This Japanese film festival features 21 screenings of 12 films about rebellious Japanese who cast conformity aside to invent and follow their own rules. The diverse protagonists featured in Against the Tide, including a sensitive con man, an aging drag queen, a renegade cop, a Korean wrestling champion, and an intellectually disabled camera crew, are dissatisfied and irreverent, determined to change their lives, if not the world. Surviving by their wits, stubborn independence and a healthy sense of the absurd, they represent a new generation of Japanese cinematic protagonists--contenders in the national tug-of-war between obedience and revolution.
Along with the U.S. Premieres of Kaza-hana, The Owl (Fukuro), Believe, and Maison de Himiko, a Japanese art-house hit starring NYC performance art regular Min Tanaka, Against the Tide highlights include: Canary, a wrenching mediation of young people adrift in Japan after an Aum-like cult terrorist act; Kaza-hana, director Shinji Somai's final work featuring enigmatic international star Tadanobu Asano; Knock Out, starring real-life boxing legend Hidekazu Akai; Rikidozan, a lavish Korean production about a Japanese wrestling champion (which finally opens in Japan March 2006 after a lawsuit from the film's real-life criminal antagonist postponed involvement during the film's 2004 release); and the extremely violent Bullet Ballet, directed by cult favorite Shinya Tsukamoto. It was recently announced that both Maison de Himiko and Canary, made it onto the top 10 of the 2005 Kinema Junpo Magazine Critics Poll, the oldest and most prestigious award of its kind in Japan.
All films are in Japanese with English subtitles.
Japan Society Web Site