Japanese Currents

  • December 5, 2014 — December 14, 2014

Like Japanese fashion and pop culture, Japanese film remains in the international vanguard, blending traditional genres and classical forms with cutting-edge technology and dazzling imagery. This year’s Japanese Currents series highlights recent noteworthy Nipponese films, ranging from anime to samurai epic, documentary to family melodrama, while exploring issues important to contemporary Japanese society. Collectively, the series offers a fresh take on Japanese culture and a showcase of the wealth of creative invention at work in Japan today.

Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Samurai Cat 5

Neko Samurai

Directed by Takeshi Watanabe, Yoshitaka Yamaguchi

Starring acclaimed actor Kazuki Kitamura as Kyutaro Madarame, a masterless Samurai, the madcap Neko Samurai wonders aloud: “what if we

Fuku-Chan of Fukufuku Flats 1

Fuku-Chan of Fukufuku Flats

Directed by Yosuke Fujita

Starring popular comedienne Miyuki Oshima (best known for her impersonations of crotchety old men) as Tatsuo Fukuda (alias Fuku-Chan), a

Patema Inverted

Patema Inverted

Directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura

“An exhilarating tale of star-crossed love and overcoming impossible odds, Patema Inverted is the richly inventive new film from young

The Kingdom of Madness and Dreams 2

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Directed by Mami Sunada

Studio Ghibli, Japan’s most influential animation studio and one of the world’s most famous, is the subject of this fascinating

Uzumasa Limelight 1

Uzumasa Limelight

Directed by Ken Ochiai

In this loose remake of Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (1952), Ochiai thrusts the viewer into the highly structured world of chanbara

My Man 1

My Man

Directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri

In this Lolita-esque tale, promising young director Kumakiri (Sketches of Kaitan City) weaves an elliptical narrative centering on Hana (Fumi



Directed by Tatsushi Omori

Omori’s new film, starring hot young actors Eita and Ryuhei Matsuda, is a freewheeling, idiosyncratic dive into big social issues

A Tale of Iya 1

The Tale of Iya

Directed by Tetsuichirô Tsuta

Tokushima Prefecture’s Iya Valley, a stunningly beautiful natural area of southern Japan, is the true star of Tsuta’s tantalizing feature.

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2014 Sapporo Shorts Program

Directed by Various

Our sister city colleagues at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival in Sapporo, Japan, return to share a new program