The Light Shines Only There そこのみにて光輝く (2014)

The Light Shines Only There  The Light Shines Only There Film Poster

Japanese: そこのみにて光輝く

Romaji: Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku

Running Time: 120 mins.

Release Date: April 19th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Mipo O

Writer: Ryo Takada (Screenplay), Yasushi Sato (Original Novel)

Starring: Gou Ayano, Chizuru Ikewaki, Masaki Suda, Kazuya Takahashi, Shohei Hino, Hiroko Isayama

Fresh from Japan is a wave of young female directors creating deeply interesting dramatic tales of tragedy driven by dark emotional undercurrents that are found in everyday life. The Light Shines Only There (Soko Nomi Nite Hikari Kagayaku) is Mipo Oh’s most recent contribution to this movement. I saw it at the 2014 Raindance Film Festival where the quality of the film blew me away through how well composed and how immersive the atmosphere and darkness of the film is.

Continue reading The Light Shines Only There そこのみにて光輝く (2014)

Before the Leaves Fall, Buzz, Initiation Love, Yarukkya Knight, Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders -, New Initial D the Movie Legend 2: Tousou, Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone! Here’s something to cheer you up:

The Cannes film festival is winding down now and I have begun collecting reviews of the Japanese films that screened for a post that acts as a follow up to the festival preview. The reviews for the Fukusaku, Koreeda, and Kurosawa films have been great. In between watching reading about Cannes I watched lots of television and films like Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Margin Call, the first four episodes of Cold War thriller The Game and the magical fantasy series Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I watched plenty of anime like Kekkai Sensen and Ore Monogatari!! As well as starting City Hunter and Record of Lodoss War.

Only one post this week and that’s the films at Nippon Connection 2015. The reason it’s the only post this week is so the festival gets as much coverage as possible and it is one that is worth keeping up so randoms drawn to the site can see what is an interesting programme of films and events.

There are a lot of films at the festival I would like to see but I don’t have the money. I checked hotel prices and made a sad face :(

I’ll be watching plenty of films at home instead. For Japanese people and people in Japan who want to go to a cinema, the films released this weekend are:

Continue reading Before the Leaves Fall, Buzz, Initiation Love, Yarukkya Knight, Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders -, New Initial D the Movie Legend 2: Tousou, Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX Japanese Film Trailers

Films at Nippon Connection 2015

Nippon Connection launches next month and the programme has been released. It looks incredible.

Nippon Connection Logo

This is the 15th Nippon Connection festival and it takes place from June 02nd to 07th, 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany. This is the first year that I will write about this festival.

It is a chance to get a deep and varied insight into Japanese cinema with everything from classics to contemporary titles, anime and live-action, a healthy dose of the latest films not yet released in Japan and many from the ‘80s. There are more than 100 short and feature films, and a retrospective of the works of director Shinji Somai. There are also stars in attendance with the super actors Tadanobu Asano and Sakura Ando and the director Ryuichi Hiroki at the festival. Tadanobu Asano will receive the first Nippon Honor Award and he will perform a live soundtrack concert together with the band Stereo Total.

If you check the festival site you will see many great films on offer at the festival but placing so many trailers into one post would be a bit much so I will highlight what I think are the best out of each category, the notable titles and the ones that will be rarer for Europeans/Westerners to catch outside of the festival. Of course you can ignore all this advice and just click on the links to be taken to the film’s page on the festival website where more coherent text, a trailer, and images are located. Without further ado here’s the highlights and all of the rest of the films that will screen at this year’s Nippon Connection:

Continue reading Films at Nippon Connection 2015

Akegarasu, Deadman Inferno, Kakekomi, Harajuku Denieri, Terrace House: Closing Door, Mushishi: The Next Chapter: Suzu no Shizuku Japanese Film Trailers

Cannes kicked off this week and the reviews are coming in thick and fast for all of the Japanese films that are at the festival. I’ll be sure to post highlights and links of/to them for you next week. I managed to watch three films this week and they were all horror titles: Silent Hill Revelations (2012), Ju-On: Beginning of the End (2014), and Puzzle (2014). Only one post this week: Watash no Otoko (2014).

Watashi no Otoko Hana (Fumi Nikaido) Waits for Jungo (Tadanobu Asano)

What are the movies released this weekend?

Continue reading Akegarasu, Deadman Inferno, Kakekomi, Harajuku Denieri, Terrace House: Closing Door, Mushishi: The Next Chapter: Suzu no Shizuku Japanese Film Trailers

My Man Watashi no Otoko 私の男 (2014)

It seems that reviews of films containing Fumi Nikaido grow to mammoth proportions and this is another long one for a film released in June of last year. I’ve done my best to avoid spoilers and barely mention what happens in the second half of the film. Read on if you care or dare because this film is about some taboo subject-matter.

