Japanese Film Festival announces 2018 Classics Program in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra

The upcoming Japanese Film Festival is bringing its attendees a special treat, hosting a free classic film program for its 2018 schedule titled Passion & Obsession, which will debut in Sydney, with an abridged version in both Melbourne and Canberra. The program will run from the 29 September to 2 December.

The classics program will premiere in Sydney at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from October 3-31, with Melbourne’s program taking place at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image from 23 November to 2 December, and finally in Canberra at the National Film and Sound Archive from 29-30 September.

The program will include highlights such as The Pornographers, Cannes Palme s’Or-winning filmmaker Shohei Imamura’s dark portrayal of a pornographer fighting to keeo his businees alive in a post World War 2 world.

The Juvenile Jungle returns as Shintaro Ishihara’s classic based around the the sexual revolution of the crazed youth after the culmination of the second World War. The film stars Yujiro Ishihara, who is known to some as the Japanese James Dean.

Nihonbashi will also be present, telling the tale of Tokyo’s premier Geisha District, as two geishas duke it out in a competition that will allow them to reign over the town. The film comes from Cannes Jury Prize-winning filmmaker Kon Ichikawa.

Okoto and Sasuke features Japanese Golden Age star Kinuyo Tanaka in a romantic tale between a blind koto (Japanese lap guitar) master and her loyal servant.

Manji: The Goddess of Mercy is adapted from Junichiro Tanizaki’s well known novel Quicksand as director Yasuzo Masumura presents an intriguing romantic drama based on the love affair between two society ladies.

Kagero-za (Heat Haze Theatre), amateur filmmaker Seijun Suzuki’s award-winning adaptation of Kyoka Izumi’s popular ghost story, is set in the Taisho Era from 1912-1926 and follows a playwright who meets a beautiful woman, but soon suspects she may be the ghost of his patron’s deceased wife.

A Geisha tells the tale of an aspiring geisha locked in a battle to uphold her dignity while dealing with the pressures imposed by a post-war stricken Kyoto. The film comes from Venice Silver Lion-winning filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi.

Finally, The Affair stars actress Mariko Okada (Akitsu Springs), with her husband Yoshishige Yoshida’s directed story of a group of female characters coming to terms with their true sexuality, as young woman begins an affair with her deceased mother’s partner.

Japanese Film Festival Program Coordinator Alison Groves commented on the program, stating “The 2018 program depicts passion and obsession in varying shades of eroticism, ranging from melodramatic romance to fraught love affairs. Beneath the drama, these films also offer us fascinating glimpses into the many different faces of Japan throughout the decades.”

The Classics Program is free for all attendees. For more information and ticket sales for the main festival, you can visit japanesefilmfestival.net.