Delightfully irreverent and deliciously absurd, director Hideki Takeuchi’s Thermae Romae, based on Mari Yamazaki’s award-winning manga series was one of Japan’s most popular films of 2012 and a big hit at last year’s TIFF.
This kooky time-travelling comedy is essentially a love-letter to Japanese bath culture as it sends its characters careening through time between the baths of ancient Rome and the modern bathhouses of Tokyo.
Ancient Roman architect Lucius (Hirsohi Abe) is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. When a friend takes the dejected Lucius to the public bathhouse to cheer him up, Lucius accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a modern-day public bath in Japan. There, he meets aspiring young manga artist Mami, along with others of the “flat-faced clan”. Shocked by the many inventive aspects of Japan’s bathing culture, Lucius returns to ancient Rome and garners tremendous attention when he implements these novel ideas back in Rome. As he time-slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modern-day Japan, Lucius’ reputation as the ingenious, new bath architect begins to grow.
Starring Hiroshi Abe (nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for Best Actor) and Aya Ueto
Prior to the Screening the Toronto Japanese Film Festival will announce its 2013 line-up.
Admission: $8 JCCC members, $10 non-members