Nikkatsu, one of Japan’s renowned film studios, is promoting its latest movie, “River,” as a leading title at TIFFCOM. This film, a collaborative project with Third Window Films, delves into the genre of time loop comedies and is directed by Junta Yamaguchi, known for his work on “Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes.”
Set against the backdrop of serene Kyoto, River unfolds at the century-old Fujiya Inn. The plot kicks off with an intriguing scenario where an inn employee repeatedly finds herself by the Kibune river despite being called away to work. This leads to the revelation that the inn and its occupants are caught in a bizarre time loop. With the loop affecting both guests and staff, peculiar occurrences begin to manifest – sake remains cold, meals go uneaten, and one bathroom becomes inescapable. Despite their unchanging surroundings, everyone retains their memories, creating a mix of desires: some wish to escape, others prefer staying, and all are desperate to uncover the mystery.
River boasts a talented cast, including Riko Fujitani, Shiori Kubo from the idol group Nogizaka46, and the renowned Yoshimasa Kondo, known for The Magic Hour and The Kiyosu Conference. This film by Europe Kikaku hit Japanese theaters in June and has been showcased at various international genre festivals, including Neuchatel IF, Fantasia, FrightFest in the UK, and Fantastic Fest in the USA.
In a shift of theme but retaining an architectural focus, Nikkatsu’s next highlight is the suspense-horror film Home Sweet Home. Adapted from Rinko Kamizu’s novel, this Movie, directed by Takumi Saitoh, narrates the chilling tale of a family that moves into an alluring house in snow-laden Nagano, only to face a sequence of horrifying events. It made its global debut at the Shanghai International Film Festival and was also featured at the New York Asian Festival.
Embracing its history in the pink film genre, Nikkatsu introduces S-friends and its sequel, S-friends 2. These erotic drama movies, based on Yoriko Minato’s manga, were directed by Hideo Jojo and featured Aika Yukihira and Sho Aoyagi as leads. These films were released in Japanese cinemas in July and August, further showcasing the studio’s diverse cinematic offerings.