Contemporary Japan

Contemporary Japan

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.

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Contemporary Japan
  • Doppelganger

    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...

  • Hard Romanticker

    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...

  • Maborosi

    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...

  • Sweet Bean


    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...

  • Vital

    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...