Explosive Japanese cinema
When it comes to film festivals, Cannes and Sundance are just so…mainstream. Raindance, on the other hand, isn't afraid to look underground. The film festival, now in its 23rd year, has a strong legacy of celebrating and supporting independent, new and alternative filmmakers. Raindance-premiered hits include Memento, Old Boy and The Blair Witch Project amongst others. With over 100 feature films and over 150 short films to be screened in this year's run, we should be expecting more of the same. For this event, catch the UK premiere of Fires On The Plain. Based on Ooka's anti-war novel and the 1959 film adaptation, this is an uncompromising depiction of the final few days of the Japanese army on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. An anonymous soldier, starving, suffering and lost in the jungle, learns that orders have been given to evacuate. Director Tsukamoto is unflinching in his depiction of the horrors of war, managing to create a film that is powerful, nuanced and technically excellent. It's more than worth giving a shot. Over 18s only. Valid ID required.