Live-Action Manga Adaptations At Japan Foundation in August
posted on by Andrew Osmond
The screenings are free but must be booked at the above link. The Soho Hotel is near the underground stations at Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road (map). The same films were recently screened at the British Museum.
From the website:
'Manga, or Japanese comic books, is an art medium which has enjoyed widespread popularity both at home in Japan, as well as globally abroad, for many decades now. From over the top, offbeat narratives of psychic teenagers and upstart political wrangling in a high school environment, to spectacular battles between good and evil, and stories of tender friendships, this mini film programme aims to showcase some of the most recent and representative adaptations which have arrived on screen in the past few years, demonstrating plotlines that these illustrated publications have provided film creatives. Come and see the versatility of the influence that manga has had on Japanese cinema."
Friday 16 August
Kaitei High is unlike any other high school. An elite institution attended only by sons from the highest social rungs, it provides them with an expedited training in reaching the top of the political and military worlds. Thriving in this highly competitive microcosm is Teiichi Akaba (Masaki Suda) who must ally himself with the right candidate running for the next class president, and steadily climb the social ladder if he is to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming Japan's prime minister. Based on a manga series (2010-2016) by Usamaru Furuya, Akira Nagai's film smartly satirises the realities of national political campaigns by injecting quirky absurdist humour into the briberies, sabotage, and scandals launched by these student factions.
8.45 pm - The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (Yūichi Fukuda, 2017, 97 min)
Kusuo Saiki (Kento Yamazaki) is a high school student who was born with unimaginable psychic powers. But his only wish is to be able to lead a normal life. This wish seems out of reach when the big day of the annual cultural school festival starts to loom, and Kusuo is bombarded with disastrous situations caused by his eccentric classmates; he is forced to reluctantly use his psychic powers to solve them.
Saturday August 17
1.15 p.m. - Inuyashiki (Shinsuke Satō, 2018, 127 minutes)
Soon-to-be retired, utterly forgettable salaryman Ichiro Inuyashiki (Noritake Kinashi) gets no respect from his colleagues or his family. His feelings of emptiness and futility are compounded when his doctor informs him that he has terminal cancer with only a few months to live. That night, Inuyashiki is involved in a freak accident which somehow transforms his body into a machine with superhuman powers. Meanwhile, Shishigami (Takeru Satō), a high school student also at the scene of the accident, undergoes the same transformation but unlike Inuyashiki, he begins to recklessly use his newfound powers at will. Are human beings ultimately good or evil? (English subtitles)
4.30 pm - Seto and Utsumi (Sunao Katabuchi, 2001, 105min)
Second-year high school students Sou Utsumi (Sosuke Ikematsu) and Shokichi Seto (Masaki Suda) spend their days after school just hanging out and talking beside a dry riverbed. Though Utsumi and Seto have opposite personalities, they enjoy playing stupid word games, fretting over just what words to use when texting the girls they like, and having deep conversations. Based on Kazuya Konomoto's popular manga of the same title, this dialogue-based comedy explores the experience of high-school boys in Osaka – which also makes the film a good aid for getting to grips with the infamous Osaka-ben (Osakan dialect).
6.10 pm - The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (Yūichi Fukuda, 2017, 97 min) - see description above.
Tuesday 20 August
4:45 pm - Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (Akira Nagai, 2017, 118 min) - see the description above.
8.40 pm - Inuyashiki (Shinsuke Satō, 2018, 127 minutes) - see the description above.