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East Side Stories: Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2014 returns to the ICA London…

Following last year’s Once Upon a Time in Japan: Reinventing the Past Through the Eyes of Japanese Contemporary Filmmakers season, the Japan Foundation UK annual touring film programme is once again nearly upon us, returning to the ICA London from 31 January to 6 February 2014 with a new season celebrating the theme of ‘youth’ on screen in Japanese cinema.

This year’s programme will provide a colourful and exciting picture of Japanese youth, bringing together a variety of genres and approaches, including Sorry (2002), a charming film about the turmoil of a young boy going through puberty and falling in love for the first, to cult comedies such as Otakus in Love (2004) and Love Strikes! (2011); two films providing hilarious portrayals of Japanese youth subcultures such as music, anime, otaku and cosplay. Depicting drama in seemingly directionless youthful lives is Shuichi Okita’s 1980s-set The Story of Yonosuke (2013), which uses its nostalgic setting to make its story timeless.

The programme also includes Keiichi Hara’s beautiful and moving anime film Colorful (2010), a meditative portrayal of the tribulations of Japanese youth today, and also a rare opportunity to see Japanese New Wave director Yoshishige Yoshida’s classic account of temporary workers employed in the shipbuilding industry, 18 Who Caused a Storm (1963), allowing audiences to compare the contemporary films with a more classical approach.

The Japan Foundation will also be running to public programmes at their building in Russell Square, which are free to attend but must be booked in advance.

  • Film Seminar: Youth in Japanese Cinema and Beyond: a panel discussion that will bring together experts on the subject to explore how adults of tomorrow have been portrayed in cinema over the years, with a special focus on Japanese cinema. (29 January)
  • Japanese Film and its Industry – Panel Discussion: bringing together animation film director Keiichi Hara, television and film director Hitoshi Ohne and actor Mirai Moriyama, to provide you with informative guide to Japanese cinema today, through the perceptions of those working in it. (3 February)

Several screenings will also have special guest Q&As, including director Keiichi Hara accompanying his film Colorful, and director Hitoshi Ohne and actor Mirai Moriyama for Love Strikes!.

Parade (Paredo) Isao Yukisada (2009), 118min – UK Premiere
Colorful (Karafuru) Keiichi Hara (2010), 126min
18 Who Cause a Storm (Arashi o yobu juhachi-nin) Yoshishige Yoshida (1963), 108min – UK Premiere
Shindo (Shindo) Koji Hagiuda (2007), 120min – UK Premiere
Your Friends (Kimi no tomodachi) Ryuichi Hiroki (2008), 125min
Love Strikes! (Moteki) Hitoshi Ohne (2011), 118min – UK Premiere
The Story of Yonosuke (Yokomichi Yonosuke) Shuichi Okita (2013), 160min
The Drudgery Train (Kueki ressha) Nobuhiro Yamashita (2012), 105min – UK Premiere
Capturing Dad (Chichi o tori ni) Ryota Nakano (2012), 74min – UK Premiere
Sorry (Gomen) Shin Togashi (2002), 103min – UK Premiere
Otakus in Love (Koi no mon) Suzuki Matsuo (2004), 114min

Special guest Q&As at the ICA
31/01 7.00pm – Colorful – with director Keiichi Hara
02/02 6.00pm – Love Strikes! with director Hitoshi Ohne and actor Mirai Moriyama
04/02 6.10pm – Colorful – with director Keiichi Hara
04/02 9.00pm – The Drudgery Train – with actor Mirai Moriyama
05/02 8.30pm – Love Strikes! with director Hitoshi Ohne and actor Mirai Moriyama

Tickets for East Side Stories: Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth are available now from ICA London’s website.

About the author

Andrew Heskins
Founder of, which he's been running since 2002. And it's all thanks to Monkey, Water Margin and those damn fantastic 80s Hong Kong action movies! Andy works as a graphic designer in London... More »

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5 thoughts on “East Side Stories: Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth

  1. Pingback: The Story of Yonosuke |

  2. Pingback: Your Friends |

  3. Pingback: Colorful |

  4. Pingback: Keiichi Hara interview: In full colour |

  5. Pingback: Parade |

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