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URBAN, NATURAL, HUMAN:
Exploring japan on screen

Urban, Natural, Human is a touring film programme, taking as its key theme the built and natural environments in contemporary Japan. This is a Day for Night project, conceived and curated by Sonali Joshi.

With its core themes of architecture and the environment, the programme will reflect on catastrophe, regeneration and recovery, not least in the year of the 10th anniversary of the Tohuku earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. The project also takes on a fresh relevance in the light of the pandemic, in adapting and rethinking our relationship to space, collective gathering and the built environment around us, pointing to broader discourses concerning our place as humans in an ever-changing world.

This programme will allow audiences to discover significant contributions made by Japanese creators to the fields of art, architecture and design, and moving image, while exploring Japanese culture, history and society more broadly.

Featuring archival works, documentary and artists’ moving image, many not seen in the UK before, key explorations into the built and natural environments will be framed through historical, current and future contexts – the impact of war, post-war regeneration, natural and man-made catastrophes, reconstruction and renewal, urban and rural development, the urban experience and the future of cities.

Key themes include:

• from pre-war Japan to wartime destruction

• artistic responses to natural and man-made disasters and the nuclear question

• from devastation to reconstruction – towards a new future of cities, rural communities and landscapes

• communities and the natural environment

• youth, the urban experience and gender relations in the 21st century

• women in front of and behind the camera

Programme

 

3.11 A SENSE OF HOME

(various inc. Naomi Kawase/Bong Joon-ho/Apichatpong Weerasethakul/Jia Zhang-Ke, Japan 2011, shorts/docu-fiction)

Leading directors present their responses to the Tohoku earthquake of 11 March 2011 in 3 minutes 11 seconds each.

 

ASCENT

(Fiona Tan, Japan/Netherlands 2016, 81 mins, docu- fiction)

Contemplation on pre-war, post-war and contemporary Japan, seen through 150 still images of Japan’s great icon, Mount Fuji.

 

BOOK, PAPER, SCISSORS

(Nanako Hirose, Japan 2019, 94 mins, doc)

Portrait of 75 year old Kikuchi Nobuyoshi, who painstakingly created the covers of over 15,000 books by hand during his career.

 

THE INLAND SEA

(Lucille Carra, US 1991, 56 mins, doc)    

Moving travelogue inspired by American writer and film historian Donald Richie’s memoir of journeys through the Inland Sea.

 

MEMENTO STELLA

(Makino Takashi, Japan/Hong Kong 2018, 60 mins, experimental)

Moving-image artist Makino Takashi composites layers of digital footage to create a contemplation of life adrift in the universe.

 

MORIYAMA-SAN

(Bêka & Lemoine, France 2017, 63 mins, doc)

A week in the extraordinarily ordinary life of Mr Moriyama, a Japanese art, architecture and music lover who lives in one of the Moriyama house, built in Tokyo in 2005 by Pritzker–prize winner Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA).

 

TENZO

(Katsuya Tomita, Japan 2019, 59 mins, doc)

Portrait of two Buddhist monks, one who runs a suicide helpline and another whose temple was destroyed by the 2011 tsunami.

 

TOKYO RIDE

(Bêka & Lemoine, France 2021, 63 mins, doc)

Following one of Japan’s most talented and celebrated architects, Ryue Nishizawa drives through the streets of Tokyo in his Alfa Romeo, talking about buildings that have influenced him, some of his own architecture projects and his relationship with his home city.

 

SHORTS PROGRAMME I: IN BETWEEN NATURE AND ARCHITECTURE

A programme of short films exploring communities, art and architecture.

 

SHORTS PROGRAMME II: THE FUTURE OF CITIES

A programme exploring metropolises and the future of the urban environment.

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

We'll be adding more screenings to this list soon. Follow us on social media to receive the latest updates.

LondoN

 

Close-Up

12 Nov: Book, Paper, Scissors

13 Nov: Ascent

14 Nov: The Inland Sea + short

 

Manchester

HOME

4 Dec: Hotori no Sakuko

5 Dec: Book, Paper, Scissors + short

 

NewcastlE

Star and Shadow

14 Nov: Tenzo + short

 

Glasgow

 

tbc

 

Further venues and dates to be added.

 

Day for Night JAPAN titles

The following Japanese titles are also available for exhibitors to book from our catalogue:

 

CHIGASAKI STORY

(Takuya Misawa, Japan 2016, 88 mins, DCP/Bluray, drama)

Playful romantic comedy set in seaside hotel where Ozu conceived some of his most famous works.

 

HOTORI NO SAKUKO (AU REVOIR L’ETE)

(Koji Fukada, Japan 2013, 126 mins, drama)

Coming of age tale of a confused web of family ties and a young Fukushima refugee in a coastal town.

 

JEUX DE PLAGE

(Aimi Natsuto, Japan 2019, 77 mins, drama)

A Japanese love letter to French New Wave cinema – three women staying at a beachside villa resist a growing swell of toxic masculinity in a gently comedic exploration of female sexual desire.

 

THE MURDERS OF OISO

(Takuya Misawa, Japan 2019, 79 mins, drama)

A noirish take on young male angst in small town Japan, centring on four friends working in construction for the uncle of one of them, who dies in suspicious circumstances.

 

SISTERHOOD

(Nishihara Takashi, Japan 2019, 88 mins, docu-fiction)

Contemplation on youth experience in post-#MeToo Japan through interviews with a singer, student and nude model based in Tokyo about their experiences of the demands imposed upon women by society.