Asian Cinema

Over the last few years, Asian cinema has reached the far corners of the world, and people everywhere have realised the region had something truly unique to offer. Filmmakers in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and China take familiar stories and add their own twists and use their own cultural backgrounds to spice things up.

(J) A Drop Of The Grapevine
Film Festival
(J) Kiki's Delivery Service
Film Festival
(J) Rurouni Kenshin - The Legend Ends
Film Festival

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Breakup Buddies

MA

Strong coarse language and sex scenes

3

Mandarin with English subtitles. A washed up singer wakes with a hangover holding an axe, in a mini-van filled with props and a dog, driven by his best friend. They are heading south for the wildest, craziest and raunchiest romantic encounters in a bid to help the singer recover from an aborted marriage.


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5

Mandarin with Traditional Chinese and English subtitles. Set in the turbulent 1930s China, The Golden Era is an epic journey chronicling the obscure & radical life of Xiao Hong, one of the most influential female writers in 20th Century China, renowned for her journalistic accounts of Japanese imperialism in China.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Anti-social farmer Ao tends a vineyard and dreams of making the perfect Pinot Noir, while his younger brother Roku grows wheat to make bread. One day, out of the blue, a bright and friendly traveller appears and breathes new life into their never-changing, dreary days.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. The Legend of the Midnight Party at St Claire’s Elementary School is a frightening one, but that won’t stop excited kindergarteners Miko, Mako and Mutsuko from exploring their creepy new school after dark. The three girls arrive in the dead of night. There, they are faced with a set of challenges which, if completed, will allow Kunstlijk and Goth’s doomed science classroom to be saved.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Riko is a talented young appraiser who runs her own business, offering appraisal services for anything and everything. When Riko successfully stops an attempted robbery with her sharp detection work, she sets off a chain of events that see her travel to France to test her appraisal skills and compete to become the curator of a Mona Lisa exhibition in Japan.


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(J) Ask This Of Rikyu
Ask This Of Rikyu
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. The ‘Rikyu’ of this title is none other than Japan’s legendary Sen no Rikyu, father of the wabi-cha style of tea ceremony, and a man whose tastes are still said to represent the pinnacle of Japanese aesthetics. Against the backdrop of early modern Japan, this film re-imagines the rise and fall of Rikyu at the hands of the most powerful warlords of the time.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Despite talent and persistence, Haruo’s attempts to make it as a stage magician remain fruitless. He receives a phone call telling him that his estranged father has been found dead, setting off a chain of events which literally throw Haruo back to the past, to a date not long before he is about to be born...


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Toru grew up in the Tateyama mountain ranges: alpine country. When Toru grows up he leaves his hometown. When Toru receives word that his father has passed away, he returns to Tateyama once again. But does Toru have what it takes to follow in his father’s footsteps?


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Five years after the Eight Rangers team defeated Mr Dark and Dark Crusade, Eight City now boasts an amazing 0% crime rate. The Eight Rangers are now rich, successful, popular, and living the high life. But one member of the team believes something is amiss with the city’s “peace”.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Hailed as Japan’s version of Love Actually, this romantic comedy follows the lives of ten people in the lead-up to Christmas.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Newbie Kiichiro Ota has landed his first job at an ad agency, but can’t seem to impress his boss. With his job on the line, he is given one last chance to redeem himself.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. When a school teacher by the name of Yui visits one of her student’s homes to investigate his truancy, she comes in contact with a curse that forces her to re-live the horrific events that took place in his home 10 years ago.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. When witches reach the age of 13, they have a big decision to make: they can either choose to remain human or commit to the life of a witch, which requires a 1-year apprenticeship in the real world. When young witch Kiki chooses the latter, she is full of high spirits and good intentions to help the world with her magic. But the world has some surprises in store...


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(J) Lady Maiko
Lady Maiko
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. For as long as she can remember, Haruko has wanted to be a geisha. Eager to start her career, she approaches a teahouse in one of Kyoto’s famous geisha districts to become an apprentice geisha, or maiko - only to be rejected due to her lack of references, country bumpkin dialect and uncultivated demeanor.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Yuna lives on a remote island in Okinawa, 360 kilometres from the mainland. There is no high school on the island, which means that every teenager must eventually leave the island in the spring of the year they turn 15 to attend school on the mainland. This year, it is Yuna’s turn to leave. Her family is far from ideal, with everyone living separately for reasons Yuna doesn’t completely understand. Can Yuna leave without regrets?


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(J) little forest – summer/autumn
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Abandoned by her mother, young Ichiko leaves her life in the city to live off the land in Komori, a small town nestled among the mountains in rural Japan. Visually luxuriant, this film follows Ichiko through one summer and autumn, as she learns to use and respect the time-honoured wisdom of rural folk and read the cycle of life and connectedness in the environment around her.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Lupin, the world’s greatest gentlemen thief, and his partners-in-crime are at it again. In a gripping heist like no other, they must infiltrate a remote high-security facility to steal the ‘Crimson Heart of Cleopatra’.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. A young boy with the ability to control others against their will grows up feared and resented. Rejected by his parents, he lives a lonely existence on the fringe of society, and as he grows older he continues to manipulate the world around him for his own benefit. But everything changes when he encounters Shuichi who proves immune to his powers.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. 33-year-old Susumu and his 40-year-old older sister Yoriko have lived alone together ever since losing their parents almost 20 years ago. One day they receive a letter in the mail that is sent to them by mistake, sparking romance in each of their lives.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Reiko has a terminal illness, and one week left to live. How will her already broken family keep from falling apart?


