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Zipangu Fest This Weekend!
Manish Agarwal , September 11th, 2012 03:13

Japanese London Film Festival celebrates its third year

Running from Friday September 14 to Sunday September 16, the 2012 edition of Zipangu Fest has found a symbolic new home at The Cinema Museum in Kennington. As the organisers note, in addition to its existing role as a celebration of cutting edge Japanese cinema, the event now also becomes "a tribute to the legacy of celluloid in a rapidly digitalising world."

Hence the creation of the Reel Zipangu strand, which boasts the first ever 35mm presentation outside Asia of Chang Yong Bok's historical martial arts epic Somi - The Taekwon-do Woman (1997), shot in North Korea with a native cast and crew, plus a rare 16mm outing for Kaizo Hayashi's film-within-a-film debut To Sleep So As To Dream (1986), which sees a pair of private detectives on the trail of a silent screen actress who's trapped within the frames of an ancient ninja flick. Going right back to said era, festival director Jasper Sharp will introduce a special 35mm screening of Teinosuke Kinugasa's groundbreaking 1928 feature Crossways (aka Jûjiro), complete with live score by avant-garde and silent soundtrack specialists Minima.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Beyond Anime section comprises UK premieres for Atsushi Wada's hand drawn Berlinale Shorts award winner The Great Rabbit, Keita Kurosaka's dystopian fantasy Midori-ko and the 'Super Organic Battle Action' animation Encounters. The latter's creator Takashi Iitsuka will also be on hand for a q&a session.

Factual selections include Fukushima 8: A Letter From Our Past, compiling 8mm home movie footage taken before the Tohoku earthquake and nuclear reactor meltdown; a documentary about the prejudices faced by the Japanese-Brazliian community, titled Lonely Swallows: Living As Children Of Migrant Workers; plus the intriguing profile The Echo Of Astro Boy's Footsteps, charting the mysterious double life of pioneering sound designer Matsuo Ohno.

Contemporary fictional features are represented by the world premiere of Tōru Kamei's fortune-teller meets black cat story Cat Noir Lucy and humorous realist drama Saudade: a tale of romance, xenophobia, economic downturn and hip hop, set amid the provincial melting pot that is modern Kofu (see trailer below). The picture's director Katsuya Tomita and writer Toransuke Aizawa will be in conversation afterwards. This packed schedule is rounded out by panel discussions and a host of experimental shorts; for more information and ticket details check the Zipangu Fest website.