It’s no secret that Mini Mini Movie…

[well, ‘Movie’ or ‘Movies’, depending whether you follow this site, the Facebook page, the Twitter ID and/or indeed YouTube or Flickr]

… is a fan of many things Japanese… Quite the opposite in fact. It’s far from a secret… Why else would there be such articles about Japan here?

Considering this, there is also a wealth of knowledge to learn about a country, it’s culture, food and films. I believe that you never fully understand a nation throughout the whole of your entire life, even if it’s your home country.

It always astounds me the vast amount of ‘stuff’ there is continuously available to read, attend or indulge in relating to a particular land.

Japanese Films

The latest thing to appear on Mini Mini’s radar combines Japan, film and literature all together… and it’s FREE!  It’s also in conjunction with a season showing at the lovely centre which is the BFI Southbank.

No surpirse then that I’ll be attending one or more of these. But because it’s free?  Or due to the subject?  To be honest, both.

The first one is a must-see, or rather must-listen.  It features the writer and film curator, Jasper Sharp.  I’ve attended more than one event involving Mr Sharp – a real expert in Japanese cinema – and I can honestly say that he is a very well (self)informed & pleasant chap.  I guess this is why his books are so popular.  It has many, many readers and, well… pages!  His books cover not only Japanese cinema but also art & design and even Korean film.

Jasper’s seminar, the first of a few of these, and is on 13th June 2012 and at the Japan Foundation, London.  I recommend booking as soon as possible, if indeed you are planning to attend like myself.  We can even meet up.  Hey why not, that’s the kind of social spirit such events need.

What about further details? What other dates are there?  What about further events held?

Here’s the lowdown…

Looking to expand your knowledge on Japanese cinema? The Japan Foundation is inviting those fascinated by all things cinema, or all things Japanese, to join the third series of Japanese Cinema for Busy People.

Whether you are a dedicated cineaste or a casual moviegoer, all are welcome to join and enjoy! Experts in the field will hold lectures assessing significant topics in Japanese cinema, past and present. As a complement to the BFI and Japan Foundation season Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozaburo Yoshimura, fill your Wednesday evening with a cinema lecture – without having to do any of the homework!

Dates: 13th, 20th, 27th June, 4th, 11th July – Every Wednesday


Week 1 – Wednesday 13 June 2012 – 6.30pm

Beyond Rashomon: A Golden Age of Japanese Cinema, but for Whom?
by Jasper Sharp (Writer and Film Curator)

Jasper Sharp will look beyond the Japanese filmmakers of the 1950s championed in the West to focus on the technological and industrial developments of the era considered the ‘Golden Age’ of Japanese cinema.


Week 2 – Wednesday 20 June 2012 – 6.30pm

Fidelity, High and Low: Japanese Cinema and Literary Adaptation
by Lauri Kitsnik (University of Cambridge) 

Lauri Kitsnik will consider how the relationship between literature and film has developed through various periods of Japanese cinema and the way literary classics have been reinterpreted for the screen.


Week 3 – Wednesday 27 June 2012 – 6.30pm

The Meaning of Independence in Japanese Cinema: Production, Distribution and Exhibition
by Julian Ross (University of Leeds)

Julian Ross will discuss the meaning of independence in the context of Japan’s film history, and examine the alternatives in distribution, production and exhibition whilst investigating what exactly is gained and lost with the decision to turn independent.


Week 4 – Wednesday 4 July 2012 – 6.30pm

Collaboration or Exploitation? The Relationship Between Japanese Directors and their Stars
by Tony Rayns (Writer, Film Critic and Programmer)

Tony Rayns will explore the creative relationships between Japanese directors and their stars, many of which instigated by contractual bounds under the Studio system, and how recurring actors can be both fruitful and restraining in film production.


Week 5 – Wednesday 11 July 2012 – 6.30pm

What’s Happening Now in Japanese Cinema?
by Dr Rayna Denison (University of East Anglia)

As the final talk of the series, Rayna Denison will look into the current climate of the Japanese cinema industry and the production trend.


(The) Japan Foundation, London


Download Japanese Cinema For Busy People Part 3 – Information

This course is free but booking is essential – you are welcome to attend as many or as few talks as you like.

To register, please e-mail with your name and the session you would like to attend. Places will be limited – please book early to avoid disappointment.


This series is organised in association with BFI

For more information about the Two Masters of Japanese Cinema: Kaneto Shindo & Kozaburo Yoshimura season please click here


That’s about it and it’s about that.  See you there…  Or, alternatively at one of their film nights.

Thanks for listening… That has been my very own lecture to you all.