‘Harmonium’ at Monica Film Center

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SANTA MONICA — “Harmonium,” internationally acclaimed filmmaker Koji Fukada’s intimate and disturbing portrayal of a family undone, is now playing at the Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St. in Santa Monica.

Married couple Toshio and Akie live a happy, if predictable, life with their young daughter, Hotaru. One day, Yasaka, hauntingly played by Tadanobu Asano (“Ichi the Killer”), a mysterious acquaintance from Toshio’s past, arrives at the family’s home. Although he is fresh out of prison, Toshio impulsively offers Yasaka a room and work at his small factory.

Soon the ex-con is infiltrating the family’s life, flirting with Akie and coaching Hotaru on the harmonium. But when his secrets come to light, Yasaka’s true intentions come into question and the outcome is catastrophic.

An intense and heartbreaking story, “Harmonium” is considered by many to be Fukada’s best film to date, featuring exceptional, nuanced performances by the entire cast, which includes Kanji Furutachi and Mariko Tsutsui.

“Harmonium” (Japanese title: “Fuchi ni Tatsu”) premiered to great acclaim at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, taking home the prestigious Un Certain Regard Jury Prize.

Fukada is also known for such films as “Sayonara,” “Au Revoir L’Ete” and “Hospitalité.”

“The film’s insights into the isolation evident in the relationships most take for granted — marriages, parent-child connections and long-term friendships — don’t merely hit their targets; they smash them with a sledgehammer.” – Sarah Ward, Screen Daily

Remaining showtimes:

Saturday, July 8, at 10 p.m.

Sunday, July 9, at 11 a.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:10 p.m., 10 p.m.

Monday, July 10, to Thursday, July 13, at 4:20 p.m., 7:10 p.m., 10 p.m.

For more information, call (310) 478-3836 or visit www.laemmle.com.

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