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Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 19:00 - 21:30

A seaside stay leads to voyeurism, obsession and perhaps, murder
Sneak Preview Screening: "While the Women Are Sleeping (Onna ga Nemuru Toki)"
featuring a Q&A with producer Yukie Kito and
stars Shioli Kutsuna, *Sayuri Oyamada and Makiko Watanabe
(Q&A in English)

*Additional guests are attending

Wednesday, February 24 at 7 pm356p copy
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2016 103 minutes

Directed by: Wayne Wang
Written by: Michael K. Ray, Shinho Lee, Mami Sunada,
based on the short story by Javier Marías
Produced by: Yukie Kito
Starring: Beat Takeshi, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Shioli Kutsuna,
Sayuri Oyamada, Lily Franky, Hirofumi Arai, Makiko Watanabe

Film courtesy of Toei

Acclaimed director Wayne Wang ("Smoke," "Blue in the Face," "Maid in Manhattan") marks his first-ever Japanese production with "While the Women Are Sleeping," a hypnotic adaptation of the eponymous short story by Spanish novelist Javier Marías. Wang has attracted a stellar cast, including "Beat" Takeshi Kitano's first lead role for another director in 12 years, creating a slow-burn thriller that's a cross between Nabokov's "Lolita" and François Ozon's "Swimming Pool," complete with an ending that invites a range of interpretations.

In the film, which world premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 14, novelist Kenji Shimizu (Nishijima) has a bad case of writer's block. His wife, Aya (Oyamada) is a successful editor who sympathizes, but she's also given him an ultimatum: write or get a real job. On a one-week vacation together in Izu, Kenji hangs out in their beautiful seaside hotel while Aya assists a client staying nearby. At the pool on Day 1, Kenji's attention is drawn to a beefy older man, Sahara (Takeshi), and a comely young lass, Miki (Kutsuna), obviously intimate, but not father and daughter.

Kenji can't sleep; neither can Sahara. Late the next night, they meet by chance at the pool, and Sahara admits he's been shooting Miki as she sleeps for the past 10 years - and then, overwriting the footage. Why? "I want to have a record of her last day," he says. But he's certain that she will betray him, and "I'd rather kill her than let my love die!"

Growing evermore intrigued, Kenji finds himself following the couple into town, then peeping into their room and by Day 4, actually entering it. The odd owner of a rundown restaurant (Franky) hints about dark dealings in Sahara and Miki's past, feeding Kenji's obsession further. Then one night, Miki comes to him, and shortly after, disappears. Aya has apparently taken up with her client, or perhaps she's succumbing to Sahara's seductions. By Day 5, the only thing that is clear is that either Kenji is losing his mind, or the world around him has gone mad.

Please join us for this special sneak preview of "While the Women Are Sleeping" before its opening in Japan on February 27.

For trailer (in Japanese):

Born in Australia, SHIOLI KUTSUNA debuted on TV in 2007, and has since appeared in a variety of programs, including the new series "Kamogawa Shokudo." Her first film role was in "Guardian Angel" in 2009, followed by "Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora" (2010), "Beck" (2010), "Petal Dance" (2013) and "Oh! Father" (2014). In 2011, she appeared in "Shojotachi no Rashinban" and "My Back Page," which earned her Best New Actor at the Mainichi Film Awards and Best New Actress at the Kinema Junpo Awards, respectively. Her 2013 role in Lee Sang-Il's "Unforgiven" earned her the Newcomer of the Year at the 37th Japan Academy Prize. In 2015, she appeared in Hou Hsaio-Hsien's "The Assassin" and the Japanese-Turkish coproduction "125 Years Memory."

SAYURI OYAMADA made her film debut in "Body Drop Asphalt" (2000), and has starred in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Bright Future" (2003), Isao Yukisada's "Seventh Anniversary" (2003), Ryuichi Hiroki's "Love on Sunday" (2006) and Yoshimitsu Morita's "It's On Me" (2009), among other films by renowned Japanese directors. She has also appeared on several TV series, and danced with Lady Gaga in the Shiseido commercial "Dance With Japan." Oyamada has been based in New York City since 2010.

MAKIKO WATANABE has built an impressive resume on TV and in roles in many films that have received international acclaim, including Atsuhiko Suwa's "2 Duo" (1997) and "M/Other" (1999), Takashi Miike's "Zebraman" (2004), Naomi Kawase's "The Mourning Forest" (2007) and "Still the Water" (2014), Sion Sono's "Love Exposure" (2009) and "Himizu" (2012), Takahisa Zeze's "Heaven's Story" (2010) and "Life Back Then" (2011). In 2013, she won awards for Best Supporting Actress at the Asia Pacific Film Festival and the Asian Film Awards for her role in Ryota Nakano's "Capturing Dad," which brought her to FCCJ for the first time.

YUKIE KITO also produced Wayne Wang's "A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers" (2007) and "The Princess Of Nebraska" (2007), before collaborating with him on the director's first Japan-set film. Kito began her career at JVC Entertainment Inc. in Los Angeles, and has worked on the distribution of many foreign films. Her producing credits also include "The Hottest State" by Ethan Hawke in 2006 and "Tokyo Sonata" by Kiyoshi Kurosawa in 2008, which won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes, as well as other major awards.

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or from 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 film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.

- Karen Severns, Film Committee

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