Paprika

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patient’s dreams is stolen, all hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist can stop it: Paprika.

Gate of Hell

The samurai Moritoh Enda (Kazuo Hasegawa) performs a heroic act by rescuing the lovely Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyo) from a violent uprising. The warrior falls in love with Kesa, but becomes distraught when he finds out that she is already married to a man named Wataru Watanabe (Isao Yamagata). Unable to shake his obsession with Kesa, Moritoh grows increasingly unstable and will not stop in his pursuit of her, no matter what the consequences.

Kagemusha

When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, in order to protect his clan from appearing weak and vulnerable. But he finds himself haunted by the warlord’s spirit as well as his own ambitions.

The Ballad of Narayama

In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he/she would disgrace their family. Old Orin is 69. This winter it is her turn to go to the mountain. But first she must make sure that her eldest son Tatsuhei finds a wife.

The Eel

White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he’s away, suddenly returns home and kills her. After eight years in prison, he returns to live in a small village, opens a barber shop (he was trained as a barber in prison) and talks almost to no-one except for the eel he “befriended” in prison. One day he finds the unconscious body of Keiko, who attempted suicide and reminds him of his wife. She starts to work at his shop, but he doesn’t let her become close to him.

After the Storm

Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and beautiful ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrustful family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

Harmonium

Toshio hires Yasaka to work in his workshop. But then this old acquaintance, who has just been released from prison, begins to meddle in Toshio’s family life…

The Handmaiden

1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, Sook-hee is hired as a handmaiden to Japanese heiress Hideko, who lives a secluded life on an estate with her domineering Uncle Kouzuki. But the maid has a secret. She and a swindler, who poses as a Japanese Count, are scheming to get the Lady engaged, rob her fortune and lock her up in a madhouse. All proceeds according to plan until Sook-hee starts to truly understand Hideko.

[REC] 2

In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead, Alice continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead – and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.

From Up On Poppy Hill (Kokurikozaka kara)

Following in his father’s footsteps, anime director Goro Miyazaki creates a charmingly nostalgic, sometimes tragic story of young love and student protest against the period of revitalization before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Jury

A jury meets after a screening to discuss a film. But are they to judge it by its form, emotion or message? Incapable of agreeing the criteria, their debate descends into chaos. A satire for all those who make, watch and review films. [Courtesy of Berlinale]

A Man Vanishes

Documentary by Shohei Imamura about a man who vanishes…but the more the director investigates, the less ‘real’ it all seems.