Can’t afford a big vacation this summer? Don’t feel blue—because thanks to Japan Cuts, a sampling of the most popular and/or controversial contemporary Japanese films, Japan is coming to you. Presented by the Japan Society in conjunction with the New York Asian Film Festival, the series (including 20 features and 60 shorts) starts tonight with The Mourning Forest—a drama about a young grieving mother and an elderly widower who get lost in the woods on the way to his wife’s grave—and is followed by a Q&A with director Naomi Kawase. Other highlights include Near Equal Kusama Yayoi: I Adore Myself, about the eccentric pink-haired artist (who’ll tell you in person just how fabulous she is after the screening on July 12), and Sakuran, the award-winning directorial debut of bestselling art photographer Mika Ninagawa, based on the popular manga about a young prostitute during the Edo period (followed by a “Red Light Party” on July 12).

Wed., July 2, 6:30 p.m., 2008