An overview of Japanese independent production in the past 15 years.
Au Revoir L'Été and No Man's Zone
Au Revoir L'Été (Hotori no sakuko)
(Country: US, Japan; Year: 2013; Director: Koji Fukada; Writer: Koji Fukada; Stars: Fumi Nikaidô, Mayu Tsuruta, Taiga, Kanji Furutachi, Kiki Sugino, Takashi Ohtake, Ena Koshino, Kôtarô Shiga, Kazuhiro Sôda, Makiko Watanabe)
Rites of passage drama about a youngster on a summer break with her family.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2005; Director: Masahiro Kobayashi; Writer: Masahiro Kobayashi; Stars: Fusako Urabe, Nene Ohtsuka, Takayuki Katô, Kikujirô Honda, Ryûzô Tanaka, Teruyuki Kagawa)
Birth/Mother (Tarachime, Naissance Et Maternité)
(Country: France, Japan; Year: 2006; Director: Naomi Kawase; Stars: Uno Kawase, Naomi Kawase, Mitsuki Kawase)
Filmmaker Naomi Kawase looks back at her own family history and her relationship with her grandmother.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2002; Director: Sang-il Lee; Writer: Sang-il Lee, Hajime Matsuura; Stars: Yumi Asô, Taro Fujioka, Kanako Fukaura, Ayaka Maeda, Ken Mitsuishi, Tomomi Miyauchi, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Jun Murakami, Tetsu Sawaki)
Bright Future (Akarui Mirai)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2003; Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Stars: Jô Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji, Takashi Sasano, Ryo, Marumi Shiraishi, Ryo Kase, Sayuri Oyamada, Hanawa, Tetsu Sawaki)
Exploration of disaffected youth in Japan.
Yellow Kid and A Snake Of June
(Country: Japan; Year: 2004; Director: Akihiko Shiota; Writer: Akihiko Shiota; Stars: Hoshi Ishida, Mitsuki Tanimura, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miyako Koda, Keijirô Akiyama, Kôtarô Akiyama, Tetsuhito Aoki, Noriko Eguchi, Naoko Fukuju, Kyôhei Hishida, Shoichi Honda, Masaki Honjô, Shûgo Hori, Rina Horisawa, Hiroaki Iida)
Story of a boy who grows up in a sect and must now face the world.
Cold Bloom (Sakura Namiki No Mankai No Shita Ni)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2012; Director: Atsushi Funahashi; Stars: Asami Usuda, Takahiro Miura, Yo Takahashi, Yurei Yanagi, Taro Suwa)
A man and a woman who work in the same factory find themselves drawn into an impossible relationship.
The Cowards Who Looked To The Sky (Fugainai boku wa sora o mita)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2012; Director: Yuki Tanada; Writer: Misumi Kubo, Kôsuke Mukai; Stars: Kento Nagayama, Tomoko Tabata, Mieko Harada, Masataka Kubota, Takahiro Miura, Guin Poon Chaw, Ena Koshino, Rie Minemura, Miharu Tanaka)
A married woman is having an affair with a school student... but trouble starts when a video of their exploits turns up online.
Don't Laugh At My Romance (Hito no sekkusu o warauna, Sex Is No Laughing Matter)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2007; Director: Nami Iguchi; Writer: Nami Iguchi, Yuka Honcho, Naocola Yamazaki; Stars: Hiromi Nagasaku, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Yû Aoi, Shûgo Oshinari, Morio Agata, Yôichi Nukumizu, Harudanji Katsura, Yôko Fujita, Miwako Ichikawa, MariMari)
Love story of a male student and a female lecturer.
Heaven's Story (Hevunzu sutôrî)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2010; Director: Takahisa Zeze; Writer: Yûki Satô; Stars: Noriko Eguchi, Akira Emoto, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Tomoharu Hasegawa, Kana Honda, Reiko Kataoka, Kenichi Kurihara, Ken Mitsuishi, Jun Murakami, Nao Nagasawa, Nahana, Toshie Negishi, Hako Ohshima, Shûgo Oshinari, Kôichi Satô)
An extensive fresco of today’s Japanese society intertwining the stories of characters tormented by vengeance, adultery, greed, love and the need for redemption.
