Languages Archives: Japanese

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Radiance Hikari

  Naomi Kawase

  Japan      2017    

Synopsis

Misako writes and records film audio descriptions for vision-impaired audiences, passionately translating cinematic experiences through verbal description. While soliciting feedback from a focus group panel, she meets Masaya, a renowned photographer who is slowly losing his eyesight. The two form an unlikely connection as she draws inspiration from his photographs and his way of seeing the world.

 Japanese with subtitles 
  101 minutes

Screenings & Events

In-person Screening

Wed, Aug 7 @ 6:30pm CDT

at Chicago Cultural Center

Tickets available Monday, July 29.

Media

Sponsors

Logo: Consulate General of Japan in Chicago 315x65

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In a countryside home, Mahito Maki sits at a table facing a humanoid man in a bird costume. Both have serious gazes.

The Boy and the Heron Kimitachi wa Dou Ikiru ka

  Hayao Miyazaki

  Japan     123 minutes

Synopsis

A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.

A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation,
 in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

 Japanese with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Media

Film Credits

  •   Toshio Suzuki
  •   Hayao Miyazaki
  •   Joe Hisaishi
  •   Studio Ghibli
  •   https://gkids.com

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Two young children, splattered with mud, look towards the camera with serious expressions.

Monster Kaibutsu

  Hirokazu Kore-eda

  Japan     126 minutes

Synopsis

In the opening scenes of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest masterwork, a three-alarm fire engulfing a building evokes the many small sparks that have ignited a culture of gossip, stigma, fear, and silence in a coastal community. When her young son Minato starts to behave strangely, his mother Saori feels that there is something wrong. Discovering that Minato’s teacher, Mr. Hori is responsible for the boy’s odd behavior, she storms into the school demanding to know what’s going on. But answers — much less accountability — remain elusive as Mr. Hori denies all accusations. Minato and his fellow classmate Yori remain tight-lipped and evasive. As the story unfolds through the eyes of mother, teacher, and then child, the truth gradually emerges.

Directing for the first time from a script not entirely his own (co-written by industry veteran Sakamoto Yuji), Chicago International Film Festival favorite Kore-eda expertly pieces together an exquisite narrative mosaic, journeying down three separate paths and perspectives that converge in an inexorable climax. Celebrated composer Ryuichi Sakamoto provides the ethereal soundtrack.

 Japanese with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Media

Film Credits

  •   Kawamura Genki, Yamada Kenji
  •   Sakamoto Yûji
  •   Kore-eda Hirokazu
  •   Kondô Ryûto
  •   Andô Sakura, Nagayama Eita, Kurokawa Soya, Hiiragi Hinata, Tanaka Yuko
  •   Ryuichi Sakamoto
  •   Ichikawa Minami, Oota Toru, Tom Yoda, Ushioda Hajime, Kore-eda Hirokazu
  •   TOHO CO. LTD, Fuji Television, Network Inc., GAGA Corporation, AOI Pro. Inc., BUN-BUKU Inc.

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A man in a blue utility uniform smiles, looking up toward the sky, while sitting with a young woman wearing a pink sweater.

Perfect Days

  Wim Wenders

  Japan     125 minutes

Synopsis

Living a life of solitary, quiet contentment, a middle-aged public toilet cleaner (Kôji Yakusho) spends his days working, reading, listening to cassette tapes, and tending to his indoor garden. The satisfying rhythms of his life are interrupted when his niece, fleeing her family, arrives for an unexpected visit. The two begin to bond, relishing their ability to share in the beauty of the everyday.

Featuring a stellar soundtrack and a warm, grounded performance from Yakusho, Perfect Days is at once a love letter to the city of Tokyo, an open-hearted character study, and an irresistible, charm-filled exaltation of the profound pleasures of a simple life.

  

 English, Japanese with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Film Credits

  •   Koji Yanai, Wim Wenders, Takuma Takasaki
  •   Wim Wenders, Takuma Takasaki
  •   Toni Froschhammer
  •   Franz Lustig
  •   Kôji Yakusho, Min Tanaka, Tokio Emoto, Aoi Yamada, Sayuri Ishikawa, Arisa Nakano, Yumi Aso, Tomokazu Miura
  •   Patrick Watson
  •   Kôji Yakusho
  •   MASTER MIND LTD, Spoon Inc., Wenders Images GbR

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A young girl wearing a blue puffer coat and yellow gloves, looks straight ahead as she blocks her face from the sun.

Evil Does Not Exist Aku Wa Sonzai Shinai

  Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

  Japan     105 minutes

Synopsis

Following his international sensation Drive My Car, filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi returns with a captivating eco-thriller that explores the eternal conflict between the natural world and the human urge to destroy it.

Set in the peaceful northern village of Harasawa, the film follows Takumi, a local handyman who lives with his young daughter and makes his living chopping wood, hauling water, and doing odd jobs around town. The tranquility of this rural life is threatened, however, when a Tokyo company announces plans to construct a high-end glamping site near the village. The venture is met with skepticism from the townspeople, who worry that the development will irreparably damage the natural environment — and, by extension, their very existence. Expertly scripted and directed with an eye for human duality, Evil Does Not Exist ponders our complicated relationship with the world around us.

 Japanese with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Film Credits

  •   Satoshi Takata
  •   Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
  •   Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa, Ryuji Kosaka, and Ayaka Shibutani
  •   Eiko Ishibashi
  •   Neopa Inc.

Sponsors

International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation