Japan Foundation Touring Programme: OF LOVE AND LAW at Curzon Soho (21 FEB).

NOW BOOKING: Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme at ICA & Curzon Soho

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns to ICA (02 to 10 FEB) & Curzon Soho (21 FEB) with a theme of “Love”. Here’s what you need to know about the programme of 18 films – ranging from contemporary dramas to anime & classics – many of which have not been seen in the UK before.

Japan Foundation Touring Programme: DESTINY THE TALE OF KAMAKURA at ICA (03 FEB).
Japan Foundation Touring Programme: DESTINY: THE TALE OF KAMAKURA at ICA (03 FEB).

“Love, in all its semblances and dimensions, is a state so universally experienced by humankind that it has provided a perpetual source of inspiration in the long history of global cinema.” Japan Foundation London.

February is a month for the amorously inclined and new season PEOPLE STILL CALL IT LOVE looks at the theme from a variety of perspectives (the season’s subtitle is Passion, Affection and Destruction in Japanese Cinema).

Japan Foundation London makes regular appearance on our pages, offering always excellent free programmes in the Spring/Summer as well as more formal affairs like this one at ICA and Curzon Soho.

We’ve listed all of the films screening in London and noted their special features. If you can’t catch the films in the capital, you can find them elsewhere: full UK tour details are HERE.

Here’s our breakdown of the seasons’ major attractions.


We always love to hear from the working acts behind the screens and this year’s tour is supported by some great-looking Q&As. Four films in the programme are directed by women, two of whom join the UK tour.

Yukiko Mishima’s career spans nearly three decades, having started by writing and directing television series. Her first feature film, THE TATTOER, was released in 2009 and is based on Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s literary classic. Plans for Mishima to take part in Q&As for her latest feature, DEAR ETRANGER, are being confirmed… (the film screens in London 06 FEB at ICA).

DEAR ETRANGER aka Osanago warera ni umare (2017) (06 FEB 18:20, ICA): “Director Yukiko Mishima trifles with Japanese family drama conventions, taking fresh and unexpected trajectories in her adaptation of Kiyoshi Shigematsu’s 1996 novel.”

Keisuke Yoshida is a well-established Japanese director and screenwriter. Following his debut film RAW SUMMER (2005), he has produced a further nine works. Yoshida will take part in a Q&A after both screenings of THICKER THAN WATER at ICA (08 FEB & 09 FEB).

THICKER THAN WATER aka Ken’en (2018) + Q&A with director Keisuke Yoshida (08 FEB 18:20 & 09 FEB 20:30, ICA): “A gripping drama exploring universally experienced sibling rivalry and the thin line between love and hate.

Hikaru Toda is a self-shooting director/editor based in London and Osaka, working in long and short format docs. Toda moved to Japan for the first time in 22 years to make OF LOVE & LAW which enjoys limited previews at Curzon Soho and closes the PEOPLE STILL CALL IT LOVE season (21 FEB).


Enticing seasons like this can be hard on the pocket, but ICA have it covered… Buy “4 tickets for the price of 3” by calling the Box Office (020 7930 3647). If you would like to buy 4 tickets for the same screening (or pairs of tickets) you can still receive the offer, which is pretty nice.


Japan Foundation Touring Programme: WHERE CHIMNEYS ARE SEEN at ICA (02 FEB).
Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme: WHERE CHIMNEYS ARE SEEN at ICA (02 FEB).

If you could see just one, we’d pick, either…

WHERE CHIMNEYS ARE SEEN aka Entotsu no mieru basho (1953) (02 FEB 16:10, ICA): “A rare opportunity to see one of the great directors Heinosuke Gosho’s masterpiece of post-war marriage and family life.”


OF LOVE & LAW aka Ai to hou (2017) + Q&A with director Hikaru Toda & producer Elhum Shakerifar (21 FEB 18:30, Curzon Soho): “With the backdrop of civil liberties under attack, the film poses universal questions about what it takes to be an individual, what it means to be a minority and what role a family plays in our increasingly polarised world.”


Japan Foundation Touring Programme: TONIGHT, AT THE MOVIES/COLOUR ME TRUE at ICA (09 FEB).
Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme: TONIGHT, AT THE MOVIES/COLOUR ME TRUE at ICA (09 FEB).

ICA (02 to 10 FEB)

TREMBLE ALL YOU WANT d. Akiko Ohku, 2017 (02 FEB 13:50); WHERE CHIMNEYS ARE SEEN d. Heinosuke Gosho, 1953 (02 FEB 16:10); THE SCYTHIAN LAMB d. Daihachi Yoshida, 2018 (02 FEB 18:20); DESTINY: THE TALE OF KAMAKURA d. Takashi Yamazaki, 2017 (03 FEB 13:30); DAD’S LUNCH BOX + INTRO d. Masakazu Fukatsu, 2017 (03 FEB 16:00); HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER d. Ryôta Nakano, 2016 (03 FEB 18:00 + 08 FEB 20:40); BLINDLY IN LOVE d. Masahide Ichii, 2013 (05 FEB 18:15 / 10 FEB 13:10); YURIGOKORO d. Naoto Kumazawa, 2017 (05 FEB 20:30); DEAR ETRANGER d. Yukiko Mishima, 2017 (06 FEB 18:20); PUMPKIN & MAYONNAISE d. Masanori Tominaga, 2017 (07 FEB 18:30); MY FRIEND ‘A’ d. Takahisa Zeze, 2018 (07 FEB 20:30); THICKER THAN WATER + Q&A with director Keisuke Yoshida, 2018 (08 FEB 18:20 & 09 FEB 20:30); GOOD STRIPES d. Yukiko Sode, 2015 (09 FEB 13:40); PENGUIN HIGHWAY d. Hiroyasu Ishida, 2018 (09 FEB 16:00); TONIGHT, AT THE MOVIES/COLOUR ME TRUE d. Hideki Takeuchi, 2018 (09 FEB 18:20); BORN BONE BORN d. Toshiyuki Teruya, 2018 (10 FEB 15:30); and, THREE STORIES OF LOVE d. Ryosuke Hashiguchi, 2015 (10 FEB 18:00).


Japan Foundation Touring Programme: OF LOVE & LAW at Curzon Soho (21 FEB).
Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme: OF LOVE & LAW at Curzon Soho (21 FEB).

OF LOVE & LAW + Q&A with director Hikaru Toda & producer Elhum Shakerifar, 2017 (21 FEB 18:30 – featured image).


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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.