Experience Japan Through Cinema This Spring

Published February 20, 2018

We are delighted to welcome The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme back to Studio 74 for an enlightening showcase of Japanese cinema this spring. The annual touring film programme returns to our independent cinema with a selection of acclaimed films focusing on themes of ‘secrets and lies’.

With diverse cinematic voices, the programme features some of the best examples of cinema from Japan and examines how the country’s filmmakers are experimenting with portrayals of the darker side of human nature. The results can at times be thrilling, at other times hilarious, but always enthralling.

Join us for six Japanese titles throughout February and March as part of this inspiring collection of contemporary Japanese cinema. The diverse programme includes tales of lust and redemption, anime, and a special one-off screening of the best new short films from emerging Japanese filmmaking talent, programmed in association with Tokyo’s Short Shorts Film Festival.



Gukoroku – Traces of Sin

Tue 20 Feb – 7.30pm

Tanaka, an investigative reporter who grew up in a troubled family, is going through a tough time trying to support his younger sister Mitsuko (Hikari Mitsushima), recently arrested and held in prison. Meanwhile, he immerses himself into a story about a shocking murder of the ‘perfect’ family – a successful businessman, a beautiful wife and an adorable child – who were brutally massacred the year before, with the case going cold and remaining unsolved.  

Birds Without Names

Tue 27 Feb – 7.30pm

Towako lives with Jinji, 15 years her senior, an uncouth man she doesn’t love. Despite Jinji’s selfless devotion Towako never gives anything in return. Instead, Towako cannot forget her ex-boyfriend Kurosakai (Yutaka Takenouchi) and even sleeps with other men who evoke memories of him. One day a policeman arrives at her door, revealing that Kurosaki has been missing for five years.


Tue 6 Mar: 6pm

We have partnered up with Tokyo’s Short Shorts Film Festival, an Academy Awards accredited festival, for this one-off feature length screening of the best new short films from emerging Japanese filmmaking talent. We meet the rebels who refuse to sit quietly or adapt to a slow-paced life. Senior Man fights for justice and respect for his elderly community, while Ryuhei gives up everything to pursue his life-long ambition to be a rock star.




Japanese Girls Never Die

Tue 13 Mar – 7.30pm

A multi-stranded drama surrounding the disappearance of Haruko Azumi (Yu Aoi), a 27-year-old unmarried woman stuck in a dead-end job who goes missing without a trace. When Haruko’s missing person’s poster attracts the attention of two wannabe graffiti artists, her image soon becomes the unwitting face behind a pop phenomenon. Meanwhile, a mysterious group of high school girls begin attacking men at random around town. Are these events all connected to Haruko’s disappearance?

Oh Lucy!

Tue 20 Mar – 7.30pm

Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima) is a 55-year-old office drone, depressed, lovelorn and chain-smoking her way to an early grave. One day, Setsuko finds salvation in the form of John, a teacher in a run-down Tokyo English school who has a rather unorthodox approach to education which includes giving Setsuko the English name “Lucy”. Knowing that John has abruptly left Tokyo to return home, Setsuko sets off to the States on a journey of discovery…

Sword of the Stranger

Tue 27 Mar – 7.30pm

In feudal era Japan, young Kotaro is pursued by the royal army of China’s Ming Dynasty. When his loyal dog Tobimaru is injured in an ambush, Kotaru reluctantly recruits a mysterious, nameless samurai as his bodyguard. However, “No-name” has a guilty past and his own inner demons to battle.