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See The Best in Japanese Filmmaking at This Weekend’s LA EigaFest

la eigafest

Los Angeles’ biggest and best Japanese film festival, LA EigaFest, is returning for its fifth year. The event, which takes place this weekend (September 25-27), is coming to LA Live Regal Cinemas in Downtown LA, and features a slate of films that will make you wish you could spend all three days at the movie theatre.

But then again, that’s exactly what you can do! The festivities kick off at 7:30 PM Friday night with the North American premiere of Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, the third and final installment of the Kenshin trilogy. The opening film is followed by a Q&A and an after party at the Belasco Theatre.

From there, a litany of awesome movies will be screening at LA Live. Let’s do some good old-fashioned bullet points to elucidate the most intriguing premieres:

  • The youth comedy drama Flying Colors, the highest grossing film in Japan this year (North American premiere)
  • Saturday’s midnight movie Tag, Sion Sono’s newest slice of insanity. Best of all, he’ll be in person for a Q&A after the show (U.S. premiere)
  • The Case of Hana & Alice, an anime that I’ll bet $353 is heartwarming (North American premiere)
  • Princess Jellyfish, a girlpower movie based on a best-selling  comic book (North American premiere)
  • Prophecy, a cybercrime drama featuring a terrorist with a newspaper over your head. What else do you need? (North American premiere)
  • Shinsengumi, a movie filmed using paper images cut out from a manga. It’s sure to be beautiful. (North American premiere)
  • A shorts program (SSFF&Asia selection) and a Shorts Competition (Golden Zipangu Awards)
  • So many more. Check out the film lineup in its entirety here.

On Sunday night, the U.S. premiere of Yakuza action comedy Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen will close out the festival.

Last year I had a magical time at EigaFest, making friends and drinking in (sake) and a wide variety of Japanese films that acts as tonics to the often cynical, reboot-ridden Hollywood landscape I’ve become accustomed to. A year later, I’m thirsty for more.

To pore over the schedule, go here. Or marvel at the diverse film lineup and buy tickets. For more information, check out the festival’s website.