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淵に立つ

HARMONIUM (February Monthly Screening)

HARMONIUM is a shocking and ingenious twist on the traditional Japanese family drama that won the Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and much praise at TIFF.

Yasaka (the great Tadanobu Asano) - recently released from prison for murder - shows up unexpectedly at the door on a small family-run business. Toshio (Kanji Furutachi) offers him a job and accommodation in his house without telling his wife Akie (Mariko Tsutsui). It slowly become apparent that the two men share a dark unspoken secret. At first, Akie isn’t comfortable with Yasaka’s presence but gradually warms up, especially after Yasaka teaches Akie’s daughter how to play the harmonium. However, Yasaka starts making too many inroads in Toshio’s family and, when terrible accident occurs, Yasaka disappears…

Director Kôji Fukada has packed the film with plenty of jaw-dropping scenarios which question the complex relationships each family member shares with another. The film’s original title translates to “on the brink”, words that perfectly describe this riveting morality tale. An intense and unforgettable masterpiece.

Thursday, February 23 @ 7pm / 118min

In Japanese with English subtitles

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永い言い訳

The Long Excuse (March Monthly Screening)

Celebrity author Sachio and his supportive wife Natsuko have an amicable marriage that lacks passion. While Natsuko dies in a bus accident, Sachio is in bed with a younger woman. Forced to play the role of a grieving widower in front of media, he is more shocked by his emotional disconnect to her death. Unable to muster any genuine sadness for his wife’s passing, he’s at a loss for how to proceed with his life.

Eventually he meets Yoichi, whose wife perished in the same bus accident. Unlike Sachio, Yoichi is devastated and in denial. For unfathomable reasons Sachio volunteers to help take care of Yoichi’s children while their father is out working long hours as a truck driver. He discovers the pleasure of being useful, and his own existence takes on new meaning. Written and directed by Miwa Nishikawa this touching drama received huge applause at the Toronto International Film Festival and Rome Film Festival.

Featuring stellar acting by Masahiro Motoki (Departures) Pistol Takehara, Eri Fukatsu and Haru Kuroki.e.

Thursday, March 30 @ 7pm / 124min

In Japanese with English subtitles

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