Films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Hirokazu Koreeda, Naomi Kawase and more are featured in this series highlighting the best of Japanese cinema in recent years and decades.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa • Japan • 2003 • A high-concept thriller from the master filmmaker
Michio Hayasaki is stressed. His job at a medical instrument manufacturing company unfolds like a never ending series of setbacks, exacerbated by the relentless demands of his employer. Returning home from work o...
Su-yeon Gu • Japan • 2011 • Violence, rampaging youths, and nihilistic retribution
With his bleach blonde hair and James Dean vibe, Gu is a young, cocky Japanese-Korean hoodlum. Following the accidental killing of a rival gang’s family member, Gu is targeted and soon finds himself on the receivi...
Hirokazu Koreeda • Japan • 1995 • Koreeda's directorial debut
Yumiko is a young mother, and now a widow. Following her husband’s suicide, she remarries and moves with her infant son to a remote village on the Sea of Japan. Once there, she remains haunted by her life’s many tragedies. As time mov...
A Snake of June
Shin'ya Tsukamoto • Japan • 2002 • An evocative tale of desire in steely monochrome
On the surface, Rinko has a nice life. She has good looks, a decent job, and a successful older husband. These facts belie a sorrowfulness, however, rooted in a lack of intimacy between Rinko and Shigehiko, who w...
Naomi Kawase • 2015 • Japan • A heart-warming tale of food and friendship in contemporary Japan.
Sentaro runs a small bakery on the corner of a tree-lined street. Tokue is a seventy-six year old woman skilled in the art of preparing an, a traditional red bean paste in dorayaki. ...
Village of Dreams
Yōichi Higashi • Japan • 1996 • A gentle, rhythmic portrait of youth
Seizo and Yukihiko are identical twins living in a rural Japanese village. Though the year is 1948, the war seems distant, as the boys live out the halcyon days of youth—rolling through grass, catching fish in a brook, getting...
Shin’ya Tsukamoto • Japan • 2004 • A shifting, astonishing vision of amnesia
Hiroshi is involved in a horrible accident. Both he and his girlfriend, Ryoko, were in a car crash, and only he survived. He remembers none of this when he wakes up in a hospital bed one morning, his memory wiped clean....
Wife of a Spy
Kiyoshi Kurosawa • Japan • 2020 • A masterful wartime romance co-written by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Kobe, 1940. The outbreak of World War II looms on the horizon, and local merchant and amateur filmmaker Yusaku has a bad feeling. Following a trip to Manchuria, he becomes determined to expose events he...