The best thing we like about Japan next to AV Idols, schoolgirls in micro minis, Shaider's Annie, and mouthwatering sushi are their movies. And since July is Philippines-Japan Friendship month, the Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) is once again hosting Eiga Sai, or the Japanese Film Festival.
Running at the Shangri-La Plaza from July 4 to 13, it will play host to 16 films that focus on this year’s theme of “Family.” The screenings are free, and through these selections, JFM hopes to successfully communicate our similarities with the Japanese when it comes to heritage, tradition, culture, and tragedy.
Unless you’ve got no day job, are superhuman, and/or a Jap-film junkie, it might be difficult to see the whole lineup. To make your lives easier, here’s a roundup of eight eclectic movies that are worth waiting in line for. And just like you, we hope there's a bunch of pretty Japanese sweethearts to ogle, too!
FOR THE WILLING CRY BABY: Homeland
The gist: A man returns to his hometown in Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Now a quarantined zone and left bare by disaster, he must learn to reconnect with lost friendships and family.
See it: If you want to bust out the tissues for your leaky peepers. There’s nothing like the combination of familial woes and the wrath of Mother Nature to bring even the burliest men to shed some dude-tears.
The gist: Two Tokyo families get the shock of their lives when they realize that their kids were swapped at birth. Suppressed issues resurface and domestic drama ensues when both parties decide to have the children share some quality time together.
See it: Because the film won the Jury prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and is in the same vein of local TV show Mara Clara, only no Juday and it's crafted by contemplative director Kare-eda Hirokazu.
The gist: The title translates to “About the Pink Sky” and tells the story of Izumi, a high school girl who bides her time rating newspapers. One day she finds a wallet and instead of returning it to its owner, she doles out the cash to a man in need. This act triggers a chain of events that eventually strips her of naivety.
See it: Poetic black-and-white style of cinematography, coming-of-age epiphanies, and Japanese high school girls in uniform? There’s no reason not to see it!
The gist: To raise public awareness for their city, a scrappy mayor puts together an all-female tug-of-war team with one of his premiere (and all-too-adorable) employees as one of its members.
See it: This one is a classic comedy through and through, plus lead actress Mao Inoue’s got that kawaii-look down pat that you’ll be staring at her sweet mug in between the fits of laughter: