Now Showing Sept 8

Tokyo Jima, Toilet, Histoires Extraordinaires and other listings

Now Showing Sept 8

(C)2010 'Tokyo jima' Film Partners

Tokyo Jima is the film adaptation of the Natsuo Kirino’s 2008 best-selling novel of the same title, in which a married couple – Kiyoko and Takashi –take a trip around the world to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. During their trip, however, they become ship wrecked during a storm and end up being washed ashore on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. After an initial period when the couple are alone on the island, sixteen young Japanese men (a group of freeters who have run away from their jobs on a different island) arrive, followed by a separate group of six Chinese men who were trying to illegally smuggle themselves into a different country – creating a strange island community consisting of twenty three men and one woman.

Originally a dutiful housewife, Kiyoko soon begins to use her womanly charms to control the men and consequently becomes the leading figure on the island. With no sign that a rescue party will ever come, the men name the island Tokyo Jima (Tokyo Island).

Playing the part of Kiyoko is Japanese actress Tae Kimura – winner of the 2009 Japanese Academy Prize for Best Actress for the outstanding performance she gave in the film ‘Gururi no Koto’. Also lauded is director Makoto Shinozaki, winner of the Wolfgang Staudte Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for his debut feature film ‘Okaeri’ in 1995.

As the only female on the island, Kiyoko becomes frustrated with the others – who have decided that life on the island isn’t all that bad – and begins to devise an escape plan of her own. Many of the situations that come to light on the island represent aspects of modern society; however, in addition to the darker side of human nature shown in Kirino’s original story, director Shinozaki also meshes a sense of hope into the story – bringing this new form of survival entertainment to the big screen.

Adding a little extra colour to the film is the distinctive carré scarf made by popular fashion brand Hermès. During the film, the scarf becomes a source of strength and comfort to Kiyoko as she makes the best of what she’s got during the time she spends on the island – as well as helping to emphasise both the sense of resilience and elegance that the character portrays. As a tribute to the film, Hermès are currently selling a special version of the scarf in stores nationwide.

With the summer heat that’s still hanging around Tokyo, perhaps an insight into what life might be like on an island inhabited by a group of people pushed to extremes is just what’s needed to cool us down.

Tokyo Jima

Japan, 2010
Opened: Aug 28
Director: Makoto Shinozaki
Cast: Tae Kimura, Yousuke Kudozuka, Seiji Fukushi, Tasuku Enomoto, Ryou Kimura, Shota Someya
Distributor: Gaga


A new film by Naoko Ogigami, director of ‘Kamome Shokudo’ and ‘Megane’, ‘Toilet’ tells the story of three oddball, introverted siblings whose lives are transformed by their baachan (grandma) who suddenly comes from Japan to live with them.

Japan, 2010
Opened: Aug 28
Director: Naoko Ogigami
Cast: Masako Motai, Alex House, Tatiana Maslany, David Rendall Distributor: Showgate/Suurkiitos

Mao’s Last Dancer

A drama in which a young boy living in an impoverished mountain village in China is selected to study ballet, first in Beijing and eventually in America. The story is based on ballet dancer Li Cunxin’s best selling autobiography of the same title.

Australia/USA, 2009
Japanese title: Chiisana Mura no Chiisana Dancer
Opened: Aug 28
Director: Bruce Beresford
Cast: Chi Cao, Joan Chen, Bruce Greenwood, Amanda Schull, Kyle MacLachlan
Distributor: Hexagon

Histoires Extraordinaires

A 1968 French/Italian omnibus film that exhibits the work of three famous European directors in three segments, entitled: ‘Metzengerstein’, ‘William Wilson’ and ‘Toby Dammit’. The film stars various well-known actors and actresses of the time, including Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot.

France/Italy, 1968
Japanese title: Yonimo Kaikina Monogatari
Opened: Aug 28
Director: Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, Federico Fellini
Cast: Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Peter Fonda, Terence Stamp
Distributor: Imagica TV

By Misawo Kasuya
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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