinema industry and the production trend.

The lectures are free to attend but must be booked in advance by email. For more information please visit the Japan Foundation website.

Shinya Tsukamoto Films at the East End Film Festival

Some of Shinya Tsukamoto’s classic back-catalogue plus his latest film will appear at the East End Film Festival next month when the festival screens two of his films, the classic Tetsuo, The Iron Man (1989) and Tetsuo: Body Hammer (1992) at the Hackney Picturehouse. He will then appear at a screening of his latest film Kotoko on the 5th of July at 20:30 at the Rich Mix Cinema.


I'm a long-time anime and Japanese film and culture fan who has lived in the country and is studying Japanese in an effort to become fluent. I write about films, anime, and work on various things.

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