The Japanese Foundation has been running a festival of Japanese movies called Eigasai in Ayala Center Cebu. It started on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 and will finish on Sunday August 21, 2016. The film festival is free; you just have to show up on time. Each day in Ayala Cinema 4, the film festival will show a different movie (two on Saturday and Sunday!) from Japan that has been released in recent years.
I managed to catch the Wednesday showing of The Little House (Chiisai ouchi) , a beautiful family drama with a romantic illicit love affair at its center. A young maid called Taki (Haru Kuroki) moves from the north of Japan to live in Tokyo with a well-off family. Tokiko (Takako Matsu), Taki’s beautiful boss, enters a risky relationship with her husband’s artistic colleague, as world war looms on the horizon. While potentially melodramatic, the production emphasizes the beauty and poetry of pre-war suburban life. It was the perfect start for a festival showcasing Japan, featuring the traditional themes of honor, duty, and propriety just as one would expect from our most formal Asian neighbors. More importantly are the aesthetic qualities of the film, which are sumptuous. Everything in the little house is beautiful in that particularly Japanese way, from the elegant kimonos to the simple furniture, to the colorful toys that the children play with, to the tempting sumptuous food that Taki prepares. I was so full of envious desire, after the movie I rushed to a nearby Japanese restaurant and gobbled a delicious strip of tonkatsu. After my hunger pangs settled down, my contemplation of the warmth of the film was aided perfectly by a comforting bowl of miso soup.
The film festival continues until Sunday, and probably due to the shows being free, are very well attended. Get there early. Here is the list of upcoming films:
August 18 (Thursday) 7pm Pale Moon – A bored wife falls for a bad boy and enters a life of embezzlement crime.
August 19 (Friday) 7pm August in Tokyo– Two parallel stories set in Tokyo suburban life about two individuals attempting to reconnect with their families.
August 20 (Saturday)
4pm The Boy and the Beast– Anime about a boy who becomes apprenticed to a beast as he learns to become a strong warrior.
7pm KAEKOMI- A period film about a 19th -Century yakuza boss looking for his lost woman.
August 21 (Sunday)
4pm Flying Colors– A failing school girl joins forces with a teacher to attempt to pass the extremely difficult exams for Keio University.
7pm Our Little Sister- Three sisters go to the countryside for the funeral of their father, only to discover a half-sister who they invite to live with them in their city house.