Japanese films in the Berlin lineup

Fujioka Asako asakof at tkd.att.ne.jp
Tue Jan 29 04:02:39 EST 2002

This is my annual post to Kine Japan plugging New Cinema from Japan.
No, it's not a "brand" or a curated program, but just a conveniently
ambiguous name.

New Cinema from Japan is a loosely organized cooperative that gets together
several times a year to support the promotion of Japanese films at various
major international film festivals and markets. For the past five years,
staff have set up a booth in the European Film Market during the Berlinale.
We are a non-profit organization supported by the Japan Foundation and the
Tokyo International Film Festival.

When we started out, there was a need on the part of Japanese producers for
logistic support (a lot of it was and still is, language) and simple advise
how to get around festivals and markets. Over the years, we've seen some
change for the better. Still, an ideal situation would be for the Japanese
government to better finance and staff Uni Japan, who could do overseas
promotion of Japanese films on a constant and year-round basis. (like KOFIC
in Korea.) New Cinema from Japan volunteers have "day" jobs that they'd like
to get back to.

Here is the Berlin International Film Festival lineup of Japanese films for
this year, as far as we have researched.
For the "films on video" you need to be an accredited industry professional
to enter the Market and come see us at the booth.

Fujioka Asako
New Asian Currents Coordinator,
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival
Berlin 2002 (6-17 February)


KT (dir: SAKAMOTO Junji, WP)
Korea-Japan co-production. Sakamoto (Face) presents a dramatic exploration
of the conspiracy behind the 1973 abduction of now-ROK-President Kim
Dae-jung from a Tokyo hotel.


Alexei and the Spring (dir: MOTOHASHI Seiichi, IP)
Alexei to izumi
Documentary photographer Motohashi's sequel to Nadya's Village (Forum 98),
about a idyllic Belarus village deserted after the Chernobyl nuclear

Daughter from Yan'an (dir: IKEYA Kaoru, IP)
Yan'an no musume
Gripping documentary about the wounds left by China's Cultural Revolution. A
village girl looks for former Red Guard parents who abandoned her at birth.
Projected on High Definition, courtesy NHK.

Manzan Benigaki (dir: OGAWA Shinsuke, PENG Xiaolian, IP)
Charismatic documentary filmmaker Ogawa's final project about Yamagata
persimmon trade is completed by a Chinese female director and friend, ten
years after his death.

The Mars Canon (dir: KAZAMA Shiori, IP)
Kasei no kanon
Female director Kazama (How Old is the River?) plays with the wavering
psychology of a young city woman in this light-hearted romance between four
men and women.

Mike Yokohama: A Forest with No Names (dir: AOYAMA Shinji, WP)
Hama Mike: Namaeno nai mori
Aoyama (EUREKA) tries his hand at the detective genre: the classic story of
the cool and cynical private investigator Mike (as always, played by Nagase
Masatoshi). This time, with a new melancholic spin.

The Princess Blade (dir: SATO Shinsuke, IP)
Shurayuki Hime
The meeting of hi-tech action and Asian swordplay set in SF fantasy. Rising
talent Shaku Yumiko plays the daughter of a clan of assassins in a thrilling
drama of filial trust, betrayal, and romance.

A Tree of Palme (dir: NAKAMURA Takashi, WP)
New anime by animation director of Akira. Wooden robot Palme encounters
adventures on a journey to the underground world, where he hopes to be
turned into a human being.


All About Lily Chou-Chou (dir: IWAI Shunji)
Lily Chou-Chou no subete
Asia's hit-maker Iwai (Love Letter) sensitively conveys the emotions of a
bullied 15-year-old's retreat into an enigmatic singer's world. Brilliant
cinematography, casting, music, et al.

Dark Water (dir: NAKATA Hideo, IP)
Honogurai mizuno sokokara
Horror film Ring's golden team director Nakata and writer Suzuki Koji are
back to scare, with the story of Yoshimi and her 5-year-old daughter who
live in a dark musty flat with a ceiling that drips water.

Go (dir: YUKISADA Isao, EP)
Japan's entry for Oscar's foreign language films is about a Zainichi Korean
boy with spunk and cool. How does he overcome social and emotional hurdles
that come with being Korean?

God's Children (dir: SHINOMIYA Hiroshi, IP)
Kamino kotachi
Documentary about people living by the largest dumpsite in the Philippines.
When a massive landslide occurs, 1000 people perish and others lose their
livelihood as scavengers.

A Painful Pair (dir: SAITO Hisashi, IP)
Itai futari
Saito's third feature about a newly-wed couple who physically feel each
other's pain. Pregnancy brings panic, as the husband fears the pain he must
endure with his wife's delivery.


Chiyoko: Millennium Actress (dir: KON Satoshi)
  New animation film from the director of Perfect Blue.

Concent (dir: NAKAHARA Shun)
  Gripping drama of a young urban woman with psychic powers.

Jesus Is My Boss (dir: SAITO Koichi)
  Yakuzas repent and convert to Christianity. Japan-Korea co-production.

The Lament of a Lamb (dir: HANADO Junji)
  Based on a popular comic, a boy finds he comes from a bloodline of

Patlabor Theater Version (TAKAYAMA Fumihiko, ENDO Takuji)
  Sequel to the world famous animation series. Will Patlabor defeat the

A Tender Place (dir: NAGASAKI Shunichi)
  Important work by solid veteran director. The dark sides of human nature.

VISITOR Q (dir: MIIKE Takashi)
  A hilarious black satire on the family with Miike's trademark potion of
violence and sex.

Wave (dir: OKUHARA Hiroshi)
  Timeless Melody director's second feature is a low-budget indie made with

@@ OUT OF COMPETITION (not in our catalogue)
Spirited Away (dir: MIYAZAKI Hayao)
Sen to chihiro no kamikakushi
Miyazaki's newest. Blockbuster animation that broke Titanic's record box
office returns in Japan last summer.

(NOTE)** IP: International premiere  WP: World premiere EP: European
New Cinema from Japan
NEW!: 3-2-6 Sekiguchi Bldg. 4F
Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062 Japan
Tel +81-3-5474-5290 / Fax +81-3-5474-3760
Email newcinejp at aol.com

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