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Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 19:00 - 21:30

A troubled young man faces his past and finds a friend

Sneak Preview Screening: "His Lost Name (Yoake)"
followed by a Q&A session with director Nanako Hirose

Tuesday, January 15 at 7:00 pm 01152019 His Lost Nama Poster- 356p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2019 113 minutes

Written and directed by: Nanako Hirose
Produced by: Asako Nishikawa, Taichi Ito
Starring: Yuya Yagira, Kaoru Kobayashi,
Young Dais, Tsunekichi Suzuki, Keiko Horiuchi

Film courtesy of Magic Hour

Like her mentor, Cannes Palm d'Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda, Nanako Hirose takes her time with her storytelling. As the camera gently observes their quotidian rituals, her characters grapple with unanswerable questions, and only gradually are the mysteries at the heart of her deeply moving debut feature revealed.

In the opening scenes of "His Lost Name," a young man grieves on a bridge, but we are spared his ensuing act of desperation. Discovered and rescued from the riverbank by taciturn widower Tetsuro (Kobayashi of "Midnight Diner"), the young man (Yagira, winner of the Best Actor award at Cannes for Kore-eda's "Nobody Knows" when he was just 14) is clearly torn between fleeing and staying. "Stay until you feel better," suggests the older man, who seems to have an innate understanding of the youth's anguish.

Later, he asks his name. "Shinichi Yoshida," says the youth, hesitantly admitting that he's "doing a little soul-searching," and that he had been in the rural town "a long time ago." Tetsuro assures him it's none of his business, and that Shinichi must follow his own path to answers. But he immediately takes him under his wing, giving him a place to stay, teaching him carpentry skills in his woodworking shop and including him in get-togethers with his friendly coworkers and his younger fiancée.

In Hirose's unhurried style, a lot goes unsaid. It is some time before we realize that "Shinichi" is also the name of Tetsuro's dead son, and nearly half-way through the film before we are given even a hint of what dark secret is haunting the youth. When he finally breaks down and confesses, he unleashes the older man's own feelings of guilt, regret and crippling self-doubt. Eventually, Shinichi's past will incite the suspicions of those around them, and their relationship will begin to unravel.

"His Lost Name" world-premiered at the Busan Film Festival in October, and won a Special Mention from the international jury at November's Tokyo Filmex. It is sure to continue earning accolades and attention for its young writer-director.

Please join us for this screening of "His Lost Name" before its Japan release on January 18.

For more:

NANAKO HIROSE joined Hirokazu Kore-eda and Miwa Nishikawa's production company Bun-buku in 2011, after graduating from Musashino Art University. She has worked on Kore-eda's TV series "Going Home" (2012), as well as his films "Like Father, Like Son" (2013), "Our Little Sister" (2015) and "After the Storm" (2016). She also served as assistant director on Nishikawa's "The Long Excuse" (2016). Kore-eda and Nishikawa provided development supervision for "His Lost Name," which marks Hirose's feature film debut.

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. All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.

- Karen Severns, Film Committee


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