Date: 2010 October 29 18:57
Posted by Joe
UK based fans of Japanese cinema are in for a treat as the Zipangu Fest programme has been announced.
Those in Bethnal Green should keep Tuesday 23rd November 2010 free for a special event - Nippon Year Zero: Japanese Experimental Film from the 1960s‐1970s at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club.
Things then kick off on Wednesday 24th November 2010 on Brick Lane at Cafe 1001 along with the UK premiere of Pyuupiru 2001 - 2008, plus a selection of shorts and a screening of Rackgaki: Japanese Graffiti.
Press release as follows:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday October 29th 2010
London's premiere festival devoted to Japanese cinema announces its much anticipated programme for 2010
During the sold‐out Japanese Halloween Shlockfest Double Bill of RoboGeisha and Big Tits Zombie 3D at London's Barbican Centre on October 29th, festival director Jasper Sharp will be announcing the full lineup of the inaugural Zipangu Fest, to be held at various venues across the East End of London from November 23rd to 28th.
Zipangu Fest begins on Tuesday November 23rd with a special event entitled Nippon Year Zero: Japanese Experimental Film from the 1960s‐1970s, presented in collaboration with Close‐Up at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club. This retrospective programme will introduce audiences to the early Japanese avantgarde filmmaking scene with rare screenings of works by three landmark figures, Donald Richie, Motoharu Jonouchi and Masanori Oe, who captured the zeitgeist they were intrinsically a part of, articulating themselves in ways that range from the poetic to the abrasive.
The festival officially gets underway on Wednesday 24th with the Zipangu Fest Opening Party at Café 1001 on Brick Lane, featuring the UK premiere of Pyuupiru 2001 – 2008, Daishi Matsunaga's moving documentary charting the physical, psychological and artistic metamorphosis of the flamboyant transgender artist Pyuupiru. The evening will also feature a selection of shorts and a screening of Rackgaki: Japanese Graffiti, a documentary examining Japan's explosive graffiti scene, and concludes with a set from London's top Japanese DJ ‐Tomoki Tamura + SUPERMETHOD. Tickets for the whole evening cost £5.
The following evening, on Thursday 25th, Zipangu Fest will continue at Café 1001 with the Live Tape 'Live' Night at Café 1001, a music‐themed evening that sees the UK premiere of Rock Tanjo: The Movement 70s, a documentary looking at the birth of 'New Rock' in 1970s Japan featuring interviews and performances from bands including the Flower Travellin' Band, and the UK premiere of Live Tape, the award‐winning one‐take concert film featuring singer‐songwriter Kenta Maeno that has been making waves at festivals around the world. Our Special Festival Guest, Live Tape director Tetsuaki Matsue, will be in attendance to introduce his film, which will be followed by a live set by Maeno accompanied by Yuki Yoshida on the Chinese harp. Tickets for the entire evening cost £5.
Friday November 26th sees Zipangu Fest moving to Genesis Cinema in Mile End where our main festival programme begins with Yuriko's Aroma, Kota Yoshida's humorous portrait of an aromatherapist besotted by the scent of a sweaty high‐schooler, and ends with the UK premiere of Gen Takahashi's epic Confessions of a Dog, a gripping indictment of corruption within the Japanese police, as the closing film on Sunday 28th November.
Other UK premieres include Annyong Yumika, an innovative documentary homage to legendary Japanese pink film actress Yumika Hayashi who was mysteriously found dead after returning home from her 35th birthday celebrations, and the second title by Zipangu Fest special guest Tetsuaki Matsue; Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano, a revealing drama about exploitation and abuse in Japan's Adult Video industry, directed by the infamous Hisayasu Sato, who will be in attendance to introduce the film; the all new Mutant Girls Squad, from Noboru Iguchi, director of the hits The Machine Girl and RoboGeisha; and Footed Tadpoles, a quirky coming‐of‐age drama from Tomoya Maeno.
Zipangu Fest is also proud to be presenting a selection of some of the finest in Japanese independent animation. The Zipangu Fest Ero Guro Mash Up Night features three nightmarishly morbid works in the 'erotic grotesque' tradition from the underground animators Hiroshi Harada and Naoyuki Niiya, while the Beyond Anime: CALF Animation programme features recent envelope‐pushing works from Mirai Mizue, Kei Oyama, Atsushi Wada and TOCHKA.
Also featuring as part of the main programme are the Zipangu Retro screenings of two classic but very different titles rarely shown in the UK, Children of the Beehive (1948) and NN‐891102 (1999). Directed by one of the masters of Japanese cinema, Hiroshi Shimizu, Children of the Beehive relates the journey of a group of war orphans (in real life all orphans taken in and raised by the director) as they are taken under the wing of a nameless soldier and set out across a shattered, postwar landscape in search of a more certain future. NN‐891102, the debut feature by cult hero Go Shibata, depicts a traumatised Nagasaki survivor's obsession with recreating the sound of the atomic bomb.
Following the festival, a selection of titles from the programme will be screened at the Arnolfini in Bristol, from Thursday 16th to Sunday 16th December. The Arnolfini programme consists of Annyong Kimchee, Children of the Beehive, Footed Tadpoles, Live Tape, NN‐891102, Confessions of a Dog and a selection of shorts.
Full details and descriptions of the films featured in the main festival programme and other events taking place around the main festival dates can be found on the Zipangu Fest website at http://zipangufest.com.
‐ ENDS ‐
About Zipangu Fest
The first UK‐wide festival devoted to Japanese film, Zipangu Fest will introduce works new and old, previously unseen by mainstream UK film audiences, to demonstrate the many identities of Japan as depicted by some of the country's most exciting and revered talents.
For its main event this year, Zipangu Fest will be holding around 15 screenings and other related events at venues across London's vibrant East End. Cinema venues include the Barbican, Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel, Café 1001 in Brick Lane and the Working Men's Club in Bethnal Green. The main body of film events will take place in London from November 23rd to 28th 2010, with regional events currently arranged in Bristol, Leeds and Coventry, and more to be confirmed.
About Jasper Sharp
Jasper Sharp is a writer and festival curator based in the UK and the co‐editor of the website Midnight Eye, the premier resource on Japanese cinema in the English language, which he founded with Tom Mes in 2001. He is a regular visitor to Japan, having lived in Tokyo between 2001 and 2005, where he co‐authored The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film, published by Stone Bridge Press in 2004. His critically‐acclaimed study of the Japanese pink film industry, Behind the Pink Curtain, was published by FAB Press in 2008. His writing has appeared in numerous book anthologies and magazine publications across the world. He has curated a number of high‐profile seasons and retrospectives at the British Film Institute, the Deutches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, Austin Fantastic Fest, Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. He is the co‐founder, with Chris MaGee, of the Shinsedai New Generation Japanese Cinema Festival in Toronto.