Sawako Decides and Bright Future
Hole In The Sky
(Country: Japan; Year: 2001; Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri; Writer: Shinichi Fushima, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, Randy Taguchi, Takashi Ujita; Stars: Susumu Terajima, Rinko Kikuchi, Bunmei Tobayama, Shunsuke Sawada, Syunsuke Gondo, Megumi Asaoka, Ryô Kase, Daisuke Kizaki, Akemi Kobayashi)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2001; Director: Nobuhiro Suwa; Writer: Nobuhiro Suwa; Stars: Béatrice Dalle, Kou Machida, Hiroaki Umano, Nobuhiro Suwa, Caroline Champetier, Michiko Yoshitake, Motoko Suhama)
The Kirishima Thing
(Country: Japan; Year: 2012; Director: Daihachi Yoshida; Writer: Ryo Asai, Kohei Kiyasu, Daihachi Yoshida; Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Suzuka Ohgo, Masahiro Higashide, Kurumi Shimizu, Mizuki Yamamoto, Mayu Matsuoka, Motoki Ochiai, Kôdai Asaka, Tomoya Maeno, Nobuyuki Suzuki, Takemi Fujii, Taiga, Isao Enomoto, Hideto Iwai)
The disappearance of a star athlete from multiple perspectives.
Late Bloomer (Osoi Hito)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2004; Director: Gô Shibata; Writer: Satoshi Naka, Gô Shibata; Stars: Ariko Arita, Toshihisa Fukunaga, Naozô Hotta, Sumiko Shirai, Masakiyo Sumida, Mari Torii)
A man in a wheelchair goes on a killing spree after a local college student rebuffs his advances.
The Light Shines Only There (Sokonominite Hikari Kagayaku)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2014; Director: Mipo O)
A bleak but beautiful portrait of humanity.
Saudade and Love Exposure
Love Addiction (Fuyu no kemono)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2010; Director: Nobuteru Uchida; Writer: Nobuteru Uchida; Stars: Megumi Katô, Momoko Maeda, Hiroyuki Satô, Kôsuke Takagi)
Four young, male and female co-workers in Tokyo become involved in personal relationships with each other.
Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2008; Director: Sion Sono; Writer: Sion Sono; Stars: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Ando)
A man becomes a photo voyeur so that he can sin enough to confess to his father.
(Country: Japan, US; Year: 2008; Director: Kazuhiro Soda; Writer: Kazuhiro Soda)
A documentary study of a Japanese doctor treating mental illness.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2013; Director: Hiroyuki Tanaka; Writer: Hiroyuki Tanaka; Stars: Ayaka Komatsu, Makoto Togashi, Toru Tezuka, Okito Serizawa, Tarô Suruga, Riku Ohnishi, Takaya Yamauchi)
A high society family in rural Japan receives a post package with a new housemaid, who is… somewhat different.
No Man's Zone (Mujin Chitai)
(Country: Japan, France; Year: 2011; Director: Toshi Fujiwara)
A journey through the stark post-tsunami landscape around Fukushima.
