Five titles to watch at the Japan Film Festival

Some 17 out of 24 films at this year's Japan Film Festival will be screened free, including a "mystery" title that closes the event. Festival director Gavin Liu declined to reveal the budget of the event, which kicks off at the National Museum on Thursday, but says that due to "goodwill from sponsors", the festival is able to offer such complimentary screenings.

TEN DARK WOMEN (1961)

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Director: Kon Ichikawa

What: In this critically acclaimed work, a philanderer's wife and nine mistresses conspire to murder him.

Critics often cite this as one of the most subtle and underrated black comedies to come out of Japan from any director.

When: July 3, 7.45pm

Admission: Free

THE MOLE SONG (2013)

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Director: Takashi Miike

What: Adapted from the wildly popular comic series (2005- 2008) by Noburu Takahashi, this film is about a cop who is ordered to infiltrate a mighty yakuza clan. He turns out to win over the yakuza boss and becomes a favourite among the gangsters.

Fans of acclaimed director Miike of Straw Shield (2013) fame will enjoy this work which The Hollywood Reporter calls "a home run" and "an irresistible cops and yakuza romp".

When: Fri, 7.45pm

Admission: $13, $11 (Singapore Film Society member), $10 (concessions)

THE TALE OF IYA (2013)

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Director: Tetsuichiro Tsuta

What: An elderly man (Min Tanaka) and his granddaughter (Rina Takeda) have been living in seclusion in Japan's remote Iya region for years without electricity or gas. When a young man from Tokyo (Shima Onishi) meets them on a trip, his life views are changed.

The film was awarded a Special Mention in the Asian Future section at the Tokyo International Film Festival last year.

When: July 12, 4pm

Admission: $13, $11 (Singapore Film Society member), $10 (concessions)

HOMELAND (2014)

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Director: Nao Kubota

What: After leaving his hometown of Fukushima for Tokyo as a teenager, Jiro decides to return home, despite the fact that it is now almost deserted following the 2011 nuclear disaster. He meets old schoolmates and relatives and, together, they try to accept what has become of their home.

The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February this year.

When: July 11, 7.45pm

Admission: $13, $11 (Singapore Film Society member), $10 (concessions)

HOMESICK (2013)

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Director: Satoru Hirohara

What: Kenji (Tomohiro Kaku) is 30 years old, jobless and lives alone in an old house that is slated for redevelopment. He has no direction in life, but soon finds joy in the frequent house visits by three playful neighbourhood kids.

The film premiered at the Busan International Film Festival last year in the section A Window On Asian Cinema.

When: July 5, 4.30pm

Admission: $13, $11 (Singapore Film Society member), $10 (concessions)