GOMA presents ‘Cult Japan’ film program


Japanese film will make a long-awaited return to the Australian Cinémathèque at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) when ‘Cult Japan’ opens next month. Tickets are now on sale for the eight-week film program running from 3 July to 2 September 2015.

Featuring atomic monsters, cool assassins, geishas and gargantuas, ‘Cult Japan’ celebrates some of the most enduring genre films of Japanese cinema. The program of over 50 films includes underground classics and horror, comedy, action and anime that have attracted critical and popular acclaim around the world.

José Da Silva, Head of the Australian Cinémathèque, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) said the program would also include a retrospective of work by Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s most celebrated animator and director.

‘Fans of Japanese animation will be very familiar with Miyazaki’s beautiful handcrafted fables about the environment and social justice, and ‘Cult Japan’ offers a chance to reconnect with these stories and to introduce the filmmaker’s work to new audiences,’ said Mr Da Silva.

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Production still from ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ 1988 / Director: Hayao Miyazaki / Image courtesy: Madman Entertainment

The opening weekend of ‘Cult Japan’ will feature Miyazaki’s breakthrough films: The Castle of Cagliostro 1979 and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 1984; the later an adaption of the filmmaker’s own manga.

Films from the program are presented across a series of four thematic strands. ‘Strange Creatures and Dark Cities’ brings together science fiction, monster movies and anime favourites. ‘Cursed People and Places’ features ghost stories and strange and malevolent forces. ‘Tough Guys and Dangerous Women’ draws on stories of honour and revenge, while ‘The Body Electric’ explores the body, technology and transformation.

‘Cult Japan’ also includes new restorations of monster movie Godzilla 1954 and cyberpunk classic Tetsuo: The Iron Man 1989, as well as rarely-seen archival 35mm prints from The National Film Centre, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

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Production still from ‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell’ 2013 / Director: Sion Sono / Image courtesy: Madman Entertainment

GOMA will be open after-hours for a free lecture by Melbourne-based artist, musician, composer and filmmaker Philip Brophy on Thursday 13 August. Brophy will discuss two recent Japanese comedies (Hitoshi Motsumoto’s R100 2013 and Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell 2013) exploring how each film is redefining their genre and the state of Japanese cinema.

Tickets and full ‘Cult Japan’ cinema program is available online. Adults $9, Concession $7 and Members $6. Booking fees apply to all tickets purchased in advance. Tickets also available from the GOMA Box Office one hour before each session.

Running alongside ‘Cult Japan’, the Gallery’s major survey of Contemporary Japanese art ‘We can make another future: Japanese art after 1989’ continues at GOMA until 20 September. Featuring more than 100 works by over 40 artists, ‘We can make another future’ is the Gallery’s largest exhibition of the art of Heisei, the current era in the Japanese imperial calendar, and is accompanied by a comprehensive exhibition catalogue.

The GOMA Restaurant is open for dinner on Friday evenings from 5.30pm. Bookings essential, phone (07) 3842 9916.


  1. Hi V. Thanks for letting us know. The links have now been updated. Regards QAGOMA

  2. Also I’m having trouble finding a list of what movies are being screened and which ones will be actual film prints and which ones will be DCP’s. Is this list available? If not, it should be made available online.