 

My Man  My Man Film Poster

Japanese Title:私の男

Romaji: Watashi no Otoko

Running Time: 128 mins

Release Date: June 14th, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri

Writer: Takashi Ujita (Screenplay), Kazuki Sakuraba (Novel)

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Tadanobu Asano, Aoba Kawai, Kengo Kora, Tatsuya Fuji, Taiga, Itsuki Sagara,

“Parents. They f*ck you up.” – Philip Larkin

That quote seems apt for Watashi no Otoko, a beautiful but dark film that is sure to challenge all viewers. It starts off with a disaster, one that strips a girl of her family, and gets darker as she gets a new family. If I make a reference to the novel/film Lolita you will know the territory. A spirit of corruption hovers over the characters in the film, one that takes the bonds of family and poisons them with the perversion of incest and director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri makes no bones about being somewhat explicit while exploring the effects of an incestuous love affair on the characters.

Watashi no Otoko Jungo (Tadanobu Asano) and Hana (Fumi Nikaido) on a Bus

Continue reading My Man Watashi no Otoko 私の男 (2014)

Poison Berry in My Brain, Miss Hokusai, Zutaboro, Geki x Cine Aonoran, 17 Short Lived, Make Room, August in Tokyo Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Journey to the Shore Film Image

The 2015 Cannes Film Festival is going to commence next week and I posted about the Japanese contingent that would be in France. I’m looking forward to seeing the coverage they will get and seeing if they live up to expectations. I’ll post about them when the festival ends. I also posted a review of the Atsuko Maeda x Kiyoshi Kurosawa film Seventh Code (2013). I hope to get a couple of more reviews completed before the end of the month and I’m thinking of taking time off work to do that.

What’s released in Japanese cinemas this weekend?

Continue reading Poison Berry in My Brain, Miss Hokusai, Zutaboro, Geki x Cine Aonoran, 17 Short Lived, Make Room, August in Tokyo Japanese Film Trailers

Japanese Films at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Genki Japanese Films at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Cannes is THE film festival that everyone (even people with no interest in films) knows because of all the gossip about movie stars and the fashion stuff that newspapers report on instead of serious film business like who licenses what for distribution. For people more interested in films, we get to speculate about which directors and what films will be programmed by the selection committee. Well speculate no more! The announcements have been made… and I only care about the Japanese films that have been selected. Let’s go!

Continue reading Japanese Films at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Seventh Code (2014)

Seventh Code     

Seventh Code Film Poster
Seventh Code Film Poster

Japanese Title:  Seventh Code

Romaji: Sebunsu Kodo

Release Date: January 11th, 2014

Running Time: 60 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Starring: Atsuko Maeda, Ryohei Suzuki, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Aissy

Website

Kiyoshi Kurosawa at the Rome Film Festival2013 was the year for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to mainstream big-budget filmmaking. He released two films, both star-packed with idols. The first was the big-budget sci-fi film Real, a title that was subject to critically and commercially middling responses. I found it a dull trudge through a slight story with one-note characters played by Takeru Sato and Haruka Ayase. The better received of the two movies, and definitely the most interesting viewing experience, was his latest film Seventh Code which won two awards at the Rome Film Festival for Best director and technical contribution for Koichi Takahashi, the editor. Kurosawa was reportedly very surprised to get them. After watching Seventh Code I can see why.

Continue reading Seventh Code (2014)

Biri Gyaru, The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen, Kuro 100 Minutes Version, Akahama Rock ‘n Roll and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, audience!

Bakemono no Ko Anime Image

It is the month of May and the film festivals start crowding the calendar so expect posts on a few of them. I’ve still got plenty of reviews ready to post and I may try and get back into writing about anime but maybe not first impressions or series reviews (I’m more into writing about films at the minute). The reason for my resurgent interest in writing is because of a few stellar shows like Ore Monogatari!!, Yahari Ore no Seishun…, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Kekkai Sensen which I have been ranting about. Anyway, back to films, I posted a review of the Korean film Broken (2014) and about the trailer for The Boy and the Beast.

Well here’s the latest set of trailers for films released in Japan this weekend:

Continue reading Biri Gyaru, The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen, Kuro 100 Minutes Version, Akahama Rock ‘n Roll and Other Japanese Film Trailers

The Boy and the Beast Trailer

Yesterday it was announced that anime films Hana to Alice Satsujin JikenMiss Hokusai and The Boy and the Beast are set to be shown at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (The Boy and the Beast is part of the Work in Progress section while Hana to Alice and Miss Hokusai are in Competition) ahead of their theatrical release in Japan in a few months’ time. The directors of the films are regulars of the festival, giving talks and getting awards. I have already written previews about Miss Hokusai and Hana to Alice (no reviews as yet) so that leaves The Boy and the Beast.

Bakemono no Ko Character Design Continue reading The Boy and the Beast Trailer

Japanese and Asian Film Reviews

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,929 other followers