Followed by a Q&A with director Yuya Ishii, stars Satoshi Tsumabuki and Sosuke Ikematsu
Tuesday, May 13 at 7 pm
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2014 117 minutes
Directed and written by: Yuya Ishii
Original novel: Kazumasa Hayami
Produced by: Takuro Nagai
Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mieko Harada, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kyozo Nagatsuka
Film courtesy of Phantom Film
In 2013, Yuya Ishii’s “The Great Passage” was selected as Japan’s official Oscar entry and swept up every conceivable domestic award, including the top four Japan Academy Prizes. Rather than stepping into a new category of budget and production size, however, Ishii stayed close to his indie roots for his new film.
The quietly engrossing “Our Family” features Ishii’s trademark comical touches as it traces the emotional journey of a four-member family that has grown apart in the way that families everywhere often do - although few of the ones we know are plagued with so many problems. Since Reiko (Harada) turned 60, she’s been increasingly forgetful, but her husband and two sons aren’t around enough to bother noticing. Her elder son Kosuke (Tsumabuki), a former hikikomori shut-in, is busy trying to earn enough to please a demanding wife; her younger son Shumpei (Ikematsu) only calls when he needs to borrow more money. And her husband (Nagatsuka) is stoically trying to avoid filing for bankruptcy.
All this changes when Reiko is diagnosed with a brain tumor and told she has just one week to live. Rather than continuing to hurtle toward collapse, this particular Japanese family gradually begins to reunite, discovering in each other unexpected sources of strength and ultimately, hope. This is Ishii at his most realistic, with a small cast working at the top of their game, delivering performances that convincingly redefine the very essence of “oyako.”
Please join us for this sneak preview of “Our Family” before the film’s theatrical release in Japan on May 24.
For more (in Japanese): http://bokutachi-kazoku.com/
Director-writer Yuya Ishii won the Vancouver International Film Festival's Dragon & Tiger Young Cinema Award for his 2007 film "Bare-Assed Japan" and the Edward Yang Award for Most Promising Director at the Asian Film Awards that same year for "Of Monster Mode.” "Sawako Decides" debuted at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival and won Best Picture and Best Actress awards at the Montreal Fantasia Film Festival, Best New Director and Best Actress awards at the Yokohama Film Festival, and earned Ishii the distinction of being the youngest Japan Blue Ribbon Award winner in 2011. Ishii’s “Mitsuko Delivers” and “A Man with Style” played the festival circuit in 2011, and “The Great Passage” (2013) won Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Japan Academy Prizes, as well as many other awards. Ishii also worked on TV Asahi’s 2012 “Delusional Investigation – A Stylish Life of Associate Professor Koichi Kuwagata” and on Wowow’s 2012 “Endroll - Densetsu no Chichi”. He is now finishing a film about a nissei baseball team in Canada, called “Vancouver’s Asahi” for release this December.
Satoshi Tsumabuki’s breakthrough film was “Waterboys” (2001), for which he received the Newcomer of the Year award at the Japanese Academy Prizes, among other accolades. He won the Best Actor award from Kinema Junpo in 2004 for “Josée, the Tiger and the Fish,” “Sayonara Kuro” and “Dragonhead,” as well as other awards; and in 2010, received the Blue Ribbon Award and the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor for “Villain,” which marked his first visit to FCCJ. Among many other films, the immensely popular actor has also appeared in Justin Lin’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” (2006), Michel Gondry’s “Interior Design” in the “Tokyo!” omnibus (2008), “My Back Pages” and “Smuggler,” both of which we screened at FCCJ in 2011, Koki Mitani’s “The Magic Hour” and “The Kiyosu Conference,” Yoji Yamada’s “Tokyo Family” and “The Little House,” and will soon be seen in Tetsuya Nakashima’s “The World of Kanako.” We also look forward to seeing him next year in the much-anticipated Hou Hsiao-Hsien film “Assassin.” Tsumabuki is also active on TV, where he has appeared in several dozen shows and won many awards.
Sosuke Ikematsu landed his first film role in the 2003 blockbuster “The Last Samurai,” starring as Ken Watanabe’s nephew, at the age of 13. He has appeared in a dozen films in the last decade, including “Tetsujin 28: The Movie,” “The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of Earth and Sea” (2007), “Drucker in the Dugout” (2011), “A Story of Yonosuke” (2013), and the current hit “Love’s Whirlpool.” He will soon be seen in Daisaku Kimura’s “Haru wo Seotte,” Koji Maeda’s “Go to Hawaii!” and in December, with Tsumabuki in “Vancouver’s Asahi.” Ikematsu has also been active on TV, and has appeared on two NHK Taiga Dramas: “Yoshitsune” (2005) and “Furin Kazan” (2007).
Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. Please reserve in advance, still & TV cameras inclusive. All movie screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.
Karen Severns, Movie Committee