AEMS and the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies present:
Asian Film Festival 2008: Young in Japan
October 3 - 5, 2008
Boardman's Art Theatre
Seating will be first come, first served, and theater will be cleared between screenings.
Download Program (6,298 KB)
Film Festival Schedule
Monday, September 29
Friday, October 3
Sunday, October 5
The Taste of Tea (Cha no aji)
Friday, 7:00 pm
In the calm of the countryside outside of Tokyo, the seemingly ordinary Haruno family slowly unfolds to reveal its brilliant eccentrities. We inhabit the world of each oddball family member, one by one: Nobuo (Tomokazu Miura), the hypnotherapist father; Sachiko, the eight-year old daughter followed by her giant duplicate self; her older brother Hijime, consumed with heart-break; mother Yoshiko (Satomi Tezuka), the animator coming out of retirement; and Grandpa, sly and living every moment to its fullest. Everyday moments are unexpectedly magnified and surreal inner worlds come alive in this touching story of an unconventional family and the love they share.
Appropriate for most audiences; includes scenes with mild violence.
Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma monogatari)
Friday, 10:00 pm
Meet Momoko (Kyoko Fukada), a dreamer in who wishes she lived in 18th-century Versailles and dresses in confections of ruffles and lace she embroiders herself , and Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya), a butch biker chick loyal to her all-girl motorcycle gang. They hate each other, of course. Until it becomes clear that the need each other very much. Based on the best-selling novel Shimotsuma Story by Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls takes us on a wild, day-glo ride in a witty, wacky and ultimately endearing story of the unlikely friendship between a mismatched pair of outsiders.
Appropriate for most audiences; includes scenes with cartoon-style violence.
Kamikaze Girls Official Website ...Includes interviews, culture essay, and even a glossary!
Josée, the Tiger and the Fish (Joze to tora to sakanatachi)
Saturday, 9:15 pm
A laid-back, good-looking college student, Tsuneo (Satoshi Tsumabuki) hears fantastic rumors of a strange old lady who pushes a baby carriage. A chance encounter with her introduces Tsuneo to her strong-willed, belligerent granddaughter Josée (Chizuru Ikewaki), who is physically disabled and hidden away from the world by her grandmother out of shame. She’s certainly not his “type,” yet they are strangely drawn to one another, entering each other’s very different worlds. Based on a novel by Seiko Tanabe, this unusual love story is populated by intriguing characters who defy stereotypes and seem like people you might know.
Includes scenes with sexual content and nudity.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Film Trailer
Train Man (Densha otoko)
Saturday, 7:00 pm
This may be the first film ever set in an Internet chatroom—at least part of the time. Takayuki Yamada plays a socially inept tech geek who lives in a fantasy world of anime and games; he surprises himself and everyone else by saving a woman (Miki Nakatani) on a train from a harasser. Throughout a romance that unfolds after this first encounter, he turns to his Internet friends for advice and support; they in turn are swept up in the successes and failures of his love life, and ultimately find new connections among themselves. Based on a manga based on a novel based on a supposedly true story.
Appropriate for most audiences.
Saturday, 1:00 pm - FOR KIDS!
Satoru (Kanata Hongo) is a boy shut off from the world, unable to face a normal life after the death of his mother. His father, a scientist (Masatoshi Nakamura), builds him a remote-controlled robot to send to school in his place, allowing him to gradually rediscover that the joys of life and friendship are still possible. Noted for his work as an F/X designer, director Takahiko Akiyama’s robot Hinokio is convincing and charming. Although the set-up is science fiction, the kids in this story wrestle with real-life issues about how technology can keep us apart and bring us together.
Appropriate for all ages.
Hinokio Film Trailer
Wings of Defeat
Saturday, 3:30 pm
Upon learning of her uncle’s secret past as a surviving kamikaze pilot, Japanese American director Morimoto was inspired to interview former Kamikaze pilots, now in their 80s, who thoughtfully recall and share their fears, their ambivalence, their patriotism and their guilt as survivors, when thousands of their comrades perished during Japan’s most desperate hour at the end of World War II. Co-produced by Japanese-born writer Linda Hoaglund, the documentary film Wings of Defeat is a moving, human re-examination of the Kamikaze legacy from the perspectives of those who trained for, flew, and survived as suicide missions, as well as those Americans who survived such attacks.
Includes scenes and descriptions of historical violence.
AEMS will offer an Educator Workshop on Wings of Defeat Monday September 29
With additional support from our U of I co-sponsors: Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Unit for Criticism, Dept. of Communication, College of Media , Center for Global Studies, School of Art and Design, Asian American Studies Program, Japan House, Department of Comparative and World Literature, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities