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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2022
Institute of Contemporary Arts
4 – 13 February 2022

Colorless (猿楽町で会いましょう), dir. Takashi Koyama, Japan 2019, 122 min., Japanese with English subtitles

The UK’s largest festival of Japanese cinema is back at the ICA for its 19th edition with an exciting showcase of Japanese films, most of which have only recently been released in Japan, and all of which intricately render their respective dark depths of the human mind. So, what constitutes an unfathomable ‘dark mind’ lurking beneath the surface in modern age Japan? Would the definition of it now be more diverse when the society we are living in is more complicated than before? Does such a psychological state add to an interesting cinematic story?

From recently released contemporary works, to anime and rare classics, the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2022 aims to answer these questions and demonstrate how films, seemingly different in tone and style, have the same facet running through them and that all ultimately deal in human darkness. From crime films to charming dramas, presenting an assortment of stories about people from different walks of life, this programme will showcase the cinematic voices and skills of both experienced and emerging filmmakers and aims to cater to the varied tastes of the UK audiences.

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Friday 4 February, 6:15pm
When the president of a publishing giant suddenly dies, a power struggle ensues. Amid the crisis Akira, the capable editor of a failing culture magazine, attempts to breathe new life into the publication. However, those around him may have other ideas. 

Friday 4 February, 8:50pm
Tuesday 8 February, 8:55pm
In the ramshackle office of one of Tokyo’s inconspicuous, low-rent escort services, the lives of the call girls waiting for their next client intersect and are laid bare in all their day-to-day humdrum: visits to local love hotels, and the inevitable rivalries and catfights. 

Saturday 5 February, 1:30pm
A tragic incident forces Iwane Sakazaki, a well-respected samurai admired for his sword-fighting skills, to leave his town and his fiancée as he becomes a wandering ronin. Soon after he picks up work as a bodyguard, he discovers a conspiracy is afoot and is determined to foil the plot.

Saturday 5 February, 4:00pm
Thursday 10 February, 4:15pm
Tadao is a middle-aged man with autism who goes through an unexpected transition when his ageing single mother Tamako decides to send him to a group home in the hope that he can live independently. However, the move isn’t free of troubles.

Saturday 5 February, 5:50pm
Kazuki seems to have everything – glorious success in the boxing ring and a bright future in his love. Nobuto and his disciple Tsuyoshi, however, struggle in and out of the ring. 

Saturday 5 February, 8:20pm
Shu, a fledgling photographer, finds his muse in the form of a young model, Yuka. As his career takes off he becomes romantically involved with Yuka and gradually begins to suspect that she isn’t all that he believed her to be. 

Sunday 6 February, 1:15pm
Thursday 10 February, 8:40pm
Toru runs into a disguised Minato and falls for her, unaware that she is really his stepsister. But Minato doesn’t like him and pretends to be someone else.

Sunday 6 February, 3:50pm
Sunday 13 February, 3:15pm
UK PREMIERE Will I Be Single Forever?
Mami is a writer in her thirties who once shot to fame for her essay glorifying singledom but has now begun to doubt if being single is what she wants. Three other women from different walks of life also come to crossroads of their own.

Sunday 6 February, 6:10pm
Trouble starts for misogynist and philanderer Ichiro Honda when a string of women he has had sexual affairs with (details of which he meticulously recorded in his ‘hunter’s diary’) begin to die in mysterious circumstances with Ichiro as the only suspect.

Sunday 6 February, 8:45pm
Sunday 13 February, 1:00pm
On the set of a film studio in the summer of 1988, trying to realise her artistic vision without compromises, first-time director Hanako is besieged by problems from all sides as she approaches the shooting of the film’s climatic love scene, which is heavy in eroticism.

Tuesday 8 February, 6:15pm
When the paths of Hanako and Miki, who come from different social backgrounds, are set on a collision course over the affections of aristocratic lawyer Koichiro, both women realise that there may be other paths available to them. 

Wednesday 9 February, 6:10pm
Three mothers unrelated to one another are inexplicably connected – all three of their sons share the same name. Each woman must grapple with her own feelings of anger and anxiety towards her respective child, which soon bubble over.

Wednesday 9 February, 8:45pm
Saturday 12 February, 1:10pm

A gang of professional con men set their sights on a legendary diamond said to be in the possession of a ruthless Hong Kong mafia queen. 

Thursday 10 February, 6:10pm
Eternally Younger Than Those Idiots
Having various apprehensive feelings about her life, including being a virgin at the age of 22, Horigai finds some solace in the bond she forms with the reserved Inogi.

Friday 11 February, 6:10pm
Sunday 13 February, 8:40pm
A stylish psychological thriller revolving around the sessions between Yuki, a clinical psychologist and a young woman who stabbed her father to death without an apparent motive. 

Friday 11 February, 8:40pm
Suffering from poor mental health, Kazuo returns to his hometown with his wife. He begins to jog every day, and his unusual encounters with local teenagers gradually change something in him.

Saturday 12 February, 3:40pm
Separated from their families and having no place to go, two young girls Yui and Hiyori are given the chance to start afresh by a kindly but strange old lady who invites them into her home – a mayoiga. 

Saturday 12 February, 6:00pm
An elderly housewife finds her hopes for peaceful twilight years with her husband. However, he suddenly dies. In her enduring solitude, she starts hearing three voices who attempt to liven up her life. 

Saturday 12 February, 8:55pm
A modern and stylish tale of fragile young lives under the pressures of ambition, love, and general existence, told through the perspectives of its multiple flawed protagonists in a series of vignettes.

Sunday 13 February, 5:30pm
An investigative journalist on the hunt to solve a cold case of extortion meets a man who has come into possession of a cassette tape exactly like the ones used in the blackmail plot thirty years ago.