No Man’s Zone (Mujin chitai)
(Country: Japan, France; Year: 2012; Director: Toshi Fujiwara; Writer: Toshi Fujiwara, Jean Gruault, Marie-Jose Sanselme, Jon Jost, Chris Fujiwara, Vincent Dieutre, Isabelle Ingold, Atom Egoyan; Stars: Arsinée Khanjian)
No One's Ark
(Country: Japan; Year: 2003; Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita; Writer: Kôsuke Mukai, Nobuhiro Yamashita; Stars: Hiroshi Yamamoto, Tomoko Kotera, Yûko Hosoe, Takeshi Yamamoto, Hana Kino, Tetsuaki Matsue, Takashi Sasano)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2009; Director: Isao Yukisada; Writer: Isao Yukisada, based on the book by Shûichi Yoshida; Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Karina, Shihori Kanjiya, Kento Hayashi, Keisuke Koide)
A young male sex worker moves into an apartment in an area where violent assaults have been happening.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2008; Director: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi; Writer: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi; Stars: Aoba Kawai, Nao Okabe, Ryuta Okamoto, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Fusako Urabe)
Unfaithfulness dogs a couple on the verge of marriage.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2007; Director: Shinji Aoyama; Writer: Shinji Aoyama, Shinji Aoyama; Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Eri Ishida, Yuka Itaya, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kengo Kôra, Ken Mitsuishi, Aoi Miyazaki, Katsuo Nakamura, Jô Odagiri, Yôichirô Saitô, Kyûsaku Shimada, Kosuke Toyohara, Maho Toyota, Kaori Tsuji)
A boy who was abandoned as a child finds things thrown into turmoil when he runs into his mum.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2011; Director: Katsuya Tomita; Writer: Toranosuke Aizawa, Katsuya Tomita; Stars: Ayano, Chie Kudô, Chika Kumada, Shinji Miyadai, Tomohito Nakajima, Ai Ozaki, Yasushi Sumida, Tsuyoshi Takano, Tomoko Takeda)
Ethnic tensions complicate working class lives in the industrial town of Kofu.
Sawako Decides (Kawa No Soko Kara Konnichi Wa)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2009; Director: Yuya Ishii; Writer: Yuya Ishii; Stars: Hikari Mitsushima, Masashi Endo, Kira Aihara, Kotaro Shiga, Ryo Iwamatsu)
A young woman struggles to save her family's ailing clam-packing business.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2014; Director: Makoto Shinozaki; Writer: Zenzo Sakai, Makoto Shinozaki)
Two women try to come to grips with the Fukushima catastrophe.
A Snake Of June (Rokugatsu No Habi)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2002; Director: Shinya Tsukamoto; Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto; Stars: Asuka Kurosawa, Yuji Kohtari, Shinya Tsukamoto)
A stalker at the end of phone line listens as a married woman lives out sexual fantasies.
The Soup, One Morning (Aru asa, soup wa)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2005; Director: Izumi Takahashi; Writer: Izumi Takahashi; Stars: Hiromasa Hirosue, Rie Kimura, Akie Namiki, Izumi Takahashi)
A Stranger of Mine (Unmei Janai Hito)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2005; Director: Kenji Uchida; Writer: Kenji Uchida; Stars: Yasuhi Nakamura, Reika Kirishima, Sô Yamanaka, Yuka Itaya, Kisuke Yamashita)
A man struggling to get over the break-up of his relationship finds everything changed in the course of a single night.
The Tale of Iya
(Country: Japan; Year: 2013; Director: Tetsuichiro Tsuta; Stars: Rina Takeda, Shima Ohnishi, Min Tanaka)
A epic tale of mountain people and the clash between the ancient and the modern.
United Red Army (Jitsuroku rengô sekigun: Asama sansô e no michi)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2007; Director: Kôji Wakamatsu; Writer: Kôji Wakamatsu, Masayuki Kakegawa, Masayuki Kakegawa; Stars: Maki Sakai, Arata, Akie Namiki, Go Jibiki, Maria Abe, Anri Ban, Kenji Date, Yuki Fujii, Yoshio Harada, Len Hisa)
Docu-drama brilliantly reconstructs the most troubling episode in the bloody history of Japanese student-radical extremism.
(Country: Japan; Year: 2003; Director: Ryuichi Hiroki; Writer: Mari Akasaka, Haruhiko Arai; Stars: Shinobu Terajima, Nao Ômori, Riho Makise, Jun Murakami, Eugene Nomura, Miki Sakajou, Tomorowo Taguchi, Eriko Takayanagi, Masahiro Toda)
(Country: Japan; Year: 2010; Director: Tetsuya Mariko; Writer: Tetsuya Mariko; Stars: Kaname Endo, Ryo Iwase, Kazuki Namioka)
A young boxer struggling in a violent world becomes the inspiration for a comic.