Japanese Film Night
Sunday, September 18th
Linda, Linda, Linda & ALWAYS—SUNSET ON THIRD STREET 2
5:30pm & 7:40pm
Cincenta at UVic
Sponsored by The Japan Foundation and the Consulate General of Japan with cooperation from the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and the Japanese Friendship Society. With the generous support of University of Victoria Cinecenta.
TWO FILMS FROM JAPAN
Japanese with English subtitles
Both films are rated “G”
Please be advised that these screenings are very popular and seating is limited.
5:30pm – LINDA LINDA LINDA
Rinda Rinda Rinda (リンダ リンダ リンダ)
2005 / 114min / Director: Yamashita Nobuhiro
This film about youth is set in modern-day high school just outside of Tokyo. In the days just before the school’s culture festival, a girl’s music group is facing a dilemma. They planned on playing an original piece of music but…three days before the festival, the guitarist appears to have broken her finger (actually she doesn’t want to break her nails) and an argument breaks out between the vocalist and Kyoko. They need to find a new guitarist and a new vocalist. While the remaining three girls are pondering who to ask to be the new vocalist, they hear the song, “Linda Linda Linda” by the famous Japanese rock band Blue Hearts and decide they want to sing it instead of an original song.
A Korean exchange student, Song, is sitting in the next room and they take the chance to ask her to be their vocalist. Her Japanese is not perfect, and she’s never sung in front of an audience, but she just happens to be listening to the Blue Hearts song. They practice and practice but they don’t seem to be improving. They spend a lot of time at Kei’s ex-boyfriend’s studio and at the school practicing late into the night. They are really tired, but a deep friendship develops among the four girls.
7:40pm – ALWAYS—SUNSET ON THIRD STREET 2
ALWAYS zoku San-chome no yuhi (ALWAYS 続・三丁目の夕日)
2007 / 146 min / Director: Yamazaki Takashi
This heart-warming, feel-good sequel to the award-winning 2005 film is set in post-war Tokyo in the 1950s, and the story follows the intertwined lives and characters of a working-class neighbourhood. Chagawa Ryunosuke, a pulp writer has taken in Junnosuke, the once-abandoned son of a wealthy international businessman. Across the street, mechanic Suzuki Norifumi’s wife, Tomoe, has news for their son, Ippei: Ippei’s cousin Mika will be coming to stay with them. Meanwhile, Suzuki’s assistant mechanic, Mutsuko, has blossomed into a young woman, and is attracting attention from fellow displaced northerner Takeo, an apprentice chef, and Suzuki nervously awaits his regimental reunion, wondering whatever happened to his friend Ushijima.
A sequel as good as the original, Always 2 shows off the directorial and special-effects talents of Yamazaki Takashi. Viewers familiar with postwar Japanese cinema will see loving references to some of the great films of the era, including Godzilla (directred by Honda Ishiro, 1954), Ugetsu (“Ugetsu monogatari,” directed by Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953), and separated-would-be-lovers films such as What Is Your Name? (“Kimi no na wa,” directed by Oba Hideo, 1953-54). The film was nominated in almost every major category at the 2008 Japan Academy Awards, and Yoshioka Hidetaka picked up his second best-actor win for the role of Chagawa. Chagawa Ryunosuke and Furuyuki Junnosuke are plays on the names of famous writers Akutagawa Ryunosuke (after whom the prize is named) and Yoshiyuki Junnosuke.