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“Fukada Summer”: travel to Japan with Kôji Fukada’s films, to the cinema all summer

The young Japanese director Kôji Fukada, just forty years old, is being honored in theaters this summer with the screening of part of his filmography. His two-part film, selected at Cannes in 2020, Follow me I’m escaping you, and Escape me and I will follow you, which was to close at the end of August this “retrospective” was finally postponed to a date which is not yet known.

In the meantime, spectators can discover no less than five feature films, unreleased and covers over the summer: Hospitality (2010), in theaters since May 26, Goodbye summer (2013), from June 9, The nurse (2019), from June 30, Sayonara (2015), released on July 14, and finally, The sigh of the waves, August 4.

Hospitality is the story of a blended family, a father, his daughter, his new wife and his sister, live in a house in the heart of an old district of Tokyo. The family is shaken by the untimely arrival of a man who claims to be the son of an old friend of the family. After being hired in the small family printing house, this strange bird is gradually interfering in their lives …

Goodbye summer recounts the return of a woman to her native village. Mikie goes green to advance her work, the translation of an Indonesian novel. She came with her niece, who is preparing to enter university. This studious getaway turns into romance for the two women.

The nurse is a thriller about a woman, a home nurse, at the service of a family who considers her as a member of the family. But when the youngest daughter disappears, Ichiko is suspected of complicity in the kidnapping and the family wonder: who is she really?

Sayônara propels us into the future, in a Japan victim of terrorist attacks targeting its nuclear power plants. To avoid irradiation, its population is evacuated to neighboring countries, in order of priority according to racial criteria. In an isolated house in the mountains, Tania, originally from South Africa, ill, awaits her evacuation order, watched over by Leona, an android …

The sigh of the waves takes us to Indonesia. A young Japanese woman joins her Japanese aunt living in Sumatra, devastated ten years earlier by the tsunami. She lost her father when she was a child and she is in search of her roots. In Indonesia, she meets her cousin and friends. Shortly before his arrival, a mysterious man was found on the beach, emerging from who knows where. Baptized Laut (which means “sea” in Indonesian) it seems to have special powers.

“Fukada Summer” is an invitation to travel to contemporary Japan, through the singular universe of this young director, who mixes different registers, distilling in the banality of everyday life onirism, science fiction, zany or suspense. It is often the arrival of a foreign character in the scenario that upsets the routine and shifts the lines, like the old friend invading in Hospitality, benevolent in Harmonium, or of the mysterious stranger who rose from the waves in The sigh of the waves. The inflection can also be initiated by a change of scenery, from the city to the countryside, from Japan to abroad …

Sometimes compared to Rohmer, this young Japanese director offers a modern cinema and in line with his elders. The camera is often fixed, the shots long, planted in the intimate settings of the house, or in the beauty of the landscapes. Like Ozu in the 60s, Fukada chronicles the life of his time, outlines the relationships between his characters, and their place in Japanese society, with its evolutions, its ever-lively shackles. Koji Fukada installs the viewer in a rhythm leaving moments in suspense, silences, conducive to contemplation, reflection, or imagination.

Kôji Fukada summer, in collaboration with the association Hanabi and the production house Survival

– “Hospitality”, (1h 36min), comedy, with Kenji Yamauchi, Kanji Furutachi, Kiki Sugino (May 26, 2021)
– “Goodbye summer”, (2:05), drama, with Fumi Nikaidô, Mayu Tsuruta, Taiga (June 9, 2021)
– “The nurse”, (1h44) thriller, with Mariko Tsutsui, Mikako Ichikawa, Sosuke Ikematsu (June 30, 2021)
– “Sayonara”, (1h52) drama, with Bryerly Long, Geminoid F, Hirofumi Arai (July 14, 2021)
– “The Sigh of the Waves”, (1h29), drama, with Dean Fujioka, Mayu Tsuruta, Taiga (August 4, 2021)

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