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The Japanese Film Festival Is Back After A Hiatus In 2017

If you’re a Nipponophile, you might have been wondering why the perennial favourite Japanese Film Festival was missing from last year’s slate of film festivals. While we have yet to hear back from the organisers, it’s now moved up from its traditional slot in September to next month – whatever the reason is, it can only be good news for the Jap heads among us.

Kicking off next Friday (Mar 2) till March 18, this year’s edition sees a total of 16 flicks being screened. As usual, the programming sees a mix of contemporary and classic films, with the latter seemingly focusing on works from the ’50s.

Here, a breakdown of the flicks you shouldn’t miss at the festival:

Survival Family
If you’ve ever thought about moving to the countryside to escape from the consuming demands of modern life, this might be the flick to catch. Survival Family sees an ordinary family of four moving out of Tokyo to escape the chaos that ensues after the world collectively experiences a power cut in electricity. March 2, 8.00pm Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore Memoirs of a Murderer
An anonymous serial murderer committed five kills back in 1995 but 22 years has since passed and the statue of limitations has since passed (i.e. he can no longer be prosecuted). Taking advantage of that, the murderer, Sonezaki (Tetsuya Fujiwara), sensationally reveals himself to be the culprit and has even published a memoir detailing his crimes, which went on to become a best-seller. March 3, 8.00pm Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice
Directed by the late Yasujiro Ozo, one of the world’s most influential filmmakers, The Flavour of Green Tea is the story of a middle-aged, childless couple whose (arranged) marriage has fizzled out, like so many couples. It’s unexpectedly revivified when their young niece, full of romantic ideals, arrives to stay with them. Coming from Ozu at his prime (he would go on to direct the legendary Tokyo Story next year), this is one film not to miss. March 4, 8.00pm Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore The Long Excuse
Celebrated author Sachio (Masahiro Mataki) feels practically nothing when his wife (and her friend) have just died of a car accident. In an attempt to find closure, he helps to take care of the orphaned children of his wife’s friend. March 5, 8.00pm Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore Her Love Boils Bathwater
What’s a person to do when she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness? Divorced housewife Futaba (Miyazawa Rie) decides to make the most of the limited time she’s left with by reconciling with her ex-husband and restart her family’s defunct onsen business. March 11, 5.00pm Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore Like this? Check out the five super-cool events to head to this weekend (hint: there’s a secret underground party), everything you need to know about Singapore Design Week 2018, and the must-visit travel destinations of 2018.  Images: Japanese Film Festival Singapore