Sake Gumi
In my day job, I work in the film department at a non-profit "cultural" organization, Japan Society, in Midtown East. So this means that my work consists of movies from Japan: watching them, writing about them, promoting them, blah blah. It's pretty neat- I'm not complaining one bit.

Ryo and I have been slaving away for the last few months in organizing Japan Society's first annual larger-than-life film festival, JAPAN CUTS, which runs from July 5-15. That's 11 days; 18 US and NY premieres of feature films (all excellent) ; over 60 shorts (some experimental, some artsy); 5 special guest directors flying in from Japan; 2 fabulous parties. Can you dig this? As EMF put it, IT'S UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Of course my absolute favorite movie of the entire festival would be about FOOD!!!! KAMOME DINER (above; directed by Naoko Ogigami, who will be here in person!) is about a cute little woman who moves to Helsinki and opens a simple diner serving traditional Japanese comfort foods. I won't bore you about it, as you can just read about it here, but don't miss it!!! It's just a delightful, peaceful film filled with delicious dishes and wildly colorful Marimekko prints that will warm your heart, tingle your spirit, and keep your stomach grumbling for more. It will make you truly believe in the power of food and how it brings people together. La-di-da.

There are two screenings: Thursday 7/12 at 8:10pm and Saturday 7/14 at 8:15pm. The Saturday screening will be followed by the ONIGIRI PARTY, where we will feast on rice balls with director Ogigami and just bask in the joys of her blissful film. I don't want to hype it up too much, but I truly am a fan of this movie. Please join us!

Other food-related films during the festival to enjoy are:

Fri. 7/13 at 9pm
Sun. 7/15 at 6pm

A bizarre, entrancing, gorgeous film. Art direction by the guy who worked exclusively with Seijun Suzuki. Lots of food talk and beauteous shots of a typical meal during dinnertime in Japan. They even talk about and slurp down shiokara, which is salted, preserved squid. Doesn't get much more Japanese than that. Dig it!

Saturday 7/14, 2:50pm

This little guy is a PEA!!! Monsieur Greenpeas, a little clay-like figurine, prances around a gloomy metropolis in search for his briefcase, stolen by the evil Joker.

The director, Yasuo Kurita, will be here as well, with Monsieur Greenpeas live!, giving us a demonstration of how he makes his fantastical animation films. It took Kurita almost 5 years to make this film-- he sculpted and shot all of these characters and sets himself! AMAZING!!!

My friend once commented to me that EVERY Japanese film he ever saw involved eating or food in some way. Wouldn't that be pretty amazing if it were true??? *k*


  • I didn’t go to Kamome Diner and was so mad when I found out the onigiri party was run by the Oms/b people!!

    Sonja on

  • I just saw Kamome Diner here in Vancouver at our Kibatsu Cinema event, and loved it too, for similar reasons! Nice blog, thanks! Lucky you, to get to eat onigiri with the director!

    Lydia on

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