15th Japanese Film Festival adds ‘Arrietty’, ‘Space Battleship Yamato’ and more

Space Battleship Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト)

15th Japanese Film Festival (2011)The 15th Japanese Film Festival opens tonight in Adelaide, and the lineup just keeps getting better and better. Space Battleship Yamato and Arrietty have just been confirmed for Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

A Honeymoon in HellMr. & Mrs. Oki’s Fabulous Trip, A Boy and His Samurai, The Fallen Angel and Oba, The Last Samurai have also been added since the last announcement.

Space Battleship Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト, 2010, Dir: Takashi Yamazaki) is a live-action version of the famous 1980s Japanese animation. From director Takashi Yamazaki (Always: Sunset on Third Street), Earth must rebuild the Space Battleship Yamat0 in preparation to defend Earth five years after the start of the Gamilans’ attack on the planet.

Arrietty (借りぐらしのアリエッティ, aka The Borrower Arriety, 2010, Dir: Hiromasa Yonebayashi) is from the world-famous Studio Ghibli, and is co-produced and written by Hayao Miyazaki (Ponyo, Spirited Away) himself. Studio Ghibli has already created a number of classic modern tales enjoyed the world over, and debut feature director Hiromasa Yonebayashi borrows from Mary Norton’s series of beloved children’s novels for the seventeenth film under the Ghibli banner. Winner of the Animation of the Year at the 34th Japan Academy Prize, The Borrower Arrietty evokes the history of Japanese animation while simultaneously forging something new. The film captures the magic of those earlier films and carves out a niche of its own in this sure to be timeless classic.

Oba, The Last Samurai (太平洋の奇跡, 2011, Dir: Hideyuki Hirayama) is based on the popular true story and autobiographical novel by  US soldier Don Jones. It tells the tale of Captain Oba, who stood with 47 troops on the isle of Saipan fights against the US army long after the Emperor had surrendered at the end of the Second World War. It stars “Japanese heartthrob” Yutaka Takenouchi (The Hovering Blade, and JFF15’s A Honeymoon in Hell). It comes from Japan Academy Prize winning director Hideyuki Hirayama.

A Boy and His Samurai (ちょんまげぷりん, 2010, Dir: Yoshihiro Nakamura ) is a classic fish-out-of-water comedy from Yoshihiro Nakamura, best known for Bûsu (or The Booth). When a samurai finds himself out of his own time due to a strange set of circumstances, a boy and his mother must care for the warrior in their apartment in modern day Japan, where the samurai finds an unexpected passion for making pudding. Based on popular manga by Gen Araki.

The Fallen Angel (人間失格, 2010, Dir: Genjiro Arato): Adapted from an autobiographical novel by Osamu Dazai, The Fallen Angel is directed by industry veteran Genjiro Arato. Largely considered to be one of the foremost fiction writers in 20th century Japan, Dazai also had a reputation for being a bit of a wild child. Toma Ikuta (Honey and Clover, Hanamizuki) portrays the rebel without a cause in this meticulously recreated depiction of pre-war Japan.

A Honeymoon in HellMr. & Mrs. Oki’s Fabulous Trip (大木家のたのしい旅行―結婚地獄編, 2010, Dir: Ryuichi Honda) sees a couple quite literally escape from reality when they take a honeymoon. According to the official JFF description, audiences should expect “underground cartoonist Shiriagari Kotobuki and cult dramatist Terayama Shuji meet Willy Wonka”. Sounds excellent.

Honeymoon in Hell: Mr. & Mrs. Oki’s Fabulous Trip

The 15th Japanese Film Festival begins in Adelaide as of this year’s OzAsia Festival today. JFF15 will travel to Perth from 29 September to 7 October, then Brisbane on 1 to 4 November and Canberra from 9 to 20 November. It then moves to Sydney from 17 to 27 November 2011, before taking on Melbourne from 29 November to 6 December 2011.