BFI Japan Season

Japan: Family, Community and the Sea

Includes the opportunity to see three of Hayao Miyazakis finest on the big screen, as part of your local Into Film Club:

Ponyo (U) (2008), Hayao Miyazaki

One day little Sosuke is playing by the seashore when he finds a fish trapped in a jar. Except, Ponyo isn’t just an ordinary fish. In fact, soon she isn’t a fish at all, having turned herself into a little girl. Ponyo is a magical and touching animated adventure that will prove entrancing to younger audiences.

My Neighbour Totoro (U), (1988), Hayao Miyazaki

In this incredibly sweet and imaginative animated fable, Satsuki and her little sister Mei move to the countryside with their dad to be near the hospital where their mum is staying. The girls soon discover that their new house and the forest surrounding it, are full of spirits – but friendly ones. When they befriend the giant, furry Totoro, and take a ride on a magical cat bus, the sisters can deal with their everyday problems that little bit better.

Spirited Away (PG) (2001), Hayao Miyazaki

This fantasy animated film from Japan follows the adventures of a young girl named Chihiro. While driving to their new home, Chihiro and her family stop by an open-air restaurant. There’s no one to be seen, but the most delicious food laid out, so her parents decided to eat. Chihiro senses something is wrong and she’s right. A spell is cast on her parents and only a mysterious boy named Haku can help her break it. The result is one of the most extraordinary and unique films you will ever see.

Illustrated talk: Japan: Family, Community and the Sea

Japan is a nation of islands, nearly 7,000 in all with some 430 inhabited. Aspects of life in many parts of Japan have interesting resonances with life in the coastal communities of the UK. Fish and fishing are important, local ferries and sometimes the ‘spirit’ of the sea.

This illustrated talk, presented by Roy Stafford,  will focus on the many island communities in Japan through their representation on film. It will relate some of the common themes of island life which will resonate with our audiences based on Scottish Islands as well as examining the differences. 

Whalley Range Allstars: Kamishibai Show Godzilla and the Fatberg

20 minutes of action-packed story-telling for all ages, told in the Kamishibai style from one of the U.K’s leading street theatre companies.

Godzilla lingers in his subterranean cavern. He’s waiting for a call, any call,

THE call. Above ground the obsessive need for cleanliness is creating a problem below ground. This could be the call Godzilla is waiting for. It travels from the furthest reaches of the universe to deep underground…

The Whalley Range All Stars new show “Godzilla v. The Fatberg”. Is performed in the traditional Kamishibai style of storytelling using 2D drawings in a small ‘theatre’ like box, It features 57 A3 drawings and is filmed, to be screened as part of the Screen Argyll BFI Japan Season. ‘It had the audience fixated, with lots of laughter as theWRAS twist on a classic tale developed. Wonderful illustrations from Edward Taylor performed cleverly with Sue Auty, it was a charming tale and fascinating medium.”

Godzilla (PG) (1954), Dir. Ishiro Honda

Godzilla is the grandfather of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama, made in Japan at a time when the country was reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific. Still rated amongst the top twenty Japanese movies of all time, the original Godzilla features pioneering special effects and has had almost thirty sequels over the course of fifty years, and a created a new genre: the kaiju eiga or Japanese monster movie.The original 1954 Japanese version is a thrilling spectacle that continues to be a cult phenomenon.

Our Little Sister (12A) (2015), Hirokazu Kore-eda 

Our Little Sister is full of quiet joy and simple pleasures, this sweetly tender movie from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is superb, celebrating the beauty of nature and family love. The story revolves around three sisters, who live in their grandmother’s home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.

Watching this film is a vitamin boost for the soul.’ The Guardian

Giovanni’s Island (PG) (2014), dir. Mizuho Nishikubo

This animated feature, based on a true story, is from Tokyo-based award-winning animation studio Production I.G. It recounts how one family from the tiny Japanese island of Shikotan survive its absorption into the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War. A dramatic yet heart-warming story of cross-cultural friendship among children. Older kids and adult anime fans will find much to cherish here, especially in the storytelling and elegantly drawn backgrounds.