Enjoy the latest offerings—as well as a few classics—of one nation’s celebrated cinema at the 2015 Festival du Film Français. Highlights include the Oscar-nominated Timbukutu, the mostly-English Clouds of Sils Maria (pictured), which netted Kristen Stewart a César Award—a first for an American—and Max Ophüls’s 1953 classic The Earrings of Madame de… June 26-29 at Yurakucho Asahi Hall and Toho Cinemas Nichigeki.
Akiko Sasaki is one of the dedicated individuals keeping alive the Japanese tradition of benshi, live narrators of silent films. The best benshi—and Sasaki is among their ranks—not only translate the inter-titles, but also do character voices and sound effects. She shows off her skills at screenings of the seminal Russian masterpiece Battleship Potemkin with live balalaika accompaniment June 14 and 18 at Cinemart Shinjuku (3-8-15 Roppongi, Minato-ku; www.cinemart.co.jp/theater/shinjuku).
After appearing in Hollywood blockbusters as well as independent films, Viggo Mortensen continues to display his versatility with the lead role in the film Jauja. Mortensen learned both Danish and Spanish to play a military officer who is dispatched to a remote outpost in Argentina in the 1880s and has no choice but to stay when the daughter he brought runs off with a soldier. On from June 13 at Eurospace in Shibuya (1-5 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku; www.eurospace.co.jp).