Japanese Cinema Week at the Faculty of Foreign Languages of ISU
7 December 2022

A week of Japanese cinema was held at the ISU Institute of Philology, Foreign Languages and Media Communication, Department of Oriental and Regional Studies of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). During that week the audience got to know the culture of the East better.

Students of the Chinese, Korean and Japanese departments of the Faculty of Foreign Languages watched three films in Japanese with subtitles (also in Japanese): "Honnouji Hotel", "Summer Time Machine Blues", "Before the coffee gets cold". After watching the movies, the students discussed the plot and exchanged impressions together with their teachers.

Natalia Trazanova, Associate Professor of the ISU Department of Oriental and Regional Studies of the APR:

We are returning to a good tradition that has existed for many years. This time, the selected films were united by one theme – the idea of time travel, but at the same time, they were diverse. The first was historical, the second was comedy, the third was mystery. We tried to ensure that everyone in the audience found something to their taste.

As a result, most of our viewers note that each film encouraged them to reflect on important themes such as: "if you want to do something, do it so that you don't want to go back to the past and fix it", "you need to learn to communicate your thoughts to the person you are talking to", "the ability to listen and feel another person is valuable", "you should just be happy and try to make other people happier".

The revival of the tradition was to the taste of the students, and the question about when the next time will be was up already. The audience was heard and the department noted that the next one is planned for the next year.

Student reviews

Ayrana Miril: "I would like to express my gratitude for this film marathon and a wonderful film selection.

Out of all the movies, the first about the Honnouji Hotel was the one I liked the most. As a historical movie lover, I was blown. Incredibly beautiful views, costumes and, of course, musical accompaniment. Everything was on top. The unobtrusive but beautiful melody of traditional Japanese instruments seamlessly integrated and complemented the film. If I'm not mistaken, I caught the sounds of a shakuhachi flute. The whole film consists of half-hints, symbolic moments, deep philosophy, and therefore leaves the most favorable and bright impression.

Olga Rybalova: "Of all the films shown during the cinema week, the one that’s stuck in my memory the most is "Summer Time Machine Blues". A summer comedy, that warms you up on an almost winter day. While I was watching it, I almost couldn’t help the desire to take a notebook, a pen and count who and how many times used the homemade time machine and how many air conditioning control panels did exist in the end. The whole film, in which the viewer is almost not introduced to the characters’ background and biography, but is immediately immersed in the events, itself is like a piece of that same time machine journey on a distant August day of 2005, or a big bright puzzle that finally comes together only in the final minutes. The plot makes you think about how closely our actions in life are connected to what happens next, how a tiniest action of a person can affect his own life, the lives of others and even the course of history. But at the same time, absolutely everything that happens seems to have been predetermined, perhaps even by the person themselves. In case someone wants to come back and fix everything - everything will happen as it should, just a little more adventures will be waiting in the process.

Can we say that all three films can also be united by the idea "the future and something that’s already done, what happened cannot be changed", even if there was some possibility to return to the past?