Eiga Sai 2015: Celebrating the flavors of everyday life in “Tasteful Japan”
How often do we get to watch Japanese films in movie theaters here in the Philippines? Not as often as many of us would like. Good thing Eiga Sai 2015 is just around the corner.
The Japan Foundation, Manila is once again hosting their yearly Japanese film festival, Eiga Sai. Eiga Sai has been around for a few years now and this year’s film selection focuses on contemporary Japan and Japanese cuisine. Both subjects meld to form a single theme, Tasteful Japan.
The film festival’s opening movie will be Yuya Ishii’s 2014 drama, Our Family. Yuya Ishii, known for his work on The Great Passage, directs this movie about a family and their struggle to keep their happiness from falling apart because of the problems that keep showing up one after another. Yuya Ishii will be here in the Philippines during the festival’s opening night on July 9, 2015. He will also host a director’s talk at the Lopez Center Studio, Ateneo de Manila University on July 10 at 3:00PM and at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 on July 11 at 4:30 PM.
Here are the other films featured in Eiga Sai 2015’s roster:
Ever wonder how it feels to live with an alien being inside your body? Meet Shinichi Izumi, a high school student who successfully stops an alien worm from taking over his body by trapping it on his right hand only to wake up and find out that his hand has taken a life of its own. His right hand, who he calls “Migi”, is capable of talking, learning, and morphing into different shapes and sizes. Together, Shinichi and Migi fight other aliens who have taken over their human hosts and started eating other humans for survival.
A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story
Yasunobu (Kengo Kora) is the heir to the Funaki family, a family known throughout the Kaga domain for their great skills in the culinary arts. The problem is Yasunobu loves swords more than his kitchen knife and can barely cook to save his life. Enter Oharu (Aya Ueto), Yasunobu’s wife who is also an accomplished cook. Together with her mother-in-law, they train Yasunobu in the cooking arts to make him worthy of the family name.
Tsukimi Kurashita is a geeky 18 year old girl who wants to be an illustrator. She is an otaku and she lives in an apartment full of other otaku girls like her. One day she meets a beautiful girl in a tropical fish shop. This girl becomes interested in her and befriends her. Tsukimi soon finds out that the girl is actually a cross dressing college student named Kuranosuke. Kuranosuke is intrigued by Tsukimi’s awkwardness and starts visiting her in her apartment. When they find out that their apartment is being taken down, Kuranosuke starts helping the girls in saving their home.
Patisserie Coin de rue
This movie stars Yu Aoi, known for her role as Megumi in the live action Rurouni Kenshin movies, in the role of Natsume, a girl who came to the city to find her boyfriend and ends up working in the pastry shop where he worked before, Patisserie Coin de rue. There she meets Tomura (Yosuke Eguchi), a legendary patissier who quit the world of pastries for some unknown reason and became a pastry critic instead. Tomura is a regular at the pastry store where Natsume works and they often bicker at each other, pointing each other’s faults. Certain events bring the two together to make pastries and save their beloved Patisserie’s reputation, allowing them to learn more about each other and ultimately discover what they truly want in life.
Some guys are just plain unlucky. Yuki Hirano just failed his college entrance exams and lost his girlfriend. While wallowing in his bad luck, he finds a recruitment flyer for a forestry job with a pretty girl in it. It is love at first sight and he applies for the job just to meet the girl in the flyer. He soon finds out that he bit more than he could chew as he discovers the challenges of working with nature. Heavy lifting, a close relationship with dirt, weird locals, and blood sucking leeches are but a few of the things that make up his new life with the forest.
It’s a Beautiful Life ~ Irodori ~
A group of elderly women team up to bring back their small town of Kamikatsu back to life. The film is based on a true story about how a real life multi-million industry began in the backyards of old women.
Thermae Romae II
With time travel, one can alter events in the past and present and change the course of history. But for Lucius, a bath house architect for the Roman Empire, time travel is a means to go to modern day Japan for looking up stuff in the local bath house scene that he can use for his bath house projects in ancient Rome. Thermae Romae II is the second movie adaptation of Mari Yamazaki’s comedy manga of the same name.
The God of Ramen
The late Kazuo Yamagishi was a renowned Japanese master who invented his own style of ramen called tsukemen ramen. People would line up for as long as two hours at Taishoken, Master Yamagishi’s ramen place, just to get a taste of the master’s cooking and service. This film is a documentary that recounts the life of Master Yamagishi and how he inspired other people, customers and apprentices alike.
Tada’s Do-it-all House: Disconcerto
Tada and Gyoten are a couple of guys who run an all-around handyman service in the suburb of Mahoro. Gyoten’s ex-wife calls Tada one day to ask them to take care of her daughter for a while because she needs to go on a trip. Tada takes on the job as the girl could be Gyoten’s daughter and it would be a chance to reunite them. Tada also receives a request from Mahoro’s yakuza to investigate a mysterious group that suddenly appeared in town to promote organic vegetables. For people who are looking for a film that has a dash of everything (comedy, action, drama), this movie is for you.
Wa-shoku ~Beyond Sushi~
Traditional Japanese food is a cuisine that can be found in most of the mainstream areas in any country. But what is Japanese cuisine and what sets it apart from others? Wa-shoku ~Beyond Sushi~ is a documentary that talks about traditional Japanese food and some of the people who were influential in bringing it out of Japan and into the rest of the world.
The admission for any of these films is for free and they will be screened with English subtitles. The screening venues are:
Shang Cineplex Cinema 2 from July 9 to July 19
FDCP Cinematheque, Davao from July 14 to July 19
Abreeza Mall Cinema, Davao From July 24 to July 26
UP Film Institute from August 12 to August 15
Ayala Center Cinema 4, Cebu City from August 19 to August 23.