Please join us at the Bloor Cinema this December for a slightly magical journey to today’s Japan presented by The Japan Foundation, in cooperation with the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto.
This year’s films, selected for international screening by the Japan Foundation, Tokyo, reflect a fantastical vision of the lives of young people in today’s Japan. The drama ‘Til the Break of Dawn, shows the power of human connection through the eyes of a young man with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Kids Police, a satire of the hardboiled cop film genre, finds veteran police detectives fighting crime while attending grade school after a poison gas turns them into children. And the beloved shojo manga (girls’ comic) about a girl with a magic mirror, Himitsu no Akko-Chan, comes to the big screen in the super kawaii (cute) comedy Akko-chan: The Movie.
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Doors open: 30 minutes before film
Admission: free, no reservation or ticket required (seats are available on a first come, first served basis)
Sunday, December 7 @ 6 pm (doors open 5:30)
‘Til the Break of Dawn
Dir. Yuichiro Hirakawa, 2012, 129 min.
An urban legend tells of the existence of a human, the Connector, who has the ability to arrange meetings between the living and the dead.
Hatada, a cynical middle-aged man, wishes to see his mother. Schoolgirl Arashi has a question she wants to ask her best friend, with whom she had a falling out. Businessman Tsuchiya continues to wait for his girlfriend, who disappeared right after he proposed to her.
The Connector in this story is an ordinary high school student, Ayumi, who is being trained as an apprentice by his grandmother, also a Connector. As Ayumi arranges their meetings, he begins to question himself. His doubts are soon directed towards the mysterious deaths of his own parents. Is it self-serving to want to meet with the deceased? Do the living really benefit from such meetings? Will it change their lives? And as for the deceased……
Monday, December 8 @ 6:30 pm (doors open 6:00)
Dir. Yuichi Fukuda, 2013, 100 min.
The elite detectives of the Special Investigations Division (SID) of the Kanagawa Police Department have fallen into a trap set by notorious crime broker Red Venus and inhaled a special gas which turned them all into… kids.
In spite of their peculiar condition, the chief of SID (Fuku Suzuki) and his team continue investigating and trying to indict Red Venus. SID learns of Red Venus’ plan to assassinate the President of Kazokistan on his upcoming visit to Japan, but head office relegates them to the sidelines. Will the detectives of SID be able to defuse Red Venus’ presidential assassination attempt and arrest them? And will they ever be turned back into adults?!
Tuesday, December 9 @ 6:30 pm (doors open 6:00)
Akko-chan: The Movie
Dir. Yasuhiro Kawamura, 2012, 120 min.
Akko-chan: The Movie is based on Fujio Akatsuka’s classic “magical girl” manga Himitsu no Akko-chan, which has been broadcast as an animated TV series three times in the past. To mark the comic’s 50th anniversary, has been adapted into a live-action movie for the first time.
By gazing into an enchanted compact, given to her by the Spirit of Mirrors, and chanting the magic words tekumakumayakon, ten-year-old Akko can transform into anything she wants. The live-action movie gives the story a modern twist, while allowing the spirit of the original work to shine through.
When Akko transforms into her 22-year-old self, a chance meeting with Naoto, a manager at a cosmetics company, lands her a part-time job. Naoto’s section is about to be shut down, so Akko earnestly does her very best to help him, coming up with childlike ideas and making the most of her magical transforming ability. Lead actress Haruka Ayase vibrantly inhabits this difficult role, creating a relatable heroine by peppering the film with schoolgirl-like expressions and reactions.
Lively images, fun action scenes colored with excitement and slapstick, and a novel viewpoint that refreshingly satirizes corporate tactics are blended into a movie bursting with fashionable and chic taste, sweeping us away into a feel-good world that “could have been done before but never had.”