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In Focus: Tomita Katsuya
Institute of Contemporary Arts
6 – 15 December 2019


Bangkok Nites, dir. Tomita Katsuya, Japan 2016, 183 min., Japanese, Thai, Isan, Laotian, Tagalog and French with English subtitles


A programme of four feature films by one of Japan’s most thought-provoking contemporary filmmakers.

Seldomly shown in the UK, Tomita Katsuya’s independently produced films are rich with lyrical realism and social commentary. Characterised by unconventional methods traditionally affiliated with guerrilla filmmaking – low budgets, reduced crews and non-professional actors – Tomita’s work marks a departure from the highly stylised approach that often characterises contemporary Japanese filmmaking. Including two UK Premieres and public discussions with the director, In Focus: Tomita Katsuya offers a rare insight into a unique body of work.
After working as a construction worker and truck driver, Tomita Katsuya (b. 1972) released his debut feature, Above the Clouds in 2003. With the grant he received following the film’s success, he directed Off Highway 20 (2007) on 16mm, followed by Saudade (2011), which is based on the story of his hometown Kofu, and partly funded by the people of the city. In 2012, Tomita began making frequent trips to Bangkok for the preparation of Bangkok Nites (2016), which was shot with locals across Thailand and Laos and deals with themes around post-colonialism. Tenzo (2019), Tomita’s latest film, was presented at the Critics’ Week at the Festival de Cannes earlier this year.
 

Programme



Friday 6 December, 6:45pm
UK PREMIERE Tenzo + Q&A
A Q&A with Tomita Katsuya accompanies the UK Premiere of his latest film which addresses the post-Fukushima social crisis in Japan.



Saturday 7 December, 8pm
Bangkok Nites + introduction
Tomita Katsuya introduces a screening of his 2016 feature film, set in Bangkok’s infamous red-light district.



Saturday 14 December, 5pm
UK PREMIERE Off Highway 20
The sprawling impact of capitalism on rural Japan is depicted with disquieting realism in Tomita Katsuya’s second feature film.



Sunday 15 December, 2:30pm
Saudade
Set in Kofu after the 2008 financial crash, Saudade is widely considered Tomita Katsuya’s breakthrough film.