Takeshi Kitano, 1999, Japan, 121 mins. Certificate: 12

Masao, a nine-year-old sensitive, innocent boy, begins a desperate journey to find his runaway mother, befriending Kikujiro, a grumpy, lazy man along the way, who becomes his unlikely protector when things do not go as expected for either of the two travellers.
One of the most tender, and quite funny, films in the acclaimed actor/director, Takeshi Kitano’s filmography, a quirky but endearing buddy/road movie, nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.

Where: The Grove Centre, 2 Jews Walk, SE26 6PL
When: 7.30pm Thursday 30 June
Tickets: £5 on the door/free to members

“…a tale of growing up, personal need and friendship. Gentle, observational, but punchy and highly amusing…” Michael Thomson,www.bbc.co.uk

“…it’s as funny as any summer multiplex American comedy, and that makes it both a good place to start for Kitano first-timers, and a must-see for fans.” Jeffrey M. Anderson, www.combustiblecelluloid.com

“A new and much gentler direction for Kitano, who appears to be mellowing with (finally). It may just be whimsy, but it’s painted with a bittersweet brush.” Kim Newman, www.empireonline.com

“The comic drama is refreshingly anti- sentimental but will break your heart anyway.” Bob Graham,www.sfgate.com