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Japanese Film Festival 2002

When 11 October 2002 (Friday) - 20 October 2002 (Sunday)
Where Japanese Association Auditorium

Tickets Admission is free. Queue numbers for current day sessions only, are available on a first-come, first-served basis, from 7.00pm on weekdays, and from 1.00pm on weekends, at the SFS counter outside the auditorium.

All films are subject to classification and approval by the Board of Film Censors, Singapore. Films rated NC-16 are restricted to persons aged 16 and above. Films rated R(A) are restricted to persons aged 21 and above. Documentary proof of age is required for admission to films rated NC-16 and R(A).

Session times: Weekdays 8.00pm. Weekends 2.00, 5.00 & 8.00pm.

Please note that food and drink are not allowed inside the auditorium.


The Embassy of Japan (Singapore)
Singapore Film Society
The Japanese Cultural Society (Singapore) and
The Japanese Association (SIngapore)


Japanese Film Festival 2002


Screening schedule

Fri 11 Oct
8 pm Flowing

Sat 12 Oct
2 pm Lightning
5 pm Juvenile
8 pm First Love

Sun 13 Oct
2 pm Ugetsu
5 pm Osamu Tezuka's Anime
8 pm Fifteen

Fri 18 Oct
8 pm Ugetsu

Sat 19 Oct
2 pm Flowing
5 pm Osamu Tezuka's Anime
8 pm Fifteen

Sun 20 Oct
2 pm Lightning
5 pm Juvenile
8 pm First Love

PG = Parental guidance recommended for patrons under 21 years of age.
R(A) / Restricted (Artistic) = Patrons under 21 years of age are not permitted by law


Lightning [Inazuma]

Directed by: Mikio Naruse
Main Cast: Hideko Takamine, Mitsuko Miura, Kyoko Kagawa, Chieko Murata, Jun Negami
87 minutes

A young unmarried woman, among four siblings who have different fathers, attempts to break away from her sordid family environment but in the end cannot because she is unable to bring herself to abandon her mother.

** Mikio Naruse (1905-1969) is recognized as one of the supreme masters of world cinema. In his early career, he directed many comedies and often incorporated scenes with humor and gentle charm in his most highly dramatic works. While Naruse's vision is most often tragic and sceptical in its unsparing view of human limitations when confronting an inequitable social order, he never succumbs to cynicism. For all the unhappy family relations shown in his films, he continually presents his protagonists motivated by love and kindness, characters with an innate dignity and nobility. While Naruse's heroines are continually defeated in life, their defiant refusal to give up -- their vow to go on fighting -- gives his films a kind of affirmation of the human spirit. Expressing a rich compassion for his characters wrestling with fate, Mikio Naruse achieved greatness through his creation of works of art that possess lyricism and universal relevance. [Adapted from a biography by William M. Drew]

(At the Sight & Sound Survey of 1992, both Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edward Yang picked Naruse's FLOATING CLOUDS as one of their top-10 of all- time.  Yasujiro Ozu once said, "There were only two movies that I am unable to direct - Kenji Mizoguchi's SISTERS OF GION and Naruse's FLOATING CLOUDS.)

Flowing [Nagareru]

Directed by: Mikio Naruse
Main Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Isuzu Yamada, Hideko Takamine, Mariko Okada, Haruko Sugimura
117 minutes

Needing work, the recently widowed Rika tries her luck in a geisha house where they're looking for someone to clean the kitchen. The madam, Tsutayako, agrees to take her on as long as she changes her name. Renamed Oharu, she goes out to do the shopping and realises that Tsutayako owes money to just about everyone. Even worse, the house is mortgaged to the hilt and the future of the business and the girls whose lives depend on it is uncertain.

Ugetsu [Ugetsu Monogatari]

Directed by: Kenji Mizoguchi
Main Cast: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, Kinuyo Tanaka, Eitaro Ozawa, Ikio Sawamura
94 minutes

In the civil wars of 16th century Japan, two ambitious peasants want to make their fortunes. The potter Genjuro intends to sell his wares for vast profits in the local city, while his brother-in-law Tobei wishes to become a samurai. Their village is sacked by the marauding armies, but Genjuro's kiln miraculously survives, and they and their wives head for the city. However, Genjuro soon sends his wife Miyagi back home, promising to return to her soon, and Tobei, in his keenness to follow the samurai, abandons his wife Ohama. Meanwhile, a wealthy noblewoman, the Lady Wakasa, shows an interest in Genjuro's pots, and invites him to her mansion.

Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival
Nominated for Best Costume Design (Black & White), Academy Awards

Juvenile [Jubunairu]

Directed by: Takashi Yamazaki
Main Cast: Shingo Katori, Miki Sakai, Ann Suzuki, Yuya Endo, Kyotaro Shimizu
100 minutes

11-year-old Yusuke and his classmates camp in the woods and see a strange light. They discover a small metallic object like a robot which talks, calls himself Tetra and knows Yusuke's name. Tetra can create wonderful gadgets but actually has to save the world with Yusuke's help from extraterrestrials with bad intentions.

Golden Gyphon (Early Screens Section), Giffoni Film Festival

First Love [Hatsukoi]

Directed by: Tetsuo Shinohara
Main Cast: Rena Tanaka, Mieko Harada, Mitsuru Hirata, Hiroyuki Sanada
113 minutes

The mother of 17-year-old Satuka is hospitalized with suspected cancer. The shock of this discovery is magnified when Satuka is forced to communicate with her father, which never came easy to her. Satuka finds an unsent love letter in her mother's closet, which her mother wrote, but never sent to her first love. In it she writes that she hopes that they will someday meet again under the "Secret cherry tree of wishes". Satuka constructs a plan ...

Best Actress (Rena Tanaka), Japanese Academy Awards

Fifteen [Gakko 4]

Directed by: Yoji Yamada
Main Cast: Yuta Kanai, Hidekazu Akai, Rei Asami, Seiko Takada
120 minutes

In this fourth installation of veteran director Yoji Yamada's (of TORA-SAN fame) popular A CLASS TO REMEMBER (also known as GAKKO) series, Daisuke, a bored student, runs away to make a trip to the southern tip of Japan to see an extraordinary 7000-year-old cedar tree. Yamada underlines this innocently mythic quest by contrasting it with Daisuke's rigid and conformist environment at school and home. A lesson in simplicity.

Nominated for Best Picture & Best Director, Japanese Academy Awards

Ozamu Tezuka's Anime

Directed by: Osamu Tezuka
50 minutes

Osamu Tezuka is best known for Astroboy and Kimba The White Lion. He is considered the father of anime from his early work in the 1950s. Inspired by his great love for cartoon animation, Disney in particular, he set up Mushi Studios, his own production company (1961- 1973), which became a springboard for a number of influential animators who were to follow, including Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). Unlike Disney which some people say has replaced its pioneering vision with a corporate mentality, Tezuka's vision has remained fresh.

This anthology of Tezuka's works includes 3 films:

Jumping (1984), 6 minutes

Jumping is is a breathtaking gag animation film depicting how powerful a child's animation can be. The character of this film is playing in the street skipping and jumping and begins to bounce higher than he would imagine possible. Eventually, he ends up wandering from a city, to the woods, to the sea.

Pictures At An Exhibition (1966), 39 minutes

Pictures At An Exhibition is Tezuka's response to Disney's Fantasia, and it is also based on Mussorgsky's score.

Broken Down Film (1985), 5 minutes

In Broken Down Film, a brave cowboy rescues a beautiful girl from a villain by a hair's breadth.