Press

2020-11-17

Hong Kong Arts Centre - The Treasure Box of Love and Death: Obayashi Nobuhiko Film Showcase (12 – 20/12/2020) @Louis Koo Cinema, HKAC

Presented by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong and The Japan Foundation

Co-presented by the Hong Kong Arts Centre

Supported by Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong - Rediscovering Nippon

The Treasure Box of Love and Death: Obayashi Nobuhiko Film Showcase

12 – 20/12/2020

Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre

Image download*: http://ftp.hkac.org.hk/MDD/Obayashi_Nobuhiko_Film_Showcase/

***Film stills cannot be altered nor cropped; photo credits are required. THANK YOU!

Teaser: https://youtu.be/I6lREWPWAfI

 

 

 

Presented by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong and The Japan Foundation, co-presented by the Hong Kong Arts Centre and supported by Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong - Rediscovering Nippon, moving image programme The Treasure Box of Love and Death: Obayashi Nobuhiko Film Showcase takes place at the Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre from 12 to 20 December 2020. Japanese director Obayashi Nobuhiko, who died in April this year, left behind a large number of works with diverse themes in different fields, from experimental films to TV commercials and mainstream features. The Treasure Box of Love and Death: Obayashi Nobuhiko Film Showcase commemorates this magical film artist, screening six selected features by Obayashi from the collection of the Foundation, including four rarely seen works from the 1980s, from which audiences can observe various motifs found in Obayashi’s films: home, playfulness, pacifism and the tragedy of love.

 

Seven Weeks is a film event organised by the town of Ashibetsu in Hokkaido, and it was financed independently, with 80% of the budget raised from residents in the area. The story follows the events after the death of Suzuki Mitsuo, a retired doctor who passed away at the age of 95. His children gather from all over Japan to attend his funeral, and they fight over what to do with the old things scattered throughout his house, stirring up memories about World War II and Korean miners. His children gather from all over Japan to attend his funeral. Hanagatami was adapted from House on Fire author and protagonist Dan Kazuo’s debut novel. This is about a seventeen-year-old high school student, moves in with his aunt in Karatsu, and soon develops tumultuous friendships with his classmates and infatuations with his younger cousin as well as other local beauties, just before the outbreak of the Pacific War. The Strange Couple portrays the disrupted life of the married couple Murota and Yuko when their childhood friend is released from jail. Obayashi used Agfa film to shoot this film, creating a colourful palette rarely seen in Japanese films by capturing trains running in the middle of a busy city, as well as the dirty and haphazard small houses along the coast, portraying an atmosphere of Onomichi city that is at once absurd and unique. In The Ruined City, a university student visits a remote town famed for its canals in order to work on his undergraduate dissertation. He is immediately attracted to the young girl running the guesthouse in which he stays, and is enchanted by the constant sound of the waters. However, to the locals, this charming and laid-back small town is a dying and ruined city, and the large guesthouse and the family living within it are in a state of tragic decline. The story of The Young and Wild takes place in a town located near the Seto Inland Sea in the days before the outbreak of World War II. A young boy is transferred to a primary school in the area and quickly starts a battle with his classmates to decide who will be the king of the children. Meanwhile, his beautiful older sister Osho-chan becomes the object of desire among all the male students, teachers, and even a young army officer, who compete with each other for her affection. When they find out that she is about to be sold to prostitution, all the men in town unite to save her… Four Sisters is a story of four sisters of the Kitazawa family from Kyoto who, as it turns out, are not blood relatives, tracing the romantic and familial relationships of the women along with their trials and tribulations as they experience the various vicissitudes of life. It was seen as an updated version of the classic film The Makioka Sisters when it was released.       

 

Veteran film critic Cheng Chuen-wai will attend after-screening talk of The Young and Wild to share his insights on the works of Obayashi. The talk is conducted in Cantonese only.

 

For further details, please refer to the information below. For press tickets, interviews or further information, please contact Zoe Tsang (Tel: +852 2582 0215) of the HKAC.

 

The Treasure Box of Love and Death: Obayashi Nobuhiko Film Showcase

Seven Weeks

Fourth place (Top 10 Japanese Films of All Time), Kinema Junpo 2014

Special Award, Japanese Professional Movie Awards 2014

 

“Maybe a person’s karma lives on in future generations.”

