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December 2 – December 11, 2016

Like Japanese fashion and pop culture, the cinema of Japan remains in the international vanguard, blending traditional genres and classical forms with cutting-edge technology and dazzling imagery. This year’s 10th annual Japanese Currents series highlights recent noteworthy Nipponese films, ranging from anime to jidaigeki, documentary to comedy, all while exploring issues important to contemporary Japanese society. Collectively, these selections offer a fresh take on Japanese culture and showcase the wealth of creative invention at work in Japan today.

Select screenings feature a paired short film, please see listings for further details.

Special thanks to


With additional support from Biwa Izakaya/Noraneko Ramen, Lane Powell PC, the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

After the Storm

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda

In Kore-eda’s latest domestic drama, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), a novelist who struck it big with his first tome, struggles to

Assassination Classroom

Directed by Eiichirô Hasumi

A tentacled, smiley-faced creature responsible for destroying three-quarters of the moon mentors a junior high school class in the art


Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

In Kurosawa’s (Cure, Pulse, Tokyo Sonata) return to genre filmmaking, a broken ex-detective (Hidetoshi Nishijima) seeks to unlock the mystery

Happy Hour

Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

Focused on the daily lives and labors of four 30-something women living in Kobe, Happy Hour refreshingly breathes space, contemplation,


Directed by Kôji Fukada

Fukada (Hospitalité, Au Revoir L’Ete), who has quickly developed into one of Japan’s foremost auteurs, delivers a bracing vision of

Love & Peace

Directed by Sion Sono

Sono, always pushing boundaries and constantly surprising even his most frothy fans, finished and released five (!) feature films in

Lowlife Love

Directed by Eiji Uchida

Tetsuo (the fast-rising, thrillingly unhinged Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is a lowlife film director with one minor hit under his belt—10 years

Oyster Factory

Directed by Kazuhiro Sôda

Oyster Factory, a stunningly beautiful, immersive documentary portrait of the small village of Ushimaido (in Okayama prefecture, situated on “Japan’s

The Case of Hana & Alice

Directed by Shunji Iwai

A prequel to Shunji Iwai’s 2004 live action film, The Case of Hana & Alice utilizes a distinctive rotoscope animation

The Shell Collector

Directed by Yoshifumi Tsubota

Adapted from Anthony Doerr’s short story of the same name, Tsubota’s second feature (and first in seven years) is an

The Sion Sono

Directed by Arata Oshima

Sion Sono is one of Japan’s most daring and prolific filmmakers, having directed 14 feature films since 2010 alone after

The Whispering Star

Directed by Sion Sono

While there have been a number of films produced in Japan as a response the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of

Wet Woman in the Wild

Wet Woman in the Wind

Directed by Akihiko Shiota

The Nikkatsu Roman Porno film—a subset of the broader “pink film” genre—has a long and not-quite-illustrious history, having been inaugurated