Iranian Artists Forum reviews contemporary Japanese cinema

April 23, 2022 - 18:36

TEHRAN – The cinematheque of the Iranian Artists Forum is reviewing contemporary Japanese cinema in a special program.

Ten great movies by Japanese filmmakers have been chosen to be screened during the program, which has been in progress since April 11.

One screening has been scheduled for each film, which is held every Monday and is followed by a review session by an Iranian critic.

Director Takeshi Kitano’s 2002 movie “Dolls” will be screened at 5 pm followed by a review session by Iranian critic Mehdi Malek. 

In this visually stunning drama, three romantic tales are told using elements of Japanese Bunraku puppet theater. 

In the first, Sawako (Miho Kanno) becomes suicidal when her fiancé, Matsumoto (Hidetoshi Nishijima), leaves her to marry the boss's daughter. Next, an obsessed fan, Nukui (Tsutomu Takeshige), expresses his love for pop singer Haruna (Kyoko Fukada) in a highly violent manner. Then, aging gangster Hiro (Tatsuya Mihashi) attempts to reconnect with an old flame (Chieko Matsubara).

“Dreams”, a 1990 magical realist film of eight vignettes written and directed by Akira Kurosawa, and “Labyrinth of Dreams”, a 1997 mystery film directed by Gakuryu Ishii, were screened over the past two weeks.

The program also features “Nobody Knows”, director Hirokazu Koreeda’s 2004 drama film based on the 1988 Sugamo child abandonment case.

“The Taste of Tea”, the third film by writer and director Katsuhito Ishii, which has been referred to as a “surreal” version of Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander”, will also be screened.

“The Hidden Blade”, a 2004 film set in 1860s Japan, directed by Yoji Yamada, is another highlight of the program. The film follows several samurai during a time of change in the ruling and class structures of Japan.

Also included are “The Mourning Forest” by Naomi Kawase, “Tokyo Sonata” by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, “Confessions” by Tetsuya Nakashima and “13 Assassins” by Takashi Miike.

Photo: A scene from Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s 2002 movie “Dolls”.