 

Date & Time: 12/12/2020 (Sat) 2:30pm

Japan | 2014 | 171 mins | In Japanese with English subtitles | DCP | Colour

 

Obayashi Nobuhiko served as the “principal” of the “Ashibetsu Film School”, a film event organised by the town of Ashibetsu in Hokkaido, and this film was financed independently, with 80% of the budget raised from residents in the area. The story follows the events after the death of Suzuki Mitsuo, a retired doctor who passed away at the age of 95. His children gather from all over Japan to attend his funeral. It transpired that after his retirement, Suzuki had turned his home into a secondhand store, and between the first funeral ceremony seven days after his death and the seventh one held 49 days afterwards, his children fight over what to do with the old things scattered throughout his house, stirring up memories about World War II and Korean miners. The dead and the living, past and present intersperse throughout the film, along with the verses of the poet Nakahara Chuya, invoking a faint sense of nostalgia that harks back to the bitter memories of war.

 

Hanagatami

First runner-up (Top 10 Japanese Films of All Time) and Best Director, Kinema Junpo 2017

Best Film, Mainichi Film Concours 2018

“I’d like to live.”

 

Date & Time: 13/12/2020 (Sun) 2:30pm

 

Japan | 2017 | 168 mins | In Japanese with English subtitles | DCP | Colour

 

Just prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War, Toshihiko, a seventeen-year-old high school student, moves in with his aunt in Karatsu, and soon develops tumultuous friendships with his classmates and infatuations with his younger cousin as well as other local beauties. However, his youthful recklessness and budding romances are soon swallowed up by war. Adapted from House on Fire author and protagonist Dan Kazuo’s debut novel, Hanagatami was actually written before Obayashi Nobuhiko’s first narrative feature, House, and only went into production 40 years later.

 

The Strange Couple

Nominated for Best Director and Best Art Direction, Japan Academy Film Prize 1989

 

“Let’s live on with patience although our dream is broken.”

 

Date & Time: 19/12/2020 (Sat) 3:30pm

 

Japan | 1988 | 108 mins | In Japanese with English subtitles | 16mm | Colour

 

Debt collector Murota lives with his wife Yuko in a small town by the sea, but following the release of their childhood friend from jail and his rejoining of the yakuza, the relationship between Murota and Yuko undergoes a subtle change. At this time, a cinema by the seaside prepares for its last movie show. Adapted from a manga by Yamasaki Juzo, Obayashi Nobuhiko used Agfa film to shoot this film, creating a colourful palette rarely seen in Japanese films by capturing trains running in the middle of a busy city, as well as the dirty and haphazard small houses along the coast, portraying an atmosphere of Onomichi city that is at once absurd and unique. The film within a film interspersed throughout is Lily from Shanghai (Shima Koji, 1952), and Obayashi even convinced that film’s leading man to come out of retirement to play a part, forming an interesting filmic dialogue.

 

The Ruined City

Ninth place (Top 10 Japanese Films of All Time), Kinema Junpo 1984

 

“I’m nothing at all.”

 

Date & Time: 19/12/2020 (Sat) 7:30pm

 

Japan | 1983 | 105 mins | In Japanese with English subtitles | 16mm | Colour

 

A university student visits a remote town famed for its canals in order to work on his undergraduate dissertation. He is immediately attracted to the young girl running the guesthouse in which he stays, and is enchanted by the constant sound of the waters. However, to the locals, this charming and laid-back small town is a dying and ruined city, and the large guesthouse and the family living within it are in a state of tragic decline. Obayashi Nobuhiko filmed this art film in two weeks during the summer holidays with a mini crew as well as the participation of local residents, and used 16mm film to capture the unique scenery of Yanagawa, successfully recreating the “private novel” atmosphere of Fukunaga Takehiko’s book upon which the film is based. This is the first film in which Kobayashi Satomi plays a leading role, as well as being pre-war star Irie Takako’s final work.

 

The Young and Wild                       

Sponichi Grand Prize New Talent Award, Mainichi Film Concours 1987

Best Rediscoveries, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 2015

 

“Liar! Cheat! Apologise!”

 

Date & Time: 20/12/2020 (Sun) 2:30pm*

*Veteran film critic Cheng Chuen-wai will attend the after-screening talk. Conducted in Cantonese.

 

Japan | 1986 | 135 mins | In Japanese with English subtitles | 16mm | Colour

 

The story of The Young and Wild takes place in a town located near the Seto Inland Sea in the days before the outbreak of World War II. A young boy is transferred to a primary school in the area and quickly starts a battle with his classmates to decide who will be the king of the children. Meanwhile, his beautiful older sister Osho-chan becomes the object of desire among all the male students, teachers, and even a young army officer, who compete with each other for her affection. When they find out that she is about to be sold to prostitution, all the men in town unite to save her… Made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of PSC, the production company founded by Obayashi Nobuhiko, The Young and Wild was adapted from Sato Haruo's semi-autobiographical novel, Wanpaku Jidai. By shifting the time period from the Russo-Japanese War to WWII, the film combines a jovial style with profound ruminations about war, and represents the start of a series of films with anti-war themes from the director.

