curated by Yorgos Kostianis
WABI-SABI | FOCUS JAPAN
One of the most important and characteristic traits which strengthens the identity of Concorto Film Festival is its international view. Showing foreign and little-known filmography to enable our audience to broaden its cinematographic horizons is something we are particularly fond of.
Therefore – since 2009 – we have embraced the challenge of dedicating a special section of the festival to a determined country with the aim of casting light on new and unusual perspectives strongly connected to its cultural and socio-political context. This is how the focuses on Poland, Israel, Québec, Korea, Sweden, Belgium, Iran, Greece, Cuba, Argentina and Romania were born.
This year, in accordance with its trailblazing spirit, Concorto Film Festival has decided to focus on Japanese cinema.
If we were to summarize the long history of Japanese filmography with a keyword, the most appropriate would be wabi-sabi. The meaning of this Japanese saying could be an unusual change of perspective which might lead to a strong and deep internal change, inviting us to slow down and focus on the surrounding reality and its evocative shades and details. And this is exactly the objective of Concorto Film Festival: to reflect and delve into this concept through the work of young Japanese authors, heirs to this long and replete filmic legacy.
The selected movies
by Yorgos Kostianis
And So We Put Goldfish in The Pool by Nagahisa Makoto, 2016
Cycle Cycle by Junichi Kanai, 2017
Girl of Wall by Yuji Harada, 2011
Kyo-Netsu by Yuji Mitsuhashi, 2017
Nagisa by Takeshi Kogahara, 2017
Small People With Hats by Sarina Nihei, 2014
Wind by Toshiyuki Ichihara, 2018
And So We Put Goldfish in The Pool – Nagahisa Makoto
Four teenage girls –suffocated by the stagnancy of their provincial home town– decide to unleash 400 goldfish in the pool of their high school, hoping deep down that they themselves will one day be set free.
A post-modern film employing a dizzying array of different styles submersed in the theme of adolescent rebellion and the quest for freedom from the shackles of mundanity. With this film, Makoto Nagahisa became the first Japanese director to ever win the prestigious Sundance Festival (2017).
Cycle Cycle – Junichi Kanai
Junpei and Satoshi embark on a journey across Japan on a tandem bike. Soon, however, they have a falling-out and they part ways. Continuing on his journey, Junpei meets Mitsuru, a young hitch-hiker, and together they will go on a new adventure that they will never forget.
A sweet and absurd coming-of-age comedy that discreetly underscores Japan’s societal problems.
Girl of Wall – Yuji Harada
“Girl of Wall” tells the story of Yoda, a happy-go-lucky girl with the hobby of hugging walls. Awkward and clumsy yet at the same time tremendously entertaining and adorable, much like its protagonist, this short will unfailingly find its way to your hearts.
Kyo-Netsu – Yuji Mitsuhashi
A breathtakingly vertiginous film noir that follows the daily grind of an author suffering from writer’s block. In his search for inspiration and release from his monotonous life, he develops a fetishism for erotic asphyxiation that he vents on his wife. However, the confines between fiction and reality slowly begin to crumble.
Nagisa – Takeshi Kogahara
A boy tries to get closer to his classmate during their swimming courses. Their brief conversations by the poolside will remain forever etched in his memory.
Small People with Hats – Sarina Nihei
A delightfully eccentric and disturbing animation based on ideas of despair and absurdity in modern society through the playful and satiric gaze of Sarina Nihei.
Wind – Toshiyuki Ichihara
A gust of wind brings a tiny miracle to an old lady who is attending her loved one’s deathbed. A short exemplary of the unpredictability and absurdity of Japanese cinema.