The annual Japanese film festival touring Australia has just scrapped its must-see 2022 lineup

When mid-October rolls around, celebrating Japan by visiting the country will be back on the agenda as the Asian nation’s strict rules finally ease. Can’t make the trip as soon as possible? Want to experience your Japanese thrills at the movies or until you can hop on a plane? Then the Japanese Film Festival’s annual tour of Australia timed its return well.

Like every year, this year’s JFF has compiled a selection of must-see recent and retro Japanese films, and will take its lineup to Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. There are two parts, both coming to all locations except Western Australia: a classics series, showing iconic films in 35mm; and a look at the latest and greatest movies the country has to offer.

When it rounds from Saturday, November 5 through Wednesday, December 14, the 2022 festival will open with a historical drama Dreaming of the meridian arcwhich oscillates between present-day Japan and the Edo period to tell the story of the man who made the very first map of Japan.

Also a big highlight: the retro season’s focus on filmmaker Mikio Naruse, with 1954 The sound of the mountain1960s When a woman climbs the stairs and 1964 Suction on the invoice – and showing for free.

Returning to recent titles (and paid portion of the program), headliners include the psychological thriller murder lesson, which begins when a college student receives a letter from a serial killer on death row; drama In the wake, on the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011; and the anime Thermal Bluewith the world of competitive sliding on the screen.

Anime supremacy! IIt’s unsurprisingly focused on the characters who live and breathe anime production; Baby Assassins gives battling the yakuza (and being a hitman) a kawaii twist and a food documentary The pursuit of perfection follows top Tokyo chefs Takemasa Shinohara (Ginza Shinohara), Natsuko Shōji (Summer), Yōsuke Suga (Sugalabo), and Takaaki Sugita (Sushi Sugita).


Special Series: November 5-6 at NFSA
Latest releases: November 16 to 20 at Palace Electric

Last outings: November 21-27 at Palace Raine Square

Special series: from Friday November 11 to Sunday November 20 at QAGOMA
Latest outings: Wednesday November 23 to Sunday November 27 at Palace Barracks

Last outings: from Wednesday November 30 to Sunday December 4 at the Kino
Special series: from Friday December 2 to Sunday December 4 at the ACMI

Latest releases: Wednesday December 7 to Sunday December 11 at Palace Central, Palace Norton Street and Palace Verona
Special series: from Monday December 12 to Wednesday December 14 at La Chauvel

The 2022 Japanese Film Festival is traveling Australia from Saturday November 5 to Wednesday December 14. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website.

Images: Baby Assassins Film Partners / Blue Thermal Film Partners / AOI Pro/TY Limited.

Marie A. Evans