Do you love Japanese film classics, anime or contemporary cinema stories? Do you miss Japan and want to see it at least on screen? Would you like to learn and discuss about Japanese culture and society? Join us for the Japan Society Film Club where we will chat online about films and Japan in an informal atmosphere.
For our Film Club in November we will focus on a recent success in contemporary Japanese cinema, Oscar-winning film Departures directed by Yojiro Takita in 2008.
Departures (おくりびと, Okuribito, 2008) follows the story of a professional cello player who returns to his hometown and finds work as a nokanshi, a traditional Buddhist ritual mortician. Initially hiding the nature of the job from his family, he soon understands the importance of his role to help survivors to come to terms with death and loss. With a touching soundtrack by celebrated composer Jo Hisashi, Departures won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009 as well as the Japan Academy Film Prize for the Best Picture, Director, Actor of the Year, among others.
Yojiro Takita was born in Takaoka, Toyama prefecture, in 1955. He entered the film industry in the mid-1970s as an assistant director for erotic “pink film” productions, and directed his first film, Molester Woman Teacher (Chikan onna kyoshi), in 1981. In the following decades he developed a successful career in the pink film industry, but also directed films for popular commercial cinema such as No More Comics (Komikku zasshi nanka iranai!, 1986), We Are Not Alone (Bokura wa minna ikiteiru, 1993) and The Yin Yang Master (Onmyoji, 2001).
Japan Society Film Club takes place on the first Wednesday of the month. We will recommend a film to watch in advance and meet online to discuss. Films are often available online for free, on DVD or on BFI player(*) which this year is celebrating Japan 2020, a special season on Japanese cinema. When possible, we will invite film experts to introduce and lead the discussion, but the event is open to all and we encourage participants to freely express their opinions and feelings about the films.
If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email email@example.com.
* Films on BFI player are available with a monthly subscription (£4.99/month after 14 day free trial). As a charity organisation, BFI helps to support films and the film industry in the UK.
Please remember to watch the film in advance. Departures is available on BFI player with subscription.