Made in Japan

Made in Japan will present 4 fresh voices from Japanese cinema.

Haruhara-san's Recorder

Japan / 2021 / 120 min
Director:SUGITA Kyoshi

Sachi moves into an apartment recommended to her by a regular at the cafe she began working part-time after she quit her job at an art gallery. Though she has a fresh start on life, the memory of her partner whom she'll never meet again remains in her heart.... The camera, almost static, captures ARAKI Chika's portrayal of Sachi in many scenes, but the script by SUGITA Kyoshi does not offer the audience an easy to understand story or explanation. Nevertheless, through the building up of various episodes and physical movements the gradual emotional crescendo of this film's narrative demonstrates the possibilities of a more flexible and open method that surpasses the rigidity of normal storytelling. The original work is the title poem, "Gazing on / The stamp of address unknown / The recorder / Played by Haruhara-san" from author and poet's HIGASHI Naoko's first volume of poetry. World premiered at the International Film Festival Marseille where it won the Audience Award, Acting Award, and the Grand Prix.

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Dawning on Us

Japan / 2021 / 135 min
Director:YAMAUCHI Kenji

The COVID-19 pandemic is finally subsiding in Japan. Sara and her husband Kosuke have lived together with Kosuke's parents which has ruined their sex life over the long period of self-isolation at home. Kosuke is having an affair, and Sara knows about it. And just around the time Sara is reinstated at the job she left, Kosuke is transferred to Kobe. Meanwhile, Sara's mother-in-law who deeply longs for a grandchild takes this opportunity to further badger Sara.... This is the fourth feature film by YAMAUCHI Kenji who has no rivals in Japan when it comes to creating an uncomfortable mood like involuntarily laughing at an inappropriate place or time. YAMAUCHI's stance of cutting into the intended theme without setting up a buffer zone remains intact, and that will likely rattle the audience's values and way of thinking through the subject matter that is straightforward and comes to grips with the core theme.

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MADE IN YAMATO

Japan / 2021 / 120 min
Director:TOMINAGA Masanori, KIYOHARA Yui, YAMAMOTO Akira, TAKEUCHI Risa, MIYAZAKI Daisuke

YAMAMOTO Akira’s “That Day, This Day, One Day” portrays various city office workers recording a video letter for a colleague who’s about to retire. In TOMINAGA Masanori's “The Fourth Lie”, a father meets his daughter whom he lives apart from and is perplexed when he’s introduced to her stepfather. The daily life and miniature journey of a woman working at a municipal sports complex are depicted in TAKEUCHI Risa’s “Makie’s Adventure”. Two female friends create a time capsule and head out of the city to bury it in the woods in MIYAZAKI Daisuke’s “Eri and Kumi’s Long and Mediocre Day”. In KIYOHARA Yui’s “The Light of March”, a young pregnant woman wandering on the outskirts of town comes across an odd biker gang.

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Ring Wandering

Japan / 2021 / 103 min
Director:KANEKO Masakazu

Sosuke is an aspiring, young Manga artist. He is currently working on a story about a solitary hunter’s battle with a Japanese wolf but is struggling to draw a believable wolf figure and feels blocked. One day he discovers the skull of an animal on a construction site where he works his day job. Intrigued by the find he decides to investigate further and one night he sneaks onto the site and meets a mysterious girl.... Set in one of the older traditional areas of Tokyo that is being redeveloped, the film mixes memories with the present day in a magic realist story. Transformed by his fateful encounter, Sosuke learns the weight of history and a new respect for life, and pours his heart and soul into the completion of the Manga. The film had its world premiere in the International Competition of the Warsaw Film Festival.

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