Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them
I’m full of Asahi in a Tokyo restaurant, and I’m drunkenly attempting to explain the concept of Monoglot Movie Club to one of The Belated Birthday Girl’s Japanese mates. If Miki is pretending to be interested, she’s doing it incredibly well, to the extent that she asks me a question I’ve never been asked before: “If you don’t understand the language, how do you choose which films to see?”
Regular readers will know that most of the time, that isn’t a problem. In the last few countries I’ve visited, it’s actually been a struggle to find one or two local films to watch. Japan, however, is another story. Their film industry is as busy as ever, although you’ll find many people – myself included – are concerned at just how much of their production slate is taken up with remakes, adaptations and sequels. During the two weeks I spent there on holiday, there were over a dozen Japanese films in cinemas vying for a spot in this article. And really, the procedure’s the same as it would be back home: start with the trailer.