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CHICAGO PREMIERE Wednesday, April 5th 7:00 PM @ AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois Street)

THE PROJECTS (Danchi 団地)

Director: Junji Sakamoto

Starring: Naomi Fujiyama, Ittoku Kishibe, Michiyo Okusu, Takumi Saito

Film Source: Kino Films Co., Ltd. 

Japan | 2016 | 103 Minutes | In Japanese with English subtitles | Genre: Comedy, Drama | Blu-ray

Synopsis: Hinako moved to a 3 room apartment in the housing project called danchi with her husband Seiji, 6 months ago. They had managed a third generation herbal medicine store until the unexpected death of their beloved son in an accident. Since the move, Hinako has started a part time job, but Seiji spends everyday wandering aimlessly around. Occasionally a young man visits the Yamashita household because remedy that Seiji makes is the only effective medicine for him. This mysterious young man, who speaks slightly strange Japanese, is Mr. SHINJO. After a while, Seiji disappears from the estate. Again, rumors start up, “Have they finally divorced?” and “Did he simply vanish?” To cap it all off, the housewives on the estate believe that Hinako has offed her husband and is hiding his body in their apartment.
What really happened to Seiji? And who is SHINJO? Soon rumors start up among this small community.Hinako and Seiji had managed an herbal pharmacy until the unexpected death of their son. They closed up the pharmacy and moved to the housing project where a mysterious guy visits them for a medication. One day, Seiji disappears and soon rumors start up among this small community.

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Director's Bio: Junji Sakamoto was born in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture in 1958. Made his directing debut in 1989 with the film ‘Dotsuitarunen’, winning the new face award in the Minister of Education Awards for Fine Arts and the Directors Guild of Japan’s new director award, as well as the Blue Ribbon best film award. In 2000, he won the Japanese Academy’s best director award, the Mainichi Film Awards’ best Japanese film prize, the Hochi Film award’s Best picture and many others, for his hit film ‘Face’, starring Naomi Fujiyama.

“If you’re one for the zanier elements of Japanese cinema this is one that should be on your ‘to see’ list this year.” – Movie Buzzers

Check out also full review by Mark Schilling/Japantimes.co.jp here.  

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In the year 2000, the incredibly popular comedian Naomi Fujiyama made her first appearance as a leading role in a movie, “FACE”. The director was Junji Sakamoto. The human drama was based on an actual case and despite being an independent film, it became a smash hit. During that year Fujiyama and Sakamoto went on to win several domestic and international awards.

Japan :  Award of the Japanese Academy /

Blue Ribbon Awards …and more.

International : Nantes Three Continents Festival/

San Sebastián International Film Festival

15 years later...

Naomi Fujiyama can once again be found on the big screen under the direction of Junji Sakamoto. This time she is cast as a normal housewife who lives in a housing estate, the type that can be found anywhere. However she has a secret that is far from normal, and that only she knows. Below, Junji Sakamoto talks enthusiastically about his latest project.

 “When we were filming ‘Face’, I thought that it would be the only film I made with Ms. Fujiyama. That was my intention. However, 15 years later, I heard that she had space in her schedule. Rather than continue the story of ‘Face’, I thought that I’d like to work with her on a new project. For 15 years, I had been admiring her stage performances, and suddenly I was blessed with another chance to work with her. I want people watch the film, wondering how she could be molded into something very different from her stage persona.”

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