Japanese Film Festival to run Feb. 15 – 16

Washington University will host free screenings of two recent Japanese films Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, in Brown Hall, Room 100.

“Hanging Garden” (2005), beginning at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15, explores the quirky soul of a dysfunctional clan struggling to survive amidst the pressures of the modern age.

It is directed by Toshiaki Toyoda, whose previous works include “Pornostar” (1998), “Blue Spring” (2001) and “9 Souls” (2003).

“Hanging Garden” follows Eriko Kyobashi (Kyoko Koizumi), a middle-class mother who establishes an unconventional family policy of complete truthfulness and transparency. Yet secrets nevertheless remain: Eriko’s teenage daughter stages trysts at the love hotel where she was conceived, while her husband and son each conduct affairs with the son’s tutor. Through it all, Eriko struggles to keep her own depression hidden from the others.

“Linda Linda Linda” (2005), beginning at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, traces the trials and triumphs of an all-girl band on the cusp of adulthood. Set in a high school on the outskirts of Tokyo, the story follows a group of friends who decide to perform at an upcoming school festival. Two days before the concert, their guitarist and lead singer quit the band. To avoid canceling, the remaining members enlist a Korean foreign exchange student, Son (Bae Doo-na), who leads the band despite not being fluent in Japanese.

Directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita, “Linda Linda Linda” features original music by James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins as well as songs by Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts and a cameo appearance by The Ramones.

The screenings are sponsored by the programs in Film & Media Studies, International and Area Studies, and East Asian Studies, all in Arts & Sciences, with assistance from the Japan Foundation.

For more information, call the Film & Media Studies Program at 935-4056.