by Chris MaGee
As a Canadian I have a very embarrassing admission to make - I have never been to Vancouver. It's not that I don't want to visit (I do), but life and business have never taken me that far west. Banff yes, Vancouver no, sadly. But between May 27th and 29th I will be in the city at least in spirit as part of a truly exciting event for Japanese film fans.
Kibatsu Cinema, "a celebration of the odd and the eccentric in Japanese pop culture and contemporary Japanese film" will be taking over the Pacific Cinemathque and bringing some of the best in classic and new Japanese film to Vancouverites. Presented by the Powell Street Festival partners this year's line-up, programmed by Vancouver film-maker Susanne Tabata, will feature mind-bending, over the top, and exciting films from Japan. Which ones, you may ask...?
Enjoying its Canadian Premiere will be Go Shibata's "Doman Seman", which just won the Nippon Visions Award at the 11th annual Nippon Connection Film Festival, Nobuhiko Obayashi's zany and visionary 1978 horror film "House", Seijun Suzuki's classic gangster film of the 60's "Youth of the Beast", the film that "IOnception" should have been, Satoshi Kon's "Paprika", the anime adventures of "The Adventures of Haruhi Suzumiya", and finally Lewis Rapkin's documentary "Live from Tokyo" (above) on the thriving world of indie bands in Japan's capital.
I say that I will be at Kibatsu Cinema in spirit because I was asked to provide some curatorial help with the event, but this is Susanne Tabata's show and she's done a great job! (Plus if you're a fna of punk rock then make sure to check out her documentary "Bloodied but Unbowed" on Vancouvers punk secene of the 70's and 80's.) So if you're in Vancouver do not miss these screenings! For additional details on Kibatsu Cinema visit the Pacific Cinemateque website here. We leave you with the trailer for Go Shibata's "Doman Seman" to get you all in the mood...