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  Author Name : K Ramesh Babu Posted on : August-8-2009 Total Hits: 1353
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The Consulate-General of Japan at Chennai, and Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation are conducting a three-day Japanese film festival in Chennai on     11, 12 and 14 August 2009 at the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce Auditorium, 606, Anna Salai, Chennai 600 006.  The films to be screened during the festival are (1)Always – Sunset on Third Street”, (2) “Rashomon”, (3) “The Girl who Leapt Through Time”, and (4) “Linda Linda Linda”.    

Mr. Kazuo Minagawa, Consul-General of Japan at Chennai will inaugurate the festival at 6.15 p.m. on Tuesday 11 August 2009. Mr.C. Kamaraj, I.A.S. Director, Information and Public Relations, Governemnt of Tamil Nadu, Mr. R. Veeramani, Chairman, Gem Granite Group of Companies will be the guests of honour.  Actress Ms. Anu Hasan will light the lamp.

Tuesday 11 August 2009 (6:45 p.m.)

ALWAYS – SUNSET ON THIRD STREET  

(Directed by –Takashi Yamazaki, 2005)

 

The year is 1958. After the Government had declared that the “postwar” period is over, Japan is starting a period of tremendous, growth. In the working-class area called shitamachi, people are trying their best to improve their lives. Hoshino Mutsuko just graduated from junior high school from northern Japan arrives in Tokyo imagining herself that Suzuki Auto where she is to work must be a big car manufacturer.  But she is surprised when the company president, Suzuki Norifumi, comes to the station to greet her. Her friends tell her she might be the president’s secretary, but she soon finds out that she is becoming only employee of a small car repair shop in shitamachi.  Norifumi, hearing the disappointment of Mutsuko, accuses her of lying in her application as car repairs. It turns out,  however, that he not only lied himself in the job posting, saying Suzuki Auto was a car maker, but also misread her application and apologizes to her.   Across the street, Chagawa Ryunosuke runs a candy store. He writes adventure stories for kids in third-rate magazines, but all his stories are rejected.  He tries to run down his sorrows at a new bar run by Ishizaki Hiromi. Ryunosuke, boasting of his expertise with the children, ends up taking in Junnosuke, the abandoned son of a disappeared dancer.   One day during the fall, Junnosuke, overhearing Ryunosuke and Hiromi’s talk about where his mother might be, ventures along with Suzuki’s son Ippei to find her.

 

Based on a comic by Saigan Ryohei that began publication in 1974,  Always rode the wave of a nostalgia boom for 1950s Japan and became a box office hit.  Its vision of the era is largely rose colored and matches other conventional representations of lower-class shitamachi (downtown) neighborhoods, featuring good-natured but slightly oddball characters who maintain a strong sense of community presumably lost in modern urban Japan. This film has won thirteen of Japan’s fourteen Academy Awards in 2006 (including “Best Picture, “Best Director, “Best  Screenplay”, and “Best Actor”).  

Wednesday 12 August 2009 (6:30 p.m.)

RASHOMON

(Directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1950)

In the 10th century, a samurai travelling through the countryside is found stabbed to death.   During court proceedings dealing with a robber suspect, TAJOMARU, he claims, “I was attracted by the beauty of the wife of the dead samurai and fooled the samurai into being tied up with ropes and went on to rape his wife; but his wife pleaded with me to duel with her husband and I won in a fair fight.  His wife fled during this duel.”  But the wife, MASAGO, states, “I was raped and wished to die.    I requested my husband to put me to death, but he only laughed at me.  I was so enraged that I stabbed my husband and attempt to stab myself to death also but failed.  The robber stole my husband’s sword and fled from the scene.”  The soul of the deceased samurai, KANAZAWA TAKEHIRO, called out by a spiritualistic medium states, “The robber invited my wife to flee with him and my wife consented but urged the robber to stab me.  While I was arguing with the robber, my wife fled from the scene.   The robber cut the ropes that bound me and left, so I stabbed myself to death with my wife’s dagger.”  All these statements were made to defend the honor and dignity of the persons testifying and no one can judge which is the truth.

 

This masterpiece by Akira Kurosawa won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951.  In 1953, it won the Honorary Award at the 24th Academy Awards as well as Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures at the Directors Guild of America.

Wednesday 12 August 2009 (8:00 p.m.)

THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIMES (Animation film)

 (Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, 2006)

 

Makoto Konno, a high school girl, gains ability to slip back time after being involved in a accident at railroad crossing.  Once she learns the way to make use of the ability, she exerts it to satisfy her day-to-day desire with no hesitation.  Makoto has two close friends who are both boys in her class.  One of them is Kosuke Tsuda, her childhood friend and the other is Chiaki Mamiya.

 It is far better for Makoto to play ball game with them after school rather than to play with girls from her class.

 

It isn’t like they are dating each other or going steady.   Their relationship is very casual and easy going. This is a time to spend a compassionate moment reserved for them.  Because soon, they must decide their course of future before they become senior in their high school.

But change comes to their relationship.

The essence of the film is that “Future is not what you should sit and wait for but it is something that you should open the way on your own”.

The film has won the Gertie Award for the best animated feature film at the 39th Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia.  It was awarded the first annual Animation of the Year prize at the 30th Japan Academy Prize in 2007.

 

Friday 14 August 2009 (6:30 p.m.)

Linda Linda Linda

 (Directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2005)

In the days just before the school’s culture festival, a girls’ music group is facing dilemma.  They planned on playing an original piece of music, but just three days before the festival, the guitarist appears to have broken her finger and the vocalist also quit.  They need to find a new guitarist and a new vocalist.  While the remaining three are pondering who to ask to be the new vocalist, they hear the song, “Linda Linda Linda” by a famous Japanese rock band, Blue Hearts, and decide they want to sing it instead of an original song.

           

A Korean exchange student, Song, is sitting in the next room and they take the chance to ask her to be their vocalist.   Her Japanese is not perfect, and she’s never sung in front of an audience, but she just happens to be listening to the Blue Hearts song.  They practice and practice but they don’t seem to be improving.  They spend a lot of time practicing late into the night.  They are really tired, but a deep friendship develops among the four girls.

The film has been ranked as the 6th best film at the 79th Kinema Junpo best ten lists for 2005.

 
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