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Thursday, October 19, 2017, 19:00 - 21:30

The latest gag-fest from the director who is redefining Japan's cinema zeitgeist

Sneak Preview Screening: "Psychic Kusuo (Saiki Kusuo no Sainan)"
followed by a Q&A with director Yuichi Fukuda

Thursday, October 19 at 19:00 pmPsychic Kusuo 356p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2017 97 minutes

Director: Yuichi Fukuda
Writer: Yuichi Fukuda, based on the manga "Saiki Kusuo no Sainan" by Shuichi Aso
Producers: Hibiki Ito, Shinzo Matsuhashi, Naoaki Kitajima
Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Kanna Hashimoto, Hirofumi Arai, Ryo Yoshizawa,
Hideyuki Kasahara, Kento Kaku, Tsuyoshi Muro
Film courtesy of Sony Pictures and Asmik Ace            

Writer-director Yuichi Fukuda is the King Midas of Japan's film and TV industry. For the past decade or so, every project he's touched has turned to gold. Big studios line up to work with him, while eminent actors gamely deliver his brilliantly inane dialog and tackle his inspired physical gags. And his legion of followers? They're the all-important youth demographic (and the millions who never quite grew up). They clearly can't get enough of him.

In short, no one has his finger on the Cool Japan cultural zeitgeist quite like Fukuda. Now ubiquitous, his ever-expanding empire encompasses stage, screen and television, and has prompted many imitators.

Fukuda remains devoted to a particular kind of narrative, focused on underdogs and outsiders; and his new film, "Psychic Kusuo," is no exception. An adaptation of the popular gag manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump (5 million copies sold), it concerns a pink-haired teen with unimaginable psychic powers: telepathy, psychokinesis, X-ray vision, teleportation, clairvoyance, walking on air - you name it. Yet Saiki Kusuo (Yamazaki) calls himself "the unluckiest guy in the world," and longs to lead a normal life.

Saiki's classmates at the PK Academy are all troublemakers, and he is forever having to secretly use his powers to sidestep all the trouble they cause. It's the start of the annual school festival, and Saiki's homeroom teacher warns that one more dangerous incident like last year, and the event will be canceled forever. The excitable red-haired Hairo (Kasahara) decides the class project will be an exhibition of Interesting Rock Formations on Campus, just to be safe (although one class has cross-dressing waitresses, while another lets kids machine-gun their tentacled teacher, in a nod to "Assassination Classroom").

But the black-caped Dark Reunion choose the festival to reappear and issue a dragon-ball challenge to Shun (Yoshizawa), who's suffering from chuunibyou syndrome. Even worse, the most popular girl in school, Kokomi (Hashimoto), starts stalking Saiki and very nearly reveals his superpowers. Bombarded with such potentially disastrous situations, it's no wonder that the young lad starts to panic a little - even if his expression never changes and his hands never come out of his pockets.

Interested in better understanding Japan's youth? Join us for this sneak preview of "Psychic Kusuo," ahead of its release on October 21, to find out how.

For more (in Japanese):

Director YUICHI FUKUDA began his career as a writer for such popular TV shows as "Waratte iitomo!" (1982-2014), "SMAP×SMAP" (1995-2016), and "Ikinari! Ougon densetsu" (1998-2016). In 1990, he started creating and directing productions for the theatre troupe Bravo, and finally branched into film with his 2009 directorial debut, "Chasing My Girl", adapted from his own stage play. Renowned for his unique brand of humor, Fukuda has continued to script and direct in all three realms, solidifying his TV fan base with "33-Minute Detective" (2008-2009) and "The Brave Yoshihiko" series (2011-2016). His films have been local hits and international festival favorites, including the "HK/Hentai Kamen" series (2013/2016), "Akegarasu" (2015), and this year's "Gintama." He is currently adapting "Saint Young Men."

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

Psychic Kusuo 290p.jpg
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