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Monday, July 03, 2017, 19:00 - 21:30

Religious nuts, youth gangs, underwater photography and the L-word rock a deadend town
Sneak Preview Screening: Love and Other Cults (Kemonomichi) followed by
a Q&A with director Eiji Uchida, producer Adam Torel and stars Sairi Ito and Kenta Suga

Monday, July 3 at 7:00 pmLOVE AND OTHER CULTS 356p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2017 95 minutes  

Director: Eiji Uchida
Writer: Eiji Uchida
Producer: Adam Torel
Sairi Ito, Kenta Suga, Kaito Yoshimura, Anthony, Hanae Kan,
Denden, Nanami Kawakami, Yoshimasa Kondo, Katsuya Maiguma,
Leona Hirata, Ami Tomite, Atsushi Shinohara, Matthew Chozick
Film courtesy of Third Window Films            

If there's one thing we know about writer-director Eiji Uchida and producer Adam Torel, it's that they have a thing for down-and-outers. Their 2016 "Lowlife Love," a scabrous satire about the reprobates populating Japan's indie film scene, was the breakout hit of the year, headlining several dozen overseas fests and playing in hometown cinemas for six months.

They're up to similar hijinks in their latest offbeat comedy - predictably peppered with scenes of violence and debauchery - but this one takes a far more candy-colored, zippily-edited approach to its many characters and subplots. It also boasts grade-A production values and two talented young stars who began as child actors and are playing their first dark characters, with impressive results.
"Love and Other Cults" focuses on deadbeats in a deadend town where "every day, someone breaks down… and someone is saved." Enter Ai, whose religious-nut mom ships her off at 7 to a cult at the base of Mt. Fuji, where she is worshipped as a goddess until the leader is arrested and teenage Ai (Ito, bringing incredible emotional depth to a role that requires multiple looks and personas) must enroll in middle school. There, she meets

Ryota (Suga), a delinquent who's desperate to escape to Tokyo, and he falls for her instantly. Ryota commits petty crimes with his wannabe-gangster pal Yuji (Kaito Yoshimura of "100 Yen Love") and the man-giant Kenta (Antony, in a striking film debut), under the tutelage of local yakuza boss Kida (Denden). As Ryota saves up for his getaway, Yuji becomes increasingly unhinged, Kenta begins a sweet relationship with dive-photographer Reika (Hanae Kan of "Nobody Knows"), and Ai drops out of school and starts living with a loose-knit family of misfits and druggies. She's offered a new life with a "normal" family, but her chameleon-like need to fit in destroys her chances. Soon, her troubled path takes her down ever darker detours.

Please join us for this sneak preview of "Love and Other Cults" ahead of its Japanese release on July 15.

For the trailer:

Writer-director EIJI UCHIDA began his film career as an assistant director to Kitano "Beat" Takeshi, worked as a writer for Playboy Japan and penned TV scripts before making his first commercial feature, "Gachapon" (2004). After several other features, he directed the international festival hit "Greatful Dead"in 2013, and the megahit "Lowlife Love" (2016), which was widely distributed overseas and brought Uchida to FCCJ for the first time.

Producer ADAM TOREL is the head of Third Window Films, the UK's leading distributor of Asian contemporary cinema, which has distributed nearly 90 titles by such Japanese directors as Sion Sono, Tetsuya Nakashima, Shinya Tsukamoto, Yuya Ishii and Shuichi Okita, and just marked its 10th anniversary. In 2012, Third Window started a production arm, co-producing Sion Sono's "The Land of Hope" and producing Yosuke Fujita's "Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats," which was screened at FCCJ in 2014, and last year's "Lowlife Love," by Eiji Uchida.

SAIRI ITO made her acting debut at age 9 on television, and has appeared in a number of series, including "Queen's Classroom" (2005), "GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka " (2014) and currently, "Rakuen" and "Hokuto." She made her film debut in 2012 in "Lesson of the Evil," and has appeared in "My Nickname is Butatchi" (2016) as well as two hits earlier this year: "The Last Cop: The Movie" and "One Week Friends" (2017).

After starting out on TV, KENTA SUGA made his film debut in "River of First Love" (2004), playing the younger version of Hiroshi Tamaki's character. He starred in the hit "Always: Sunset on Third Street" the following year (as well as the sequels), and received a Rookie of the Year Award at the 2007 Japan Academy Prizes. He has appeared in several "Kamen Rider" films, as well as in "Sweet Poolside" (2014), "Zebra" (2016), "Birthday Card" (2016) and "Dias Police: Dirty Yellow Boys" (2016). He is currently appearing on NHK's "There Is No Lie."

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

- Karen Severns, Film Committee

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