by Chris MaGee
This past week the line-up for the 67th annual Venice Film Festival was announced and in keeping with the fest's prestigious reputation for premiering some of the best new films from around the world Japan has a very respectable showing.
Globetrotting Japanese film fans will be able to catch the following films in Venice between September 1st and the 11th:
Cold Fish (above) - Indie bad boy Sion Sono follows up his international success "Love Exposure" (and the much lower profile drama "Be Sure to Share") with the story of two tropical fish dealers who spiral into serial murder and madness.
13 Assassins - Takashi Miike continues his march into the mainstream with this epic remake of Eiichi Kudo's 1963 jidai-geki adventure. Koji Yakusho stars as the leader of a group of samurai who take revenge on a ruthless lord.
Norwegian Wood - French/ Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung adapts Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami's novel about a love triangle in Tokyo circa the late 1960's to the big screen. Ken'ichi Matsuyama and Rinko Kikuchi star while Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood provides the original score.
Shock Labyrinth - "Ju-on" creator Takashi Shimizu takes horror into a whole new dimension, namely 3D, in this story of a group of friends who get trapped in a haunted amusement park.
Zebraman & Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City - Takashi Miike makes his second and third appearance in this year's line-up with the original 2004 superhero film "Zebraman" as well as its futuristic sequel "Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City ", both starring Sho Aikawa.
For a complete look at this year's Venice Film Festival line-up visit its official website here; and to get you excited for this new batch of Japanese films check out the trailer for Miike's "13 Assassins" below.