Japanese Film Festival Adelaide 2014


The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) is presented and run by The Japan Foundation, Sydney and is now an established calendar event. The JFF started in 1997 with three free film screenings by Festival Director Masafumi Konomi and is now the largest Japanese film festival in the world.

Lady MaikoLast year, the Festival celebrated its 17th year with an audience of approximately 25,000 Australia-wide. The Festival has enjoyed great success over the years, with the opportunity to showcase a vast variety of cinematic delights from classics to newly released films currently screening in Japan. The JFF brings out special guests from Japan for Q&A evenings and film screenings and debuts its main program in Auckland, New Zealand this year.

The Japanese Film Festival was held in Adelaide from the 10th-19th October and screened 12 new films from Japan. Britt Kendelle and I went to the opening screening of Lady Maiko. Lady Maiko was a film about a country bumpkin, with a double dialect from both her parents. Her parents have since died and she is living with her grand parents but has a dream of Lady-Maiko-mainbecoming a Geisha. She travels to Kyoto where she begs to be taken in as an apprentice Geisha, but her accent and dialect are too foreign for her to be accepted. By chance her meeting includes a local dialect expert who strikes up a bet that he can have her speaking like a proper maiko in exchange for wiping his tea house debts clean. The movie is very sweet and entertaining and Mone Kamishiraishi who plays the star,makes a convincing bumpkin transformed into a perfectly Lady Maiko. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie!

The second movie in the festival were attended was the live action Kiki’s Delivery Service. I am a huge fan of Ghibli movies, so I was very interested to see how this movie turned out in comparison to the animation and the original book. The first difference is that the locations that Kiki2the live action are in Japan as opposed to the animation having a European look. Kiki’s home has a very different look built into the side of a mountain with a deep gorge running though it. It begins by showing Kiki when she is born and the mischief she gets into while growing up which is really cute. As it reaches to time to go your are introduced to her flying and planning to leave. From here the storyline is fairly similar, she meets Tombo and starts a delivery service in the local town and stays with the local baker and his wife in an upstairs attic. The live action spends more time on Kiki’s interaction with the local town and deliveries which I really enjoyed in the movie. The ending culminates with the introduction of a retired famous singer and a hippo! I wont give any more away, but I thought that the live action still retained the charm of the story and is worthwhile watching.

I really enjoyed both movies and it was a shame the film festival wasn’t longer so that I could have gone to more of the movies!


♥ Alyssium♥

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