While cinemas are closed, members of the CAMERA JAPAN team pick their favourite Japanese films to watch at home. This time, we recommend two wonderful films from 2017.
Alex OOST (Festival Director) picks Ice Cream and the Sound of Rain Drops (MATSUI Daigo, 2017)
Screening online for free as part of the We Are One Festival, on June 4 at 21.30 CET
For most films, the less you know about it beforehand, the better the film experience. At least that is how it works for me. Ice Cream and the Sound of Rain Drops is an exception to this rule, a film which is more about the trip than the destination, and it couldn’t be more different than our first introduction to director MATSUI Daigo when we screened his feature film debut Afro Tanaka at CJ 2012.
Ice Cream and the Sound of Rain Drops is shot in one , 74 minute take, and it revolves around a young theatre troupe that sees the play they have been working on going up in smoke. Since this is done so realistically, it makes me wonder whether this was all influenced by some real life experiences by the director, who besides being a film maker, also directs stage plays. During the one take, MATSUI cleverly manages to shift between fiction and reality, including casting himself as the director of the play that is performed in the film. The end result is a film which shows us that the show must always go on, even though it is not as initially planned: a message that is as much a drive behind the We Are One Global Festival, as a motivation for the CAMERA JAPAN team.
Click here for more info about the We Are One Festival
Sietz VAN DER AA (Programmer) picks Oh Lucy! (HIRAYANAGI Atsuko, 2015)
Taking over her niece Mika’s place in an English class, stuck in the daily grind of life, middle aged Setsuko falls head over heels for her lovable English teacher John, who creates a temporal new identity for her: Lucy. When, after only one lesson, John suddenly returns to the States together with Mika, Setsuko and her sister decide to take a trip to California and look for the disappeared couple. A whole new world opens up for Setsuko, in which she slowly gives way to her alter ego Lucy.
Oh Lucy! started out as a critically acclaimed short film in 2014. Three years later, the film evolved into a full on feature length comedy that creates a wonderful bridge between East and West, starring Berlin Silver Bear winner TERAJIMA Shinobu and Josh HARTNETT in a wacky piece of Japanese cinema turned western road movie. Director HIRAYANAGI Atsuko demonstrates a fine eye for timing, keeping her audiences glued to the screen from beginning to end. Oh Lucy!, oh yeah!
Click here to stream Oh Lucy! on iTunes
Click here to stream Oh Lucy! on Google Play