A taste of Japan comes to the Light House

Ken Watanabe from Inception Photo: Siebbi via Flckr

Ken Watanabe from Inception
Photo: Siebbi via Flickr

The Light House cinema is set to host Ireland’s sixth annual Japanese Film Festival in association with the Japanese Embassy from April 8th to April 17th.

The festival is famous for showcasing an eclectic mix of Japanese movies with several screenings also planned at cinema’s in Cork, Galway, Waterford and DCU.

Seventeen films are slated for the Light House including a number of celebrated Japanese anime flicks as well as the highly acclaimed Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award winner ‘Unforgiven’, starring Ken Watanabe of ‘Inception’ fame.

As is often custom with cross-cultural film remakes, Lee Sang-il, who directed a take on ‘Unforgiven’, added his own twist to the film in order to create a realistic replication of the Japanese Meiji period, a 50 year window at the end of the 19th century where the east Asian nation modernised rapidly.

The first two episodes of the ‘Ghost in the Shell: Arise’ series are sure to draw large crowds when they are screened on the evening of Friday, 11 April.

The episodes are the product of the famous ‘Ghost in the Shell’ manga brand’s creators and see protagonist Motoko Kusanagi investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a major arms dealer set in the year after the end of World War IV, in 2027.

Among the other notable screenings at the festival are a collaboration between Ridley Scott’s, Scott Free Productions and Japanese television network Fuji TV, ‘Japan In A Day’,an innovative project where ordinary people were handed cameras and asked to capture something, anything, about their day in the year following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011.

Shuichi Okita’s 2012 production ‘The Story of Yonosuke’ follows a young man who decides at 18 to leave behind Nagasaki to pursue a new life in Tokyo. Sixteen years later, things have changed for Yonosuke and his friends back home and this film examines this change in spectrum. ‘The Story of Yonosuke’ is based on a novel by Japanese author Shuichi Yoshida.

Sé Merry Doyle ensures Irish representation at the festival with a screening of his film ‘Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien’, made in conjunction with Mr. Murakami, a renowned Japanese animator.

The film was produced under the Irish Arts Council’s Showreel initiative and is an exhibition of Murakami’s time in a Northern Californian concentration camp following himself and his family’s capture following the bombing of Pearl Harbour during World War II when he was just eight years old.

More information about the Japanese Film Festival can be found at or at Film screenings at the Light House cinema in Smithfield will be daily between April 9th and April 17th and tickets are €5.


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