Nippon Connection 2017- The Daily Highlights (23 May)

Good morning everyone! It’s Tuesday, May 23rd, which means Nippon Connection officially starts this evening! And that means that this evening are the first big events that, if you are planning to come out today, you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Special Premieres:

Her Love Boils Bathwater by Ryota NAKANO

The festival will kick off with the German premiere of one of the most highly acclaimed Japanese films of the past year: The drama Her Love Boils Bathwater by Ryota NAKANO. Filled with tender humor, the film tells the story of Futaba, who attempts to reunite her scattered family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the leading roles, Rie MIYAZAWA and Joe ODAGIRI deliver outstanding performances.

La Terre abandonnée by Gilles LAURENT

Opening the Nippon Visions section, La Terre abandonneé is a unique documentary about residents who refused to leave the evacuation area around the Fukushima disaster. This German premiere will have a singular emotional weight to it, as it, tragically, both the first and last film directed by Gilles Laurent, a Belgian filmmaker killed in a terrorist attack in Brussels last year.

GOOD/BYE by Izumi MATSUNO

Tamaki and Kaori broke up three years ago, but continue to share an apartment with strict boundaries, marked by colored tape. When they both find new love interests, they start to re-examine their peculiar relationship. Izumi MATSUNO’s finely nuanced drama is characterized by its atmospheric density and a poetic visual approach. This presentation of the film will be its first international premiere.

Dawn of the Felines by Kazuya SHIRAISHI

A slice-of-life movie about three call girls in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Apart from meeting with their regular customers or enjoying their spare time together, they each struggle with their various personal problems. This melancholy installment of Nikkatsu’s “Roman Porno Reboot Project” is a real stand-out, featuring complex protagonists. The title refers to Noboru TANAKA’s classic NIGHT OF THE FELINES.

Special events:

Presentation: Japanese Lyricism After 1945

Christian Chappelow, M.A., examines a core movement in the Japanese literary scene post-WWII called “gendaishi.”

Sword Dancing Performance and Workshop

Sword dance master Taro NASHIBA will present a breathtaking performance with traditional Japanese music. If you were ever intrigued enough by Japanese sword dancing to want to give it a go, come see the special performance tonight, followed by a try-it-yourself workshop on Friday.

If You Haven’t Been:

Mousonturm Café

Every day of the festival, the café in the ground floor of the Mousonturm will be open to guests of all kinds in need of a place to sit down, have a drink, and let that glorious festival atmosphere just wash over them. Be sure to try some of the drinks imported from Japan specially for the festival! This year the Cafe will also include a Ramen Jun Lounge every day starting at 17:00, in case you are a fan of one of the most popular Japanese noodle dishes!

-Noah Franc

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