by Chris MaGee
Word from Jasper Sharp of MidnightEye today that he's help put together a half dozen films for The Japan Foundation UK's upcoming "Reality Fiction" programme that is set to tour throughout the United Kingdom this February and March. The six films highlight "how Japanese filmmakers have been influenced by actual events, some of which have shaped the nation’s recent history," and include Kei Kumai's "A Chain of Islands (Nihon Retto)", Kaneto Shindo's "Live Today, Die Tomorrow (Hadaka no jukyu sai)", Juji Sakamoto's "Face (Kao)", Mitsuo Yanagimachi's "Who's Camus Anyway? ((Kamyu nante shiranai)", Sho Igarashi's "Chosyu Five" (above) and Yasutomo Chikuma's "Now, I (Ima, Boku Wa)".
As part of the touring programme there will be a lecture given on February 13th at the Japan Foundation offices in London by Dr. Andrew Cobbing, Professor of History at the University of Nottingham, about the historical significance of the Chosyu Five, a group of five Japanese men who shortly after the opening of their country by Commodore Matthew Perry and the U.S. Navy in 1854 traveled left Japan, a crime punishable by death, to travel to England to study Western science and technology. Sounds like fascinating stuff, so if you're in the UK click here to find out when and were you can catch these great films.