Eiga Sai 2011 at Ayala Cebu Cinema 4

An exquisite Japanese cinematic experience awaits film lovers this August as the Eiga Sai begins its screenings this August 2, at Ayala Center Cebu Cinema 4.

“Eiga Sai,” which means “film festival” is now on its 13th year and is in celebration of Philippines-Japan Friendship month. The Japan Foundation is showing Japanese films for cultural education and exchange.  This year’s roster of exciting films to be featured are The Summit: Chronicle of Stones; The Chef of South Polar; One Million Yen Girl; Your Friend; Yunagi City, Sakura Country; Summer Days with Coo; Climber’s High; Feel the Wind; and Villon’s Wife.

All films will be shown with English subtitles. Admission is free.

Read more for the schedules of screenings at Ayala Center Cebu Cinema 4.


AUGUST 2 (Tuesday) – 7:00 PM

Shûichi Okita’s “Nanyoku Ryorinin” (The Chef of South Polar, 125 minutes)

A heart-warming comedy based on the famous essay written by a chef who went to South Pole in 1997.

The film depicts with humor the hilarious and touching story about a meal and the South Pole experienced by 8 men research team dispatched at Dome Fuji Station in Antarctica, 100km away from Antarctic Coast wherein neither animals nor viruses survive. Several unique characters have to live together for one and a half years. How would life be in the South Pole?


AUGUST 3 (Wednesday) – 7:00 PM

Masato Harada’s “Kurimatsu Hai” (Climber’s High, 145 minutes)

On August 12, 1985, a jumbo jet crashed; out of 524 passengers, there were only 4 survivors, making the incident the biggest single-plane tragedy in the world. The local press reporters are tossed about by the waves of facts and rumors.

The film was based on the Japanese bestseller novel by Hideo Yokohama who was inspired by actual events and took him 17 years to complete. It is a story of a press reporter who finds the meaning of life through his experiences of news reporting and mountain climbing.


AUGUST 4 (Thursday) – 7:00 PM

Kiyoshi Sasabe’s “Yunagi No Machi, Sakura No Kuni” (Yunagi City, Sakura Country, 118 minutes)

Thirteen years after the bombing incident in Hiroshima, Hirano Minami feels happy when her colleague, Uchikoshi expressed his love for her. However, the incident has brought her sickness resulting from her exposure to atomic bomb and the pain of that emotional scar also returns.

The film was based on a manga comic by Fumiyo Kono, portraying the tragedy that the atomic bomb carries beyond generations depicting the viewpoint of two women in two-frame stories, one from the past and the other from the present day.


AUGUST 5 (Friday) – 7:00 PM

Kichitaro Negishi’s “Villon no Tsuma” (Villon’s Wife, 114 minutes)

While raising a young son, Sachi, the wife of the popular writer Otani, struggles to contain the damage wrought by her profligate husband. To pay off his debts, she starts working at a pub where she wins the favor of Okada, a young fan of Otani’s and the lawyer Tsuji who she had a crush on in the past.

But Otani surges with jealousy at the sight of the newly confident and popular Sachi. Struggling with his writing as well, he attempts a love-suicide with his lover Akiko.


AUGUST 6 (Saturday)

1:30 PM – Daisaku Kimura’s “Tsurugidake: Ten no ki” (The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones, 139 minutes)

In 1907, a band of men challenged Japan’s last unconquered mountain in order to complete a map of their nation. Mt. Tsurugidake stands 2999m above sea level and is renowned as a difficult mountain. Since the beginning of historical records, it has been designated as the “God” and sometimes referred as “Mountain of Death” for its inaccessibility.


4:30 PM – Keiichi Hara’s “Kappa no Coo to natsu-yasumi” (Summer Days with Coo, 138 minutes)

Coo is a kappa, a tiny amphibious creature with a dish-shaped skull. He lives in a swamp near Edo. There are rumors that the humans plan to drain the swamp for their own purposes. Coo’s father confronts a human samurai on the road one night to beg him to reconsider the plan but the samurai is afraid of him and cuts him into pieces.

Coo runs away but just then an earthquake strikes and Coo falls into a crevice, wherein he is buried alive. Hundreds of years later, Uehara Koichi finds Coo’s dried body. Coo regains strength and starts living with Uehara family.


7:30 PM – Yuki Tanada’s “Hyakumanen to Nigamushi Onna” (One Million Yen Girl, 121 minutes)

Twenty one year old Suzoku gets into trouble with her co-workers from part-time job and ends up in jail. Coming out of the jail, living with her parents seems like no longer an option. She takes on various jobs and saves up a million yen to embark on a journey.

She finds love but she’s keen on her plan to leave every town as soon as she saves a million dollar yen. As she moves from town to town, she touches upon people’s kindness, and gradually matures.


AUGUST 7 (Sunday)

1:30 PM – Ryuichi Hiroki’s “Kimi no Tomodachi” (Your Friend, 125 minutes)

Nakahara, a writer visits a free school in a small city for his research on children who have problems such as school refusal. At school, he meets Emi, a volunteering college student who has lame leg.

Emi is called ‘Ms. Puffy’ because she always takes pictures of clouds. Interested in this girl, Nakahara asks her to be interviewed but in vain. However, Emi gradually changes her mind towards Nakahara when he comes to the school many times and evokes sympathetic responses from the children. Then she answers his questions and tells him about her own childhood.


4:30 PM – Keiichi Hara’s “Kappa no Coo to natsu-yasumi” (Summer Days with Coo, 138 minutes)


7:30 PM – Sumio Ohmori’s “Kaze ga tsuyoku fuiteiru” (Feel the Wind, 133 minutes)

Kakeru, a super talented runner in high school who was nevertheless quit the sports world to attend the up-and-coming Kansei University, finds himself being manipulated by the school running captain, fourth year student Haiji, to move into the dormitory for the members of the running team.

Already living there are such characters as manga freak Prince, Musa who is an African exchange student with no experience in track and field and chain-smoker Nico-chan, who failed a year of school. Although they were all amateur runners who are only living there due to affordable housing, Haiji plans to enroll them in Hakone Ekiden.

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