Last weekend I had the most awesome time checking out the 22nd Japanese Film Festival in Cape Town. The festival ran from 9-11 October in Cape Town; it was also on earlier this month in Brooklyn (PTA) and will be running this weekend in Rosebank in JHB – so if you’re in Jozi and interested, I highly recommend you check it out.
Tickets were absolutely free, with between 1-2 screenings each day. I managed to check out two films over the weekend, The Kirishima Thing and Wood Job!.
Overall the experience was really fun. There were some awesome cosplayers (the lovely lady I brought with dressed up too) and the audience was really fun-loving and excited about the experience (and free movie tickets I guess). The only issue I had was these two ladies in the screening for The Kirishima Thing, who decided they both had to whip out their phones during the screening and start playing games. Like WTF? I couldn’t believe it either. They then went on to get up halfway through the movie and just leave, interrupting everyone’s experience. Other than this minor issue, everything went well on both days.
The Kirishima Thing
This amazing story takes place at a high school, and tells the story of how all the kids at one particular school are coping with the disappearances of the most popular guy in school. The film offers an intense look into class structures, and high school dynamics, focusing on various social groups with varying degrees of popularity. From the bitchy mean girls, to the jocks, to the geeky film club and the loner band leader, every typical high school clique is represented.
The interesting thing about the film is how a character’s absence, rather than his presence, is affecting the lives of all of these people in different ways, and to varying degrees. We start to see the walls come down between different groups who would not regularly interact, and this surreal environment begins to develop, culminating in a rather epic rooftop scene which I won’t spoil for anyone.
Rating: 7.5/ 10
This film blew me away! It’s about a guy, Yuki Hirano, who fails his university entrance exams and decides to join a forestry training program because the girl on the flyer is hot. He ends up in a super rural town, faced with a much tougher task than he expected.
This film is non-stop fun from start to finish; it’s literally like watching a live-action version of a really fun anime. The film has amazing funny lines and situational humour we’ve come to expect from Japanese comedic cinema, but also has some great emotional moments which got me feeling like someone was cutting onions nearby from time to time.
If anyone out there knows where I can get a copy of both of these movies, please let me know. Overall this was one awesome experience, and I’ll definitely be attending in future.