Ishii films to debut in Bay Area

     (PNAN-CA) – Coming to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, recent films by Yuya Ishii, one of Japan’s upcoming filmmakers, includes the US premiere of “Sawako Decides” – which took the Best Feature Film award at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, and the absurdist tragicomedy, “To Walk Beside You” on January 13 through 15, 2011. 

     Ishii films are described as funky, rambling comedies, as well as with a contemporary view of the often declining Japan we don’t see; they usually focus on the lives of misfits. Told in variations on coming-of-age, youths must take small meaningful steps to move forward.

     “Sawako Decides” is about a young woman who embraces her own mediocrity. She quits her miserable, humiliating job in Tokyo to return to her hometown. Though pretty much everything that happens there is a disaster, she finally begins to make sense of her life and herself. The last scene is one of the most moving in the history of cinema. Curtain calls are Thursday, January 13 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, 16th at 1:00 pm.

     “To Walk Beside You” centers on, Norio, who is 17 and wants to die. After his parents’ suicide, he feels it’s the only choice. But his teacher Akemi shows him a very different path: move to Tokyo and become a lawyer. But now that he has a benefactor and a reason to live, Norio has to figure out how to make that a life worth living.  This most poignant film show dates are Friday, January 14 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, 16th at 4:00 pm.

     These never before seen films in the Bay Area, tagged as “Lost in Japan Lost In Japan: The Existential Comedies of Yuya Ishii”, shows this director’s sincerity and compassion, a rare find in most American independent cinema. Born in 1983 in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, he studied film at Osaka University of Arts. More information, see

Published by on January 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-in-Performance Section, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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