Typically offbeat yet full of human spirit, the 2010 Japan Film Festival samples the latest in Japanese cinema: Ramen Girl, Yatterman, The Miracle of Light, Paco and the Magic Book, Sakura Sakura and Sideways. So what's the story? Ramen Girl's heroine is desperate to cook the perfect noodle, but her sensei is one tough nut, and she's not even Japanese (she is, in fact, Brittany Murphy). Yatterman mixes the best and worst of Sailor Moon and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, while The Miracle of Light explores the healing power of colors. Paco is the portrait of an eccentric hospital, Sakura is the story of the first Japanese-American marriage, and Sideways brings it all back to California with a remake of the 2004 Napa Valley tale. Check the JFFLA Web site for filmmakers in attendance; this is Hollywood, after all. (Screenings over the next two weekends also at the Nakano Theater in Torrance and the Starplex 5 in Irvine.)

Sat., April 10; Sun., April 11, 2010

LA Weekly