films in the Berlinale

Asako Asakof
Fri Jan 29 12:41:17 EST 1999

Here is some more info about Japanese films showing at the Berlin Film
Festival and European Film Market this year. . 

Eight Japanese films have been selected for the official Berlin program
this year. In Competition is KEIHO, the new film from Morita Yoshimitsu,
of FAMILY GAME in the 80s and the recent blockbuster love story LOST
PARADISE. In Panorama, we have WAIT AND SEE by Somai Shinji, whose
TYPHOON CLUB became the harbinger of a new wave of Japanese cinema in
the 80s. Also in Panorama is the animation film JIN-ROH, directed by
Okiura Hiroyuki, with original story and screenplay by GHOST IN THE
SHELL director Oshii Mamoru. 

 The International Forum of New Cinema presents five titles: LICENSE TO
LIVE, Kurosawa "CURE" Kiyoshi's commentary on the family today,
ADRENALINE DRIVE, a new comedy from Yaguchi Shinobu of MY SECRET CACHE,
and Mori Tatsuya's documentary about the Japanese religious cult Aum
Supreme Truth, called "A". Actor Tanabe Seiichi's debuts as a director
with the video film DOG-FOOD. 2H is a video film directed by Li Ying, a
Chinese national of long term residence in Japan. 

  There will be market screenings for some of the above films, in
addition to: BULLET BALLET, directed by the cult star of Japan,
Tsukamoto Shinya, who also plays the main role; NODO-JIMAN "The Amateur
Singing Contest," already slated to be a 1999 commercial success in
Japan; and Nakashima Tetsuya's BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY, starring Nagase
Masatoshi of recent FLIRT fame. 

  Accredited professionals can visit New Cinema From Japan's market
booth: Young hip publishing company Little More offers three films from
first-time directors, THE STORY OF PUPU, PORNOSTAR, and SHOOTING STAR.
Takamine Go (UNTAMAGIRU) releases a much awaited new video feature
TSURU-HENRY after an absence of ten years. WATCHING THE DETECTIVE is the
directorial debut of Yagi Junichi, which premiered at the Vancouver
International Film Festival last year. The superstar of Japanese queer
film Oki Hiroyuki brings us INSIDE MIND, while Dutch talent Ian Kerkhof
of WASTED! acclaim has filmed SHABONDAMA ELEGY in Japan with Japanese
producers. Independent filmmaker Hayakawa Wataru makes his debut with
7/25 (nana-ni-go). 

In addition, three short films are available for screening in the video
booth: BABY-BABY, THE KING'S CHILDREN, and WINDS. Material on Ichikawa
Jun's newest feature A TALE OF OSAKA will also be provided at our booth. 

In Competition
KEIHO (39--Keiho Dai Sanjukyujo) by MORITA Yoshimitsu (attending)
A psycho-thriller from the director of blockbuster hit LOST PARADISE. A
murder suspect wants to die but a female psychiatrist starts unraveling
the truth.

JIN-ROH (Jin-Roh) by OKIURA Hiroyuki (attending)
An sci-fi animation film from the creators of GHOST IN THE SHELL. In
futuristic Japan, urban warfare plunges a police combat trooper into
guerilla fire and dark conspiracy. 

WAIT AND SEE (A Haru) by SOMAI Shinji
A gentle, sumptuous drama about a successful businessman's reflection on
family and lifestyle, after the arrival of the Asian economic crisis. 

"A" ("A") by MORI Tatsuya (attending)
A fascinating documentary that reveals the daily lives of Aum cult
members in the aftermath of its scandalous crimes. 

ADRENALINE DRIVE (Adrenaline Drive) by YAGUCHI Shinobu (attending)
Following the success of MY SECRET CACHE, Japan's master of deadpan
comedy is back! Stars two of the nation's hottest young actors in an
absurd chase for a trunk of bloody cash. 

DOG-FOOD (DOG-FOOD) by TANABE Seiichi (attending)
Top model and actor (APRIL STORY) Tanabe Seiichi debuts as filmmaker in
this poetic video narrative about a young man coming to terms with his
marriage through his dog. (47 min., video)

LICENSE TO LIVE (Ningen Gokaku) by KUROSAWA Kiyoshi (attending)
Prolific director of CURE tells the story of 24-year-old Yutaka who
struggles to come to terms with a broken family after a sudden recovery
from a ten-year-coma. 

Market Screenings 

BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY (Beautiful Sunday) by NAKASHIMA Tetsuya
A comedy about the weird inhabitants of a Tokyo apartment block. Each of
their Sundays are absurd and original.  

BULLET BALLET (Bullet Ballet) by TSUKAMOTO Shinya
The much-awaited thriller from Tsukamoto "TETSUO" Shinya, a lover's
death, guns, street gangs, night clubs, and the metropolis. 

>From the country that invented karaoke, a heartwarming comedy about soul
and song in the small town. Amateurs dream of the spotlight on the
long-running weekly TV program. 


1-9-11-506 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002 Japan
TEL: +81-3-5468-2565 
FAX: +81-3-5468-2566 
E-mail: newcinejp at


TEL: 2579-7991
FAX: 2579-7990

More information about the KineJapan mailing list