Eiga Sai 2015: Full lineup of Japanese film festival in PH
MANILA, Philippines – It’s that time of the year once again! The Japan Foundation, Manila is once more presenting Eiga Sai 2015, their yearly Japanese film festival.
This year, the theme is “Tasteful Japan,” featuring films that focus on the distinct culinary world of Japan as well as other contemporary films previously released in Japan.
Eiga Sai 2015's opening film will be "Our Family" (ぼくたちの家族 , Bokutachi no kazoku) directed by Yuya Ishii (The Great Passage). The film stars Mieko Harada (Ran, Begging for Love) as a housewife who is diagnosed with a severe brain tumor that could claim her life in about a week. How will her loved ones cope?
The film will be shown at the Shang Cineplex on July 9, 2015 at 7:30 PM. The film’s director, Yuya Ishii, will be present at the opening night of the festival. Yuya Ishii will also host a director’s talk at the Lopez Center Studio, Ateneo de Manila University on July 10 at 3:00 PM and at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 on July 11 at 4:30 PM.
The rest of this year's film roster is divided into two categories; Japanese Contemporary Films and Savory Japan.
The selection of films for the Japanese Contemporary Films category shows Japan in the moment, Japanese life at the present time. It’s a great collection of sci-fi, comedy, romance, and drama that depicts Japan as it is today. Below are the films under this category:
Alien worms invade Japan and take over the bodies of the people they infest, turning them into cannibalistic monsters. High school student Shinichi Izumi (Shota Sometani) is spared from this fate when the alien worm fails to enter his brain through his ear and tries to enter it from his right arm instead.
Shinichi somehow prevents the worm from infesting his brain at the cost of losing complete control over his right arm. His alien-infested arm gains sentience and starts talking to him, studying his way of life.
After failing his university entrance examinations and being left by his girlfriend, Yuki Hirano (Shota Sometani) decides to take a forestry job in the hopes of meeting the pretty girl he saw in the recruitment pamphlet. Comedy ensues as Yuki discovers the challenges and hardships of forestry work. Through these challenges, including discovering blood-sucking leeches on his behind, Yuki eventually understands the importance of his role and discovers a new love for nature.
Thermae Romae II
Lucius (Hiroshi Abe) is a bath house architect for the Roman Empire who frequently time travels to modern day Japan whenever he’s looking for more ideas to help him in his job. He once again meets Manami (Aya Ueto), a girl that he met on his previous visits who is now a reporter who covers bath houses.
Together, they discover the wonders and innovations of modern Japanese bath houses. Little does Lucius know that trouble is brewing back home.
Aspiring illustrator Tsukimi Kurashita (Rena Nounen) meets a beautiful girl in a local tropical fish shop and they become fast friends. She soon finds out that the girl is actually a college student named Kuranosuke (Masaki Suda) who is also the son of a politician. Kuranosuke starts visiting Tsukimi in her apartment full of other female otaku tenants, intrigued by Tsukimi. When news arrives that the apartment is going to be demolished, it is up to the girls and Kuranosuke to find a way to stop it.
Tada’s Do-it-all House: Disconcerto
Tada is a guy who runs an odd job service along with his long time friend Gyoten in the fictional suburb of Mahoro. One day, he receives a call from Gyoten’s ex-wife asking them to take care of her daughter while she is away. He agrees to take care of the kid since she might be related to Gyoten. Mahoro’s young crime lord also sends a request to the duo to investigate a mysterious group that appeared in the area who appears to be selling organically grown vegetables.
Food is a big part of the Japanese way of life and films under the Savory Japan category showcase the best of both traditional and modern Japanese cuisine.
It’s a Beautiful Life ~ Irodori ~
A group of elderly women band together to bring their small hometown of Kamikatsu back to life by selling vegetable leaves.
A Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story
Oharu (Aya Ueto, Azumi), an excellent cook who is recognized for her skills, marries into the Funaki house. The Funaki family is known throughout the Kaga domain for their cooking skills and Oharu’s husband, Yasunobu (Kengo Kora), is the heir to the family name. Unfortunately, Yasunobu is terrible at cooking and it is up to Oharu and her mother-in-law to build Yasunobu into a chef worthy of the the family heritage.
The God of Ramen
A documentary featuring one of Japan’s most celebrated ramen chefs, Kazuo Yamagishi of Taishoken. Every day people would wait for as long as two hours just to get a taste of Master Yamagishi’s tsukemen ramen. The film shows what motivates people from all over Japan to visit Taishoken and how Master Yamagishi’s cooking has affected the lives of his apprentices and customers.
Master Yamagishi passed away on April 2, 2015 due to heart failure. This film is a celebration of one of Japan’s most popular dishes and the man whose innovation lives on in the menus of his apprentices and the hearts of his customers.
Patisserie Coin de Rue
Once a legendary patissier, Tomura (Yosuke Eguchi, whom some fans may know from his role as Saito in the Rurouni Kenshin movies) suddenly stopped making pastries for unknown reasons and settled for becoming a pastry critic.
He is a regular customer at Patisserie Coin de Rue where he meets Natsume (played by Yu Aoi who also plays Megumi in the Rurouni Kenshin live action movies), a young girl who came from the province to look for her boyfriend but ends up working at the pastry shop instead.
Circumstances bring the two together to save Patisserie Coin de Rue and move on with their lives.
Wa-shoku ~Beyond Sushi~
Wa-shoku ~Beyond Sushi~ is a documentary film that centers on traditional Japanese food. "Wa-shoku" means "Japanese cuisine", and the film captures the importance of the preparation and presentation that goes into every dish. It also shows some of the influential people who brought Wa-shoku out of Japan and into western shores. This is a great option for foodies and Japanese food enthusiasts everywhere.
This year’s film selection looks promising and, as always, the admission for EIGA SAI is for free on a first-come, first-served basis. The films will be shown with English subtitles.
The screening venues are at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 (July 9 to 19), FDCP Cinematheque, Davao (July 14 to 19), Abreeza Mall Cinema, Davao (July 24 to 26) and UP Film Institute (August 12 to 15) and Ayala Center Cinema 4, Cebu City (August 19 to 23).
For screening schedules and more information, visit the Japan Foundation, Manila website here or call telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58. – Rappler.com