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Eiga Nights – Cult Status

Free Film Screening Program

June – August 2018

Join us for our regular free film screening program, Eiga Nights, at The Japan Foundation, Sydney. This winter, we focus on cult status with a line-up placing genre films side-by-side with mainstream successes.

In June, we screen iconic works in the cyberpunk and slasher genres with Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence and enfant terrible Takashi Miike’s Yakuza Apocalypse. For July we have animated classics by two of the most important directors in the world of Japanese animation, Satoshi Kon and Isao Takahata. And in August, we look at Japan in the Oscars with 2008 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Departures, and Japan’s 2009 entry, Nobody to Watch Over Me, starring detective drama veteran Koichi Sato.


Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (攻殻機動隊 イノセンス)

Dir Mamoru Oshii / 2005 / 100 mins / Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Ootsuka, Kouichi Yamadera / Japanese with English subtitles / M, contains moderate violence andcoarse language 
June 5, 6:30pm – 8:10pm

In this sequel to 1995’s Ghost in the Shell, Major Motoko Kusanagi is missing and Batou – a cyborg detective from the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9 – steps in to investigate a series of murders apparently committed by faulty gynoids (doll-like sex robots). As conspiracies and cryptic messages abound, Batou is forced to confront strange and dangerous foes, while the boundaries between man and machine become increasingly uncertain.

Yakuza Apocalypse (極道大戦争)

Dir Takashi Miike / 2015 / 115 mins / Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Yayan Ruhian, Riko Narumi / Japanese with English subtitles / MA15+, contains strong horror violence and sexual violence
June 19 (Tuesday), 6:30pm – 8:25pm

In the world of the yakuza, no one is more feared than the invincible Kamiura, a yakuza boss with a secret – he’s a vampire! When assassins aware of Kamiura’s secret kill him, he decides to pass on the mantle of vampire-yakuza to Kageyama, his most loyal and sensitive underling. Now a vampire himself, Kageyama will need all of his new-found strength to seek vengeance for Kamiura, as well as to establish himself as the new boss. Not to mention, save the world from the oncoming apocalypse.

Tokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ)

Dir Satoshi Kon / 2004 / 92 mins / Cast: Toru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto / Japanese with English subtitles / M, contains low level violence and adult themes
July 10, 6:30pm-8:02pm

It’s Christmas Eve in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Three homeless friends – middle-aged alcoholic Gin, runaway teenager Miyuki, and kind transwoman Hana – find their makeshift family bonds tested when they find a baby in a garbage bin while searching for food. They discover a new purpose by embarking on a search through the streets of Tokyo for the baby’s parents.

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓)

Dir Isao Takahata / 1988 / 89 mins / Cast: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi / Japanese with English subtitles / M, contains adult themes
July 24, 6:30pm-8:00pm

Siblings Seita and Setsuko are two young children growing up in the waning days of World War II. When their mother is killed in a bombing, newly orphaned Seita and Setsuko must learn to survive on their own in a harsh and desperate world, faced with the apathy of adults and an unrelenting food scarcity. Directed by the late Isao Takahata, Grave of the Fireflies a tale of the true tragedy of war and innocence lost.

“It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made.” -Roger Ebert

Nobody to Watch Over Me (誰も守ってくれない)

Dir Ryoichi Kimizuka / 2009 / 114 mins / Cast: Koichi Sato, Mirai Shida, Ryuhei Matsuda / Japanese with English subtitles / M, contains mature themes
August 7, 6:30pm-8:24pm

15 year old Saori Funamura’s life is changed forever when her older brother (Ryuhei Matsuda) is arrested for the murder of two schoolgirls. Within only hours of his arrest, Saori’s home is invaded by police and surrounded by hundreds of reporters, with her and her family inside. In order to escape the media feeding frenzy she is placed into police protection looked after by Detective Takumi Katsuura (Koichi Sato). Detective Katuura knows that the only way to protect Saori is to always stay one step ahead.

Nobody to Watch Over Me was Japan’s official Oscar’s entry in 2009 and features solid performances from award-winning actor Koichi Sato and then-rising teen actor Mirai Shida.

Departures (おくりびと)

Dir Yojiro Takita / 2008 / 131 mins / Cast: Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki / Japanese with English subtitles / M, contains mature themes
August 21, 6:30pm-8:44pm

Departures follows Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki), a devoted cellist in an orchestra who is suddenly left without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled “Departures” thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a nokanshi, a traditional funerary celebrant who prepares bodies for entry into the next life. While training to be a nokanshi, Daigo experiences a profound and sometimes comical journey as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.

Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008, Departures is a delightful journey into the heartland of Japan as well an astonishingly beautiful look at a sacred part of Japan’s cultural heritage. Starring award-winning actor Masahiro Motoki (The Long Excuse).


Presented by


All films start at 6:30pm (doors open at 6pm) on the following select Tuesdays:

June 5
Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (M)
6:30pm – 8:10pm

June 19
Yakuza Apocalypse (MA15+)
6:30pm – 8:25pm

July 10
Tokyo Godfathers (M)
6:30pm – 8:02pm

July 24
Grave of the Fireflies (M)
6:30pm – 8:00pm

August 7
Nobody to Watch Over Me (M)
6:30pm – 8:24pm

August 21
Departures (M)
6:30pm – 8:41pm

Screening will be held in a seminar room type event space, not a movie theatre. Bean bags and chairs are available as seating.
Please feel free to bring bottled non-alcoholic drinks and snacks (no hot food please).

Free, limited capacity. Walk-in only, bookings not necessary.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008


Do you have queries about the film? Planning to attend but coming from far away? Please contact reception at (02) 8239 0055 or

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