 

Four Sisters

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Japan Academy Film Prize 1987

 

“We’re closer than blood ties. We’re the true sisters.”

 

Date & Time: 20/12/2020 (Sun) 7:30pm

 

Japan | 1985 | 100 mins | In Japanese with English subtitles | 16mm | Colour

 

The story of four sisters of the Kitazawa family from Kyoto who, as it turns out, are not blood relatives, tracing the romantic and familial relationships of the women along with their trials and tribulations as they experience the various vicissitudes of life. In the 1980s, Obayashi Nobuhiko was widely seen as a director specialising in teen idol films, directing many rising stars in their film debuts and breakthrough hits. This film stars four popular young stars of the day, Konno Misako, Asano Atsuko, Sawaguchi Yasuko and Tomita Yasuko, and Four Sisters was seen as an updated version of the classic film The Makioka Sisters when it was released. However, unlike its gentle and delicate predecessor, Obayashi’s work, adapted from Oyama Kazuhide’s teen manga, starts out as lighthearted and playful but takes on a tragic life and death weightiness towards the end, running the full gamut of emotions from joyfulness to tears.

 

The Young and Wild: After-Screening Talk

Date: 20/12/2020 (Sun)

Start time of screening: 2:30pm

Start time of talk: 4:45pm

Venue: Louis Koo Cinema, HKAC

Language: Conducted in Cantonese

About the speaker

Cheng Chuen-wai is a cinephile and an independent writer, and is Vice-President of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society (HKFCS). His articles have been published in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, Ta Kung Pao and on the website of the HKFCS.

 

Screening Schedule

12/12Sat

13/12Sun

19/12Sat

20/12Sun

2:30pm

Seven Weeks

2:30pm

Hanagatami

 

2:30pm

The Young and Wild (With after-screening talk)

 

 

3:30pm

The Strange Couple

 

 

 

7:30pm

The Ruined City

7:30pm

Four Sisters

 

The Treasure Box of Love and Death: Obayashi Nobuhiko Film Showcase

Date: 12-20/12/2020

Venue: Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre

 

Presented by Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong and The Japan Foundation

Co-presented by Hong Kong Arts Centre

Supported by Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong - Rediscovering Nippon

 

Tickets are now available at URBTIX!

 

Individual tickets: $80 / $64*

Tickets package: $350 (Includes 1 ticket each of the 6 screenings)

 

*20% off for each purchase of 4 or more standard tickets.

*20% off discount for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. Tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis. Concessionary ticket holders must produce evidence of their identity or age upon admission.

 

Credit card telephone booking: 2111 5999  |  Ticketing enquiries: 3761 6661 (10:00-20:00 Daily)

Mobile ticketing app booking: My URBTIX (Android & iPhone versions)

Internet booking: www.urbtix.hk

 

Details: https://hkac.org.hk/calendar_detail/?u=jaNuIZa2grE

Trailer: https://youtu.be/I6lREWPWAfI

Image Download*: http://ftp.hkac.org.hk/MDD/Obayashi_Nobuhiko_Film_Showcase/

*Film stills cannot be altered nor cropped; photo credits are required.

 

Hong Kong Arts Centre Moving Images

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Instagram: www.instagram.com/hongkongartscentremovingimages/

Website: www.hkac.org.hk

 

Programme enquiries: 2582 0203

 

 

 

About Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC)

The Hong Kong Arts Centre is a multi-arts centre that fosters artistic exchanges locally and internationally, bringing the most forward creations to Hong Kong and showcasing homegrown talents abroad. The HKAC stimulates innovation and promotes creativity. Being Hong Kong’s only independent non-profit multi-arts institution, the HKAC offers exhibitions, screenings and performances, connecting the arts of Hong Kong to the rest of the world through programmes and collaborations. Come to the HKAC to experience, appreciate, learn and be inspired by arts.

 

Hong Kong Arts CentreMedia Enquiry

Annie Ho

Marketing & Development Director

Tel: 2824 5306 / 9481 8706

Email: aho@hkac.org.hk

Zoe Tsang

Marketing & Development Officer

Tel: 2582 0215

Email: ztsang@hkac.org.hk

Jacqueline Tong

Project Manager
Tel: 2582 0247

Email: jtong@hkac.org.hk