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3 Films You Have to Watch at the Japanese Film Festival!

By Say Peng  /  14 Jan 2019 (Monday)

The annual Japanese Film Festival (Singapore) is happening this Friday. 

It will open to a sold-out screening of the hot-favorite independent zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead, followed by a dozen more film screenings over a period of three weeks, concluding with a mini-retrospective of Yasujiro Ozu's films.

Have you got your tickets yet? I hope so, but for those who haven't, here are 3 films that I recommend you check out.

1. The Lowlife

Screened in competition at the 2017 Tokyo International Film Festival, 'The Lowlife' explores the everyday struggles of three Japanese women involved in the world of adult film as they face both family and public disapproval.

Adapted from a novel by Japanese AV star Mana Sakura and directed by Takahisa Zeze, one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Pink, the film has been well reviewed.

Variety praised the film as "very well delivered by Zeze’s sensitive direction and uniformly fine performances from a clearly committed cast."

2. Yakiniku Dragon

Elder restauranteur Yong-Gil Ryukichi runs Yakiniku Dragon, a neighbourhood restaurant in the outskirts of Osaka with Yong-Sun his wife and his three daughters Shizuka, Rika, Mika and youngest son Tokio.

We follow his family as his daughters fall into love, bicker out of love, argue, drink, sing and bond with the small Korean community in 70s era Japan.

Based on Chong’s successful stage play, the film explores the challenges of being a zainichi (ethnic Koreans trying to integrate into Japanese society).

Director Wishing Chong will also be present for a post-show Q&A.

3. Before We Vanish

In his 20th film 'Before We Vanish', which premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, acclaimed horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa reinvents the alien movie as a unique and profoundly human tale of love and mystery.

Three aliens travel to Earth on a reconnaissance mission for a mass invasion. Having taken possession of humans, the visitors rob the hosts of their essence – good, evil, property, family, belonging – leaving only hollow shells, which are all but unrecognizable to their loved ones.

Equally hilarious, thrilling, and profound, 'Before We Vanish' reminds audiences of the continued strength and inventiveness of one of Japanese cinema’s most unique auteurs.

Of course, other than the above three films, there are other films equally worth checking out such as 'Jesus', 'Dynamite Graffiti', and 'Liverleaf'.

Tickets for the movies can be purchased at Shaw box office or online at Shaw's website.
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