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Arnolfini - est 1961

The first UK-wide festival devoted to Japanese Film, Zipangu Fest aims to demonstrate the many identities of Japan as depicted by some of the country’s most exciting and revered talents, introducing works – new and old – previously unseen by mainstream UK film audiences.

Curated by Jasper Sharp of the Japanese specialist film website Midnight Eye.

Thurs 16 Dec 6.30pm

Children Of The Beehive + Short

Hiroshi Shimizu’s classic of post-war independent cinema follows a group of war orphans scratching out an existence through black market work, who meet a nameless soldier, just repatriated after the war. An orphan himself, the soldier takes the children under his wing, and together this motley band set out across a shattered Japan in search of somewhere to call home.

Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu, Japan, 1948, 1h 26m, Subtitled + short: A Song Like A Fish (Taijin Takeuchi, 5m)

Fri 17 Dec 6.30pm

Annyong Yumika

One of the Japanese sex film industry’s most iconic performers, Yumika Hayashi was discovered dead after returning from her 35th birthday celebrations. This behind-the-scenes celebration of her life makes for revelatory and compelling viewing, but things take on a more surreal twist following the unearthing of an obscure micro-budget straight-to-video Korean work entitled Junko: Story of a Tokyo Housewife. Dir. Tetsuaki Matsue, Japan, 2009, 1h 59m, Subtitled

Sat 18 Dec 3.30pm

Footed Tadpoles + Short

This quirky coming-of-age comedy looks at love through the eyes of junior high school slacker Toru (played by the director) as he attempts to win the heart of life-long crush Nanae. Spending his afternoons ‘collecting data’ using his best friend’s foolproof method of telling whether girls are virgins or not, Toru finds purpose when he begins raising a pair of tadpoles with Nanae in their classroom.

Dir. Tomoya Maeno, Japan, 2009, 1h 16m, Subtitled + short A Wolf Loves Pork (Taijin Takeuchi, 4m)

Sat 18 Dec 5.30pm

Live Tape + Short

One guitar, one camera, one tape and one take in this awe-inspiring live music film shot on New Years

Day 2009, following Kenta Maeno as he performs in Tokyo’s suburb of Kichijouji. Winner of Best Picture Award in the Japanese Eyes section of last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival and Nippon Digital Award at Frankfurt’s Nippon Connection.

Dir. Tetsuaki Matsue, Japan, 2009, 1h 14m, Subtitled + short Pussycat (Takeno Nagao, 5m)

Sat 18 Dec 7.30pm

NN-891102 + Short

Reiichi, a survivor of Nagasaki, has in his possession an astounding document: the sound of ‘Fat Man’ detonating on 9 August , 1945 at 11:02am. He becomes obsessed with memories of his life before and after the bombing, and most disturbingly, with recreating this terrifying sound on audio tape – a process that will jeopardize his sanity and his life – in this unforgettable indie classic.

Dir. Go Shibata, Japan, 1999, 1h 15m + short Bloody Night (Takeno Nagao, 5m)

Sun 19 Dec 2.30pm

Confessions Of A Dog

After his promotion to detective, an honest police officer quickly becomes embroiled in dirty back room dealings, blackmail and corruption that goes right to the top of the force. Violence, illegal pay-offs, drugs, intimidation – all things that you might associate with the yakuza, but this epic Japanese riff on Serpico exposes the most dangerous Tokyo gang of them all…

Dir. Gen Takahashi, Japan, 2006, 3h 15m Subtitled