March 11, 2011, Japan and its filmmakers have grappled with the enormity of the
devastation caused by the Earthquake and the resulting Tsunami. Film production
stopped briefly, and as budgets shrunk and got diverted, filmmakers considered
their response and priorities. In reply, international film festivals from Pusan,
Hong Kong to Berlin have given Japanese filmmakers a platform to reach out and
respond. This year's Japanese Film Festival in Singapore is honoured to showcase
two of these films making waves internationally. These films document the undercurrents
beyond the headlines, and the people who continue to be affected by the events
of last March.
upon the consolidation of several production companies and theater chains, Nikkatsu
Corporation has enjoyed a rich history of film production and distribution since
Searching for its own niche in the booming postwar Japanese film
industry, Nikkatsu moved into the youth market. As the vogue for these youth films
began to wane in the early Sixties, Nikkatsu launched a series of hard-boiled
action films that remain perhaps the company's best-known period internationally.
Nikkatsu action introduced a new kind of protagonist, often cynical and at odds
with a society revealed to be totally corrupt. With aging action stars and a public
looking for something new, Nikkatsu in the Seventies created "Roman Porno"
or "romantic pornography" a series of soft-core erotic films that featured
real, and at times, bizarre plots and actors.
Nikkatsu has remained continuously
in production, branching out into new genre such as horror, martial arts, and
even family drama. As it approaches its centenary, Nikkatsu's motto "We Make
Fun Films" remains as true today as it was in its golden era.
year's festival features a substantial body of work by IMAMURA Shohei, and highlights
from notable Nikkatsu directors such as SUZUKI Seijun, KUMASHIRO Tatsumi, MASUDA
Toshio and KAWASHIMA Yuzo.
We hope a new generation of filmgoers will
discover its classic films and filmmakers.