Japan Foundation Los Angeles presents Japanese film screenings every second and fourth Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the JFLA Auditorium, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles.
• “Her Sketchbook” (2017, 106 minutes), directed by Masaya Ozaki, on Dec. 12. Japanese title: 世界は今日から君のもの (Sekai wa Kyou kara Kimi no Mono)
Mami rarely leaves home since she dropped out from middle school. She has been escaping reality by immersing herself in copying her favorite manga and illustrations in her room full of books and comics. Her father, Eisuke, worries a lot about her ever since he divorced her mother, Mika.
One day, Eisuke finds Mami a part-time job as a video game tester to find and report bugs in the company’s products. She accepts, thinking she can stay isolated from other people, until her colleague, Ryotaro, finds out her talent for drawing pictures.
By getting involved with new people and society, Mami tries to step out into a new world, but after years of mimicking other people’s works, she is unable to create something of her own…
• “Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms” (2018, 115 minutes), directed by Mari Okada, on Dec. 18 (special screening). Japanese title: さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう(Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarou)
The people of Iorph live far away from the lands of men, weaving the happenings of each day into a fabric called Hibiol. They live for centuries while maintaining their youthful appearance. Maquia, an orphaned Iorph girl, lives her life in an oasis surrounded by friends, yet somehow feels alone.
But the tranquil lives of the Iorph are shattered in an instant when the Mezarte army invades their territory on a dragon fleet, seeking the blood that grants the Iorph long life. Maquia manages to escape, but loses her friends and her home in the chaos. She then encounters an orphaned baby who is alone.
Maquia raises this boy, Ariel, with the help of some new friends. But as the era changes, the bond between Maquia and Ariel changes too, amidst a backdrop of racial tensions between the Iorph and the Mezarte.
This is a story of irreplaceable time, woven by two lonely people who can only find solace in each other.
Seating on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to capacity. “Maquia” mini-poster giveaway (while supplies last).
Free; reservations not required. For more information, call (323) 761-7510 or visit www.jflalc.org.