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Hawaii Int'l Film Fest to Host Thermae Romae II's U.S. Premiere

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Also: Ghibli documentary, Lupin III, Tokyo Tribe, Crows: Explode

The 34th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) will screen the U.S. premiere of Thermae Romae II, the second live-action film inspired by Mari Yamazaki's historical comedy manga, on November 1.

HIFF describes the story:

As the film begins, Lucius is commissioned to build a new bathhouse for gladiators at the Roman colosseum, who find little relief from their aches and pains in the dank, gloomy thermae their masters have provided them. Once again, he is stuck for ideas — until he time-travels to Japan, where he reconnects with Mami, now a writer. He also finds much that inspires him, including a a non-fatal form of mano-a-mano combat the natives call “sumo.” Once back in Rome, he incorporates these innovations into his new thermae, and wins more plaudits from his superiors, including Emperor Hadrianus (Masachika Ichimura). All is not well in the Empire, however. Hadrianus may be a peace-loving sort who prefers baths to battles, but senators with expansionary ambitions are plotting against him.

The cast includes:

The film premiered in Japan on April 26.

Yamazaki's manga won the Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) award in 2010, followed by the Short Work Prize in the 14th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes. Yen Press published the series in North America, and Discotek licensed the anime mini-series in North America.

The festival will also screen the world premiere of Shuichi Okita's Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday, the international premieres of Setsuro Wakamatsu's Snow on the Blades and Kōta Yoshida's The Torture Club, and the U.S. premieres of Keisuke Toyoshima's A Courtesan with Flowered Skin, Hsiu Chiung Chiang's The Furthest End Awaits, Nao Kubota's Homeland, Ryuichi Hiroki's Kabukicho Love Hotel, Junichi Mori's Little Forest: Summer and Autumn, Kenichi Omori's Samurai Pirates, and Yûya Ishii's The Vancouver Asahi.

Other films screening at the festival include Mami Sunada's Ghibli documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Ryuhei Kitamura's Lupin the Third, Sion Sono's Tokyo Tribe, Toshiaki Toyoda's Crows: Explode, Mitsuyo Miyazaki's A Better Tomorrow, Yosuke Fujita's Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats, David Zellner's Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's My Man, Ken Ochiai's Uzumasa Limelight, Shinobu Yaguchi's Wood Job!, and Tetsuya Nakashima's The World of Kanako.

The Hawaiian International Film Festival will take place on Oahu on October 30 to November 9 and on the Big Island and Kauai from November 13-16.


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