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Every Japanese film you can watch for free at this year’s Japanese Film Fest Online

Every Japanese film you can watch for free at this year’s Japanese Film Fest Online

  • The Japan Foundation has made 20 classic and contemporary films available for streaming from Feb. 14 to 27
"under the open sky" "patema inverted" and "its a summer film!" movie posters

For the second run of the annual Japanese Film Festival Online, The Japan Foundation is continuing its mission to share the wonders of Japanese cinema with the rest of the world with 20 films from the last decade and a few classics.

Available for streaming through its website, anyone can access the films (read: watch each at least once) starting today, Feb. 14 to Feb. 27.

The lineup includes 2021 films like “Under the Open Sky,” a drama that stars a newly free yakuza trying to reintegrate into society. The film has received accolades from various international and regional film festivals. There’s also acclaimed Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece “Rashomon.”

It’s not all drama though. Also on the roster are the 2013 documentary “The God of Ramen,” about the man behind the ramen shop called Taishoken in Ikebukuro, as well as two animated movies: “Patema Inverted” (2013) and “Time of EVE: The Movie” (2010).

To access the films, you only need to register for a free account on the film fest’s online portal.

Apart from free films, this year’s Japanese Film Festival Online will also host an online Japanese films forum on Feb. 14 with panelists Professor Daisuke Miyao of the University of California, multi-awarded Filipino filmmaker Nick Deocampo, and “Kita Kita” director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.

Here are some of our picks from the lineup:

“It’s a Summer Film!” (2021)

Director: Soushi Matsumoto

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy

Three friends set out to make a samurai movie to screen at their school’s film festival only to discover later that one of the cast members is a time traveler.

“Ito” (2021)

Director: Satoko Yokohama

Genre: Drama

The titular character, a shy and reserved but musically inclined girl, tries to improve her social skills by applying as a “cafe maid.”

“Aristocrats” (2021)

Director: Yukiko Sode

Genre: Drama

Two women from different socioeconomic backgrounds meet each other and try to reconcile their experiences of Tokyo.

“Sumodo: The Successors of Samurai” (2020)

Director: Eiji Sakata

Genre: Documentary

The documentary follows two sumo wrestlers in training, daily life, and battles in Japan’s most famous sport.

“Masked Ward” (2020)

Director: Hisashi Kimura

Genre: Thriller

A hostage-taker in a clown mask and a doctor on night duty meet at a nursing hospital which once was a psychiatric hospital. 

“Relife” (2017)

Director: Takeshi Furusawa

Genre: Drama 

While unemployed, the protagonist joins a research program where he was made to take a drug that made him look young enough to go back to high school. 

“Her Love Boils Bathwater” (2016)

Director: Ryota Nakano

Genre: Drama

A woman whose days are numbered sets out to continue a bathhouse business with her husband and teach her daughter how to be strong.

See the rest of Japanese Film Festival Online 2022’s lineup here © 2020. Hinge Inquirer Publications, Inc.


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