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Friday, November 30, 2018, 19:00 - 21:30

Three Lives Converge in Sabu's Latest Bittersweet Confection
Sneak Preview Screening: "JAM" followed by a Q&A with director Sabu and
actor/ co-producer Shintaro Akiyama

Friday, November 30 at 7:00 pm11302018 JAM 356p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2018 102 minutes

Please note this event will be at our new FCCJ home (please double check new address at the bottom)*

Written and directed by: Sabu
Executive producer: Exile Hiro
Starring: Sho Aoyagi, Keita Machida,
Nobuyuki Suzuki, Shintaro Akiyama, Mariko Tsutsui

Film courtesy of LDH Pictures

The heralded indie writer-director returns with another tale driven by random chance and fateful encounters, interweaving three characters' lives as their paths inch inexorably closer to crossing. Before the film finally erupts into one of Sabu's trademark foot chases - now made -ven more hilarious with the addition of drone shots - the focus has been on the characters' towering obsessions: to be a star, to undo a wrong, to take revenge.

Hiroshi (Aoyagi, almost too convincing in his role) is a jaded, small-time enka singer who holds "Talk to Me" sessions after each of his shows, building a real-world fan base that would normally spring up spontaneously on social media. "These events are essential to going global," he tells the middle-aged women who flock to his shows. Meeting personally with them seems to work, though: he has a huge following of ardent admirers, each vying to know more about him and his work than the next. After a series of "secret live" gigs at the Oldies but Goodies Jukebox bar, two of his fans get into a contretemps over the order of his set list, one suggesting that he should swap one song for another that is more upbeat; and the other defending Hiroshi's artistry. "Real fans should respect his song choice," she insists.

This real fan, Mariko (Tsutsui, of "Harmonium," relishing the part), waits for Hiroshi after the show and assures him, "I won't let anyone denigrate your art." She then does the only logical thing: drugs and kidnaps him. She gets unexpected help from a friendly young man with a car, Takeru (Machida), who offers to drive them home. What ensues is every obsessed fan's dream, and every celebrity's nightmare.

Takeru, meanwhile, goes on to the hospital where his girlfriend is in a coma, and reports that he's done two more good deeds that day. The young woman took a bullet in crossfire as burglars were chased by the police. God had told Takeru that she will regain consciousness if he does good deeds, and so he does.

On the same evening, Tetsuo (Suzuki) is released from prison and immediately goes after the yakuza gang who had him sent up. With impressive fighting skills, a lethal pickaxe and apparent immortality, he fells dozens of them, even when he's pushing his dementia-stricken grandmother to the train station in a wheelchair to meet her (deceased) husband.

Please join us for this sneak preview of Sabu's tasty "Jam," before its Japanese release on December 1, and find out how the director brilliantly brings Hiroshi, Mariko, Takeru, Tetsuo and his grandma together.

For more (in Japanese): https://ldhpictures.co.jp/movie/jam/

Writer-director SABU made his film debut as an actor in "Sorobanzuku" (1986) and a decade later made his directorial debut with "Dangan Runner" (1996), which established his uniquely kinetic, blackly humorous style and earned him widespread adulation overseas. He has been a constant presence at international film festivals, with such films as "Postman Blues" (1997), "Blessing Bell," "Kanikōsen: The Crab Cannery Ship," "Miss Zombie" (2013), "Chasuke's Journey" (2015) and "Mr. Long" (2017). "Jam" is Sabu's 18th feature film.

Actor SHINTARO AKIYAMA made his feature film debut with the indie "Wiz/ Out" (2007), the same year he appeared on stage in the first-ever Gekidan Exile show. He has since accumulated a lengthy list of both stage and TV credits. On the big screen, he has starred in "Until the Day Comes" (2014), "Dokumushi: Toxic Insects" (2016) and all four of the films in the blockbuster "High & Low" series.

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.

*The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (new address):
5F (screening venue) & 6F Marunouchi Nijubashi Bldg., 3-2-3, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005

- Karen Severns, Film Committee

 

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