Japan’s good old days airbrushed to cartoonish perfection

©2012 “Always3” Film Partners.

©2012 “Always3” Film Partners.

It is 1964, and Tokyo is preparing to host the Olympics, with buildings and highways being constructed at a feverish pace, and excitement filling the air. Amidst all the change and commotion, the people of Third Street continue to carry on with their lives, as colorful and vibrant as ever.

An adaptation of a beloved manga, Always: Sunset on Third Street 3, being screened early next month at Massey’s Auckland campus,
concludes the film trilogy which has garnered a cult following since the original film Always was released in 2005. The films, by director Takashi Yamazaki, are often considered tear-jerkers, and part three is no exception. But while some films go for cheap melancholy, this film manages to move you with the barebones simplicity of the situation it portrays.

Novelist Ryunosuke Chagawa has married Hiromi and the two now share a happy life with Junnosuke, the young boy taken in by Chagawa during the first film. Chagawa’s candy shop has been renovated to include a small restaurant, which Hiromi, who is now pregnant, is managing. Chagawa continues his role as the lead writer on the Adventure Boys Book magazine, but his popularity is now being threatened by a new writer.

Always: Sunset on Third Street 3 will screen at Massey University’s Auckland campus at Albany on Wednesday May 3. The monthly Japanese films play on the first Wednesday of the month, at 6.15pm. Preceding the main feature is a short documentary on life and culture in Japan, which starts at 6pm. Unless specified, the films are screened in the Atrium Round Room on the ground floor of the Atrium Building. There is free parking available on campus.

Always: Sunset on Third Street 3 is rated PG – Parental Guidance recommended for younger viewers.
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Running time: 142 minutes

For more information on the Japanese films visit the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland website here.

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