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. The mundane life of middle-aged housewife Rika gains an unexpected second wind when her employer promotes her to full time status. With access to funds beyond her means and a heady affair with a younger lover, Rika feels the temptation to succumb to the kind of luxury and abandon that most only dream about.


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(J) Patema Inverted
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Amidst a forgotten maze of metal tunnels and subterranean walkways live the rustic but kindly descendants of an ancient disaster. Curious and irrepressible, Patema is inevitably drawn to the world above where she is shocked to find a boy who seems to live upside down. Together, these kindred misfits discover more than anyone knew behind the cataclysm that changed their worlds.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Following the blockbuster success of the first Rurouni Kenshin installment come the long-awaited sequel. At the request of the new government, Kenshin journeys to the old capital of Kyoto where unrest is brewing.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Following the blockbuster success of the first Rurouni Kenshin installment come the long-awaited sequels: Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends. At the request of the new government, Kenshin journeys to the old capital of Kyoto where unrest is brewing.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. The lord of a rural domain has just five days to get to Edo. With no money, no people and no time, can he do it?


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. As the end approaches for Japan’s age of military rule, the Tokugawa shogunate brings together a squad of ruthless assassins to defend its representatives in Kyoto... but what happens when the enemy is the undead?


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(J) Short Peace
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Short Peace is an anthology of four short animated films from Japan’s most talented creators. The project is the brainchild of Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), and the shorts all bear the hallmark of Otomo’s love for dystopian tales. With a credit list that reads like a who’s who of Japan’s anime industry, including an Oscar®-nominated short, this is a powerful must-see for grown-up anime fans.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Haru is a talented cook with a discerning palate. When the unwilling heir to a lineage of samurai chefs fails to uphold the mantle, Haru marries into the Funaki family. She teaches her husband the culinary arts, but he remains committed to wielding the blade of a warrior. Can Haru persuade him over to the family calling of fine cuisine?


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Tamako is a little slow when it comes to love. She’s oblivious to her childhood friend Mochizo’s affections, even though all their friends know. With graduation closing in and Mochizo leaving for Tokyo, will Tamako realise her feelings and tell him in time?


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. A brother and sister search for the truth behind a surprising family secret – that their biological grandfather was a kamikaze pilot.


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(J) The God of Ramen
The God of Ramen
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Every day, people would queue for over two hours for a bowl of ramen. What’s the celebrated chef’s secret ingredient? There is no secret ingredient. This heart-warming documentary is not just for noodle fans, but for anyone who loves to be inspired by passionate people.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Kiyosu Castle, 1582. Powerful warlord Oda Nobunaga is dead, and his clan must now determine his successor. But where wealth and status are involved, nothing is ever simple. Will it be Katsuie or Hideyoshi? What unfolds is a comic power struggle as rival families each strive to ensure that their interests alone are served.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. When Takeshi’s unmarried grand-aunt Taki passes away, he goes to her house with his family to help clean up her belongings. There, they discover a memoir that Taki had been writing, documenting her experiences as housemaid for the well-to-do Hirai family during WWII.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. The body of the lovely Noriko is found dead and stabbed in the woods of a national park. This is not your typical whodunit but a murder mystery nonetheless, if any a compelling social media commentary on a media-obsessed world.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Discriminated, hated and unjustly treated by their Caucasian counterparts, growing up during pre-WWII days wasn’t easy for second-generation Japanese immigrants in Vancouver. But one thing made their life worth living: baseball. Team Vancouver Asahi may be the underdogs, but can they rise to the top with Reggie Kasahara leading the way?


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(J) Thermae Romae II
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. This film picks up where the smash-hit Thermae Romae left off. Roman architect Lucius is commissioned once again on a royal assignment. Lacking inspiration, Lucius time-slips to modern Japan and discovers modern inventions. Meanwhile, ancient Rome is in turmoil. What is in store for Lucius now?


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(J) Tokyo Refugees
Tokyo Refugees
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. When his father flees from debt, carefree college student Osamu sees his life turn upside-down. Expelled from school and evicted from his apartment, he becomes one of Japan's many “net cafe refugees”.


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-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Tokyo becomes a battlefield as an all-out turf war erupts between the tribes. Outrageous, crude, weirdly comic and never predictable, Tokyo Tribe is yet another solid punch-to-the-gut by wild-child director Sion SonoOh, and did we mention it’s all in hip hop?


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(J) Wood Job!
Film Festival
-1

Japanese with English subtitles. Having flunked his university entrance exams, Hirano sees a recruitment ad for a logging company and decides on a whim to apply. This launches him into a year-long traineeship in rural Japan, where he learns more than just the finer arts of forestry.


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