Planet Japan (supported by BFI Japan) + BFI Japan on Tour

Planet Japan is a very popular part of the Fanomenon programme section at LIFF, every year bringing to Leeds more wild and wonderful fantasy film creations from Japanese filmmakers. For LIFF 2021 we are delighted to present a specially extended edition of Planet Japan, supported by BFI Japan, with 14 live-action and animated features. The selection includes premieres of exciting debuts from new filmmakers, the latest from cult film legends like Takashi Miike, previous LIFF audience favourites like Summer Time Machine Blues and Symbol, and rarely-screened treasures Angel's Egg and The Man Who Stole the Sun.

We're also delighted to present Japanese masterpieces from the BFI Japan on Tour programme: Funeral Parade of Roses, Seven Samurai. Throne of Blood, and Tokyo Story.

Japan 2021: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema is a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.

Planet Japan at LIFF 2021

Angel's Egg (1985)

One of the earliest films from Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Angel’s Egg has an almost mythical status - a mysterious and mystical anime that audiences rarely get the opportunity to see.

Cube (2021, European Premiere)

Yasuhiko Shimizu's remake of Vincenzo Natali’s claustrophobic sci-fi - a group of strangers awaken in a mysterious square room, with hatches in each of the walls. 

Fortune Favours Lady Nikuko (2021, English Premiere)

Directed by Ayumu Watanabe, who created the incredible Children of the Sea (LIFF 2019), Fortune Favours Lady Nikuko is an equally wonderful new anime from Studio 4°C.

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Much like flipping through Japanese TV channels, this audience favourite from LIFF 2006 is a brilliantly outrageous collection of surreal episodes that will melt logic, and likely minds.

The Great Yokai War: Guardians (2021, UK Premiere)

Takashi Miike returns to his 2005 foray into family-friendly fantasy-extravaganza (The Great Yokai War) with a cavalcade of creatures from Japanese folklore for some endlessly entertaining mystical movie mayhem.

Junk Head (2021, UK Premiere of full version)

12 years in gestation, Takahide Hori’s eye-bogglingly detailed stop-motion sci-fi/horror passion project joins that exclusive world of truly unique, independent anime.

The Man Who Stole the Sun on 35mm (1979)

A very rarely screened Japanese cult classic, Kazuhiko Hasegawa's The Man Who Stole the Sun is a brilliantly eccentric mix of explosive thriller and satirical black comedy.

Sing a Bit of Harmony (2021, English Premiere)

Written and directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who also directed the brilliant anime Patema Inverted (LIFF 2013), Sing a Bit of Harmony tells the story of the beautiful and mysterious student Shion.

Summer Ghost (2021, International Premiere)

Summer Ghost is the directorial debut of loundraw, who previously illustrated I Want to Eat Your Pancreas and Josee, The Tiger and the Fish.

Summer Time Machine Blues (2006)

This charming, delightful, and zany comedy from Katsuyuki Motohiro follows the time-travel adventures of a college Sci-fi club.

Symbol (2009)

Symbol is a sublime and surreal comic fantasy from popular Japanese TV comedian and filmmaker Hitoshi Matsumoto.

The Town of Headcounts (2021, UK Premiere)

Part dystopian conspiracy thriller, part prescient societal warning, Shinji Araki’s stylised debut intelligently dissects society’s compulsion for instant gratification and corporately-controlled decision-making.

Tokyo Revengers (2021, UK Premiere)

Adapted from the Weekly Shonen Magazine manga of the same name, Tsutomu Hanabusa's Tokyo Revengers is an action-packed high-school drama featuring time travel, gang rivalry and a love story.

Wool 100% (2006)

Filmmaker Mai Tominaga had a background in animation before making her feature debut with Wool 100%, a charming yarn about yearning featuring two old sisters whose home has been taken over by their collected junk.

BFI Japan on Tour at LIFF 2021

Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)

The radical heart of Japan beats loudly in Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses, which nimbly combines late-60s queer / transgender / underground Tokyo culture, Greek tragedy, documentary, parody and schlock-horror.

Seven Samurai (1954)

A motley assortment of masterless Samurai bands together to defend a poor village from bandits in Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece and one of the most influential films ever made.

Throne of Blood (1957)

Akira Kurosawa transposed Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Japan’s Middle Ages, and with that made the fullest realisation of the play’s horror, the surging energies that no theatre stage could ever contain.

Tokyo Story (1953)

For the last decade of global film culture Yasujirô Ozu's Tokyo Story has often been placed at the top of the tallest tree: ‘The Greatest Ever’. Ozu’s unwavering style is transcendent; this extraordinary film merits every word of fascination.

Other Japanese films screening at LIFF 2021

Drive My Car (2021)

Presented in Official Selection at LIFF 2021, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's sublime and richly complex drama is adapted from a Haruki Murakami short story probing the psychological subtleties of love and loss, identity and infidelity.

Transform! (2021, European Premiere)

The Closing Film of the documentary section Cinema Versa at LIFF 2021, Transform! is a genuine expansion of the way disability is represented on film. Filmmaker Ishida Tomoya is a young disabled man and a wheelchair user who documents his own adventures with choreographer Osamu Jareo.