Movies

Find the best special screenings, movie events and film fun in Tokyo

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl
Film

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl

A pretty but occasionally straight-up creepy anime adaptation of the bestselling book

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Ancien and The Magic Tablet
Film

Ancien and The Magic Tablet

Kenji Kamiyama's latest effort is a touching, exciting adventure – and a treat for the eyes

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Interview: Shinya Tsukamoto
Film

Interview: Shinya Tsukamoto

We discuss Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' with the actor and director

Five films to get you in the mood for Japanese food
Film

Five films to get you in the mood for Japanese food

These delicious films allow you to visually feast on the joys of Japan’s food culture

The best movie events right now

Into Nightmares
Film

Into Nightmares

Films mysterious, grotesque and erotic hog the spotlight at Asagaya's Laputa throughout spring and early summer. See Japanese gothic horror, splatter blasts and the like over 13 weeks – the programme includes highlights such as Kinji Fukasaku's Black Lizard (1968), starring a young Akihiro Miwa, pulp horror gross-out Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968) and Nobuhiko Obayashi's feature debut House (1977), famed for its intentionally laughable special effects. Should be a good one for friends of cult Japanese cinema, who'll want to check out the full programme here.

Seijun Suzuki Retrospective
Film

Seijun Suzuki Retrospective

Look back at the roller coaster ride of a career enjoyed by cult filmmaker Seijun Suzuki, who passed away in February at the age of 93, with this two-week retrospective at the Shin-Bungeiza. Focusing particularly on the Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill director's early- and mid-career productions, the programme includes flicks such as vaguely surrealistic short drama Love Letter (1958), yakuza action blast Tattooed Life (1965), 'Taisho Roman' thriller Zigeunerweisen (1980) and 1991's Yumeji, a sensual, absurdist ghost story spun around the character and work of real-life painter and poet Takehisa Yumeji (1884-1934). An excellent opportunity to acquaint yourself with some of Suzuki's more obscure work, the programme can be perused in more detailed form here (in Japanese only).

Zushi Beach Film Festival
Film

Zushi Beach Film Festival

How about enjoying a quality indie flick while the last rays of the sun are still visible on the horizon? Head down south for ten days of movies on the beach, complemented by gigs, workshops, a bazaar, yoga and spontaneous parties. Things kick off on April 28 with a screening of Forrest Gump (1994), while April 30 is Sports Day and May 8 sees a programme of skateboard films. May 2 should be another good one, with radio DJ Peter Barakan stopping by to introduce Amy (2015), Asif Kapadia's documentary about the life and death of Amy Winehouse. The full schedule can be checked out here.

Rediscovering the Beauty of Film and Film Technique
Film

Rediscovering the Beauty of Film and Film Technique

Set to re-open in May, the National Film Centre has been sorely missed among Tokyo's cinephiles during its two-month closure. But film buffs suffering from withdrawal symptoms will surely be happy to hear about the newly polished centre's first post-renovation programme, which is a true love letter to film: celebrating the Motion Picture and Television Engineering Society of Japan's 70th anniversary, it shines a light on the tech – from cinematography to post-production – behind classic Japanese movies. You can also look forward to a screenings programme of memorable films such as a remastered version of 1983 sci-fi adventure Toki o Kakeru Shojo, starring ’80s idol Tomoyo Harada, Nikkatsu's Jazz Musume Tanjo (1957) with Chiemi Eri and Yujiro Ishihara, and Typhoon Over Nagasaki (1957) by French director Yves Ciampi. The full programme is, once again, only available in Japanese.

See more movie events in Tokyo

Tokyo's best cinemas

Cinema Novecento
Cinemas

Cinema Novecento

It's a rare occasion indeed when a new small-scale movie theatre opens in the Tokyo area, but that was exactly what happened in February 2015 in Yokohama: Novecento, located in the western part of the city, has a mere 28 seats and screens only 35mm and 16mm films. Old-school cinema fanatics will love the down-to-earth vibe, which makes it easy to strike up conversation with the staff and fellow movie fans, while the associated restaurant ('trattoria') is nice for getting snacks and drinks before or after the movie. The programme here ranges from time-honoured classics to short, privately distributed features, while the space also hosts talks and events like rakugo (traditional comic storytelling) performances. To top it all off, loyal film enthusiasts can try their hand at the projectionist's job during the regular workshops.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Uplink
Cinemas

Uplink

Showing a fascinating mix of movies, particularly indie productions from both Japan and abroad with lots of experimental and short work thrown in as well, Uplink also holds events like talks and live performances.

Shin-Bungeiza
Cinemas

Shin-Bungeiza

A legendary repertory house in Ikebukuro showing a wide range of films, from Japanese classics to Hollywood no-brainers. The all-night screenings on Saturday nights are particularly popular.

Waseda Shochiku
Cinemas

Waseda Shochiku

Catch a double bill at one of the city's oldest cinemas (over 50 years and counting). Films are shown in a variety of languages, with Hollywood flicks featuring as highly as Japanese movies, all presented on classic 35mm prints. There are only double bills on offer, so set aside an afternoon and make the most of it.

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