The Japan Foundation’s Touring Film Programme returns to HOME this February with a new set of films exploring the idea of memory. Subtitled “Unforgettable: Memories, Times and Reflections in Japanese Cinema”, the season features a selection of brand new titles which delve into this most mercurial subject matter, from an array of Japanese filmmakers, each approaching memory with their own perspective.
Starting on Monday 12 February, the programme starts with a screening of shocking crime drama Do Unto Others, accompanied by a Q&A with director Tetsu Maeda. Opening with a pair of murders in a care facility, the film follows a prosecutor who pursues one of the centres dedicated caregivers, who soon admits to scores of murders over the course of his employment. Along the way it raises questions about the breakdown of Japan’s care system, and the future of life in an ageing society.
The tone couldn’t be more different from Takebayashi Ryo’s comedic time loop caper Mondays: See You ‘This’ Week! (Wed 28 Feb), in which colleagues in an office realise they are living the same week over an over. Other highlights include Kanazawa Tomoki’s 1986-set Sabakan (Sat 2 March), compared in the programme notes to Stand By Me as it follows a pair of boys who embark on a summertime adventure in search of a pod of dolphins.
We’re also intrigued by the sound of Thousand and One Nights (Mon 26 Feb) from former documentary filmmaker Kubota Nao, which charts the meeting of two women who have been left behind by the mysterious disappearances of their husbands. There are seven films showing in total, allowing audiences a chance to immerse themselves in the breadth of contemporary Japanese cinema, and discover the ways in which memory is reflected within.