|Edinburgh International Film Festival Presents Shinji Somai Retrospective|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 14:15|
The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) kicks off next week. The 2012 programme includes a Retrospective of Japanese director Shinji Somai’s work.
Greatly admired in Japan, Somai is only beginning to receive international recognition, as is highlighted by the fact that many of Somai’s films will have their first UK screening at the EIFF, and several will be European premieres. The EIFF runs from Wednesday 20 June to Sunday 1 July 2012.
The films of Shinji Somai (1948-2001) are a constant source of inspiration for Japanese filmmakers. His body of work spans the 1980s and 1990s, a period in Japanese film history that remains little explored by Western film scholars and largely inaccessible to Western audiences. Yet without an understanding of this period, and of Somai’s significance, it is impossible to understand the transition from the golden age of Japanese studio filmmaking to the recent explosion of personal, independent filmmaking in Japan.
A unique stylist in a variety of popular genres, Somai made films that were well received in Japan by both critics and the general public. Among the films to screen at EIFF will be SAILOR SUIT AND MACHINE GUN (1981); P.P. RIDER (1983); THE CATCH (1983); TYPHOON CLUB (1985); MOVING (1993); THE FRIENDS (1994) and WAIT AND SEE (1998).
Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “Shinji Somai is one of the most personal and original Japanese filmmakers, and a master whose work has been almost completely neglected outside Japan. Just over ten years after his passing, I believe the time is right for Somai. Audiences and critics will be amazed by what they discover in this body of work, which I’m delighted to bring to the UK.”
Kanako Hayashi, director of TOKYO FILMeX, collaborator on the Retrospective with EIFF, said: "Last November, TOKYO FILMeX held a full retrospective of Shinji Somai’s films at the 10th anniversary of his passing. A large audience, including our filmmaker guests from abroad, enjoyed them a lot. He was one of the most important filmmakers in Japan at the end of the 20th century, and his films should be introduced all over the world at present, just as if he were continuing to make films today. (In fact, Somai was just one year younger than Takeshi Kitano.) I urge lovers of film not to miss this chance to follow Somai’s unique artistic trajectory throughout his works at Edinburgh."
List of films from Japan which will be screening:
Isn’t Anyone Alive? (Ikiteru mono inai no ka)
Lost Chapter of Snow: Passion (Yuki no dansho - jonetsu)
Love Hotel (Rabu hoteru)
Luminous Woman (Hikaru onna)
No Man's Zone (Mujin chitai)
PP Rider (Shonben raida)
Sailor Suit and Machine Gun (Sera-fuku to kikanju)
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
The Catch (Gyoei no mure)
The Friends (Natsu no niwa)
The Terrible Couple (Tonda kappuru)
Tokyo Drifter (Tokyo dorifuta)
Tokyo Heaven (Tokyo joku irasshaimase)
Typhoon Club (Taifu kurabu)
Wait and See (Ah, haru)
Full list of films which will be screening can be available here.
About the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
Notable films premiered in recent years have included: 35 SHOTS OF RUM, THE HURT LOCKER, MOON, FISH TANK, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, SOMERS TOWN, MAN ON WIRE, CONTROL, KNOCKED UP, RATATOUILLE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, TSOTSI, BILLY ELLIOT and AMORES PERROS.
EIFF is supported by Creative Scotland, The City of Edinburgh Council, the Scottish Government through the Edinburgh Festival’s Expo Fund and the BFI. EIFF is part of the Year of Creative Scotland, a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL, which will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage.
The Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) was founded in 2010 with a vision to be the lead agency for film and the moving image in Scotland. The CMI currently comprises the EIFF, Edinburgh Filmhouse and Edinburgh Film Guild and its aim is to lead, inspire, educate and entertain in the moving image space. The CMI is currently developing an ambitious plan to create new businesses and initiatives in Scotland related to film thought and practice.