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Japanese cinema in Havana Cuba

Movies that deal with drama and melodrama, terror, as well as the classic samurai movies, make up the Japanese program that covers different styles, tendencies and poetics within the movie world of that nation, the cradle of one of the most important movie industries on a world scale.

On Tuesday 8, Kids Return was screened with a script and direction by Takeshi Gitano, a movie from 1996, that deals with the world of boxing and delinquency, from the perspective of young people and adolescents within secondary education and the presence of the world of mafia in a climate of violence that lasts 107 minutes.

Wednesday 9 changed its tone with an intimist movie, First Love, from 1999, made by Tetsuo Shinohara. It lasts 113 minutes and falls within the dramas, from the eyes of a young 16 year old woman. The soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi stands out in the movie.

Meanwhile, on Thursday 10 there were screened The Face, from the year 2000, by producer Junji Sakamoto and lasting 123 minutes. It is a drama whose main plot is the anger of a woman, buried in the murder of her own sister, who has to face the police, while she tries to live her quote of freedom in the most intense possible way.

This moviemaker, Sakamoto (who was known outside of Japan with the violent Iron Fist) uses in his movie elements of black humor and includes the excellence of the performance of Naomi Fujiyama, considered by the critique as the great dive of Japanese theater, who appears here in her movie debut.

This movie participated in the Oficial Selection of the New Directors/New Films exhibition, organized by the MoMA from New York. It has achieved the awards for best movie, director, script and actress from the specialized Japanese magazine Kinema Jumbo, as well as the Best director award given by the Japanese Film Academy.

The program screened on Friday 11, When drawing out the last spade, a movie made in 2003 by director Yojiro Takida which lasts 138 minutes inspired on a literary piece under the same name by writer Jiro Asada. It tells the story of Kanichiro Yoshimura, a samurai who in order to take his family out of poverty, joins the Shinsen gumi, legendary warriors from the Tokugawa era, at the end of the XIX century. It was chosen as the Best Movie in 2004 by the Japanese Film Academy.

And on Saturday 12, there was Closed Circuit, made in 2001 by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who also wrote the script of this terror movie, which lasts 118 minutes together with Onishi Tetsuya. It enters into the world of informatics and explores solitude and the lack of communication of contemporary society from this genre. This movie participated in the Cannes Festival.

The Japanese exhibition ends, on Tuesday 15, with AIKI (image), from 2002, with the script and direction of Daisuke Tengan. This is a drama of a young boxer, the victim of an accident that condemns him into being an invalid, while he lives through this pathetic experience with his lover. This movie lasts 119 minutes. It was selected for the Mostra de Venecia (Nuovi territory). It has also participated in the Oficial Selection of Rencontres Internacionales de Cinéma à Paris and in the Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco Festivals in Canada and the United States.


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