8 Films you cannot miss at the 11th Kyoto Historica International Film Festival

KyotoHistoria2019We present a list of eight films that you shouldn’t miss at the 11th Kyoto Historica International Film Festival which will take place from October 26th until November 4th, at the Museum of Kyoto, Japan.

About the festival:
The Kyoto Historica International Film Festival aims to vitalize the film-making in Kyoto, and to pass down techniques and cultivate filmmakers by screening domestically and internationally acclaimed historical films as the only film festival of the world with a historical theme.

Selected Films:

K-On Movie

K-On! Movie by Naoko Yamada – Japan | 2011 – 110 minutes

Rock music club with a total of five members, what will the four graduating members leave behind for the last remaining girl? An excellent coming-of-age film incorporating restless episodes from their graduation trip to London. The loose ordinary days of the rock music club girls – nothing drastic but always emotional, full of worries, conflicting and exchanging thoughts with each other – never ending improvement. Accurately depicts the teenager’s heart by carefully portraying emotions that arise in the girls’ everyday life.

October 27th (Sunday) | Annex of the Museum of Kyoto (1st Floor) | 11:00 am




Lone Wolf and Cub

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance by Kenji Misumi – Japan | 1972 – 83 minutes

Ogami Itto is hired by the Awa-han to stop Yagyu’s plans of hindering the indigo dye business. Under Yagyu Retsudo’s orders, the Akashi Yagyu (Kayo Matsuo) and female assassins fight off killers from Edo. Itto and Daigoro escape from Akashi Yagyu’s bizzare attacks on their journey. Echigo Lion, daikon-girl, human clamming at the shore with the boat burned down – a startling film made of only action scene ideas, but each and every one is fascinating.

October 29th (Tuesday) | Museum of Kyoto (Film Theater) | 18:30 pm (Talk with Director)



Momotaro Umi no shinpei

Momotaro: Umi no shinpei (Momotaro: Sacred Sailors” by Mitsuyo Seo – Japan | 1945 – 74 minutes

The paratrooper dog, monkey and pheasant head towards Onigashima under the command of General Momotaro. Japan’s first ever feature-length animation film by Mitsuyo Seo, who also directed and animated the “Norakuro” series (1935-) and learnt under Kenzo Masaoka. Not only is the direction and animation immaculate, but remembering that this was created during war, the special effects and techniques, the use of multiplane shooting and transmitted light, are also remarkable.

October 26th (Saturday) | | 18:30 pm (Talk with Takashi Namiki, producer)




Mystery of the Night

Mystery of the Night by Adolfo Alix Jr. – Philippines | 2019 – 106 minutes

1900, colonial Philippines under the oppression of Spanish tyranny. A pregnant woman accused of insanity is left in the woods by men under a priest’s order. The new born girl is raised by the spirits of the woods, and one day falls in love with a man from the town. However, the man had a family. Betrayed, the girl leaves the woods, seeking revenge in deep despair. The bizarreness of the woman in the woods contrasted with the high-class man living in town. One of the most prolific directors of modern Filipino film, appraised by many international film festivals including Cannes and Toronto depicts powerfully the history of the country through a cruel allegory of a man and woman.

October 29th (Tuesday) | Museum of Kyoto (Film Theater) | 15:30 pm
November 4th (Monday) | Museum of Kyoto (Film Theater | 10:30 am




Talking the Pictures

Talking the Pictures by Msayuki Suo – Japan | 2019 – 127 minutes

Roughly 100 years ago, when films (motion pictures) were still silent and in monochrome, silent film narrators, or “katsuben” (Katsudo Benshi) were a huge thing; they created a unique world with their narrative along with the musicians who played music, to draw the audience into the film and captivate them. Here, everything begins when a young boy who dreams of becoming a silent film narrator, ends up at a theatre of a small town – a non-stop entertainment of action, love, and humour!

October 26th (Saturday) | Museum of Kyoto (Film Theater) | 11:30 pm (Talk with Shoji Masui & Ichiro Kataoka)



The Ballad of Narayama

The Ballad of Narayama by Shohei Imamura – Japan | 1983 – 131 minutes

A mountainous village where neighbours work face to face ploughing the poor land. Three generations are barely making a living in widower Tatsuhei’s house, with his 69-year-old mother and children. This village’s future had been protected by the villagers, by going into the Narayama, the winter they turned 70. This meant death, and this lyed down heavily in Tatsuhei’s heart as accompanier. These people and rules are born from wisdom to survive in the harsh nature. Iranian Maestro Amir Naderi who depicted men surviving in rocky mountains in “Monte” (2019), and young creators of Kyoto Filmmakers Lab unravel the Palme d’Or film by Shohei Imamura.

November 2nd (Saturday) | Museum of Kyoto (Film Theater) | 16:00 pm (Talk with director and producers)




The Disappearance Haruhi Suzumiya

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya by Tatuya Ishihara – Japan | 2009 – 163 minutes

The film follows the television anime series that started in 2006. Superb proficiency, even in line with the television series, in portraying time travel and parallel worlds, both without relying on special effects but through thorough planning and direction. The cinematic approach is outstanding, contrasting the dynamic and macro references of time, and the internal gentle and micro references of the confusion and desires that sprout in Yuki Nagato, who in the television series was positioned as a function-motivated inorganic character as an interface of the Data Integration Thought Entity.

October 26th (Saturday) | Annex of the Museum of Kyoto (1st Floor) | 13:30 pm




The White Snake Enchantress

The White Snake Enchantress by Taiji Yabushita – Japan | 1958 – 78 minutes

The first feature-length colour animation film in Japan. Based on the Chinese folktale depicting an unrequited love between a boy and spirit of a white snake; it aims for the imagination and detailed expression of animation. The digitally revived colours are vivid. The primary members of Toei Douga become the core of Japanese animation. The audience, and creators too, were enchanted by the movement of animals and street performers, not just the story. A memorial film with youthfulness brimming in the pencil lines.

October 27th (Sunday) | Museum of Kyoto (Film Theater) | 13:30 pm (Talk with the director)



For more information about the programme please visit the official website of the festival: Kyoto Historica International Film Festival

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