fOUL, Intolerance, Yellow Dragon’s Village, Princess Principal: Crown Handler 2, My Daddy, MINAMATA Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend.

Koji Yakusho and Riona Hazuki in Retribution
I hope you are well.

This is the second in a two-part trailer post (you an find the first part here). This week, I published interviews with Kazuya Shiraishi (Last of the Wolves) and Mayu Nakamura (Among Four of Us). I’ll do my annual London Film Festival and London East Asian Film Festival previews next week. Before then, I have a Heroic Purgatory podcast recording to do and it covers Fruit Chan’s Made in Hong Kong.

I’m struggling for the enthusiasm to make myself go to a cinema. The last time I was in a cinema (or a restaurant, for that matter) was my Japan 2020 trip. I almost went to see James Wan’s Malignant, but put it off. The London Film Festival is teaming up with regional arthouse cinemas to screen a selection of films and Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, is one of them. I might see that at my local arthouse cinema.

To be honest, I am more interested in 80s horror online. I spent most of last year watching that type of movie and I was thinking about continuing it as part of the 31 Days of Halloween challenge. There are many Italian horror movies I want to cover!

Anyway…

What else was released this weekend?

Continue reading “fOUL, Intolerance, Yellow Dragon’s Village, Princess Principal: Crown Handler 2, My Daddy, MINAMATA Japanese Film Trailers”

First Gentleman, The Mars Canon, World’s End/Girl Friend, Chokolietta, A Rainbow-colored Trip, Midnight Maidens. A New Wind Blows Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend.

Koji Yakusho in Cure

I hope you are well.

This is the first of a two-part trailer post. Image from CURE by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (one of my all-time favourite films!).

What are some of the films that are released this weekend?

Continue reading “First Gentleman, The Mars Canon, World’s End/Girl Friend, Chokolietta, A Rainbow-colored Trip, Midnight Maidens. A New Wind Blows Japanese Film Trailers”

An Interview with Mayu Nakamura, Director of Among Four of Us [OAFF 2021/JAPAN CUTS 2021]

Mayu Nakamura’s film Among Four of Us may only last 20 minutes but it makes a deep impact. A conversation piece involving three friends reuniting during the COVID-19 pandemic, it focuses on their fractious interpersonal history from college drama club and a mercurial fourth figure who had a major impact on them. As they catch up, wistful memories mix together with regrets and admissions of betrayal to end on an overwhelming note of melancholy. It is a mature and delicate work that, thanks to Nakamura’s writing and a trio of tight performances, is suffused with meaning. Made during the COVID-19 pandemic, it cleverly weaves the atmosphere and restrictions of the time into the narrative to create a sympathetic and very dramatic film. Nakamura’s background shows why.

A filmmaker who earned an MFA from the Graduate Film Program at New York University, Nakamura has made documentaries and features for both film and TV. Her debut feature, The Summer of Stickleback (2006), premiered in competition at the Busan International Film Festival while her documentary Lonely Swallows–Living as the Children of Migrant Workers (2012) won the Grand Prix in Documentary Features at the Brazilian Film Festival. One long-term project she is working on is the documentary Alone in Fukushima which tracks a man who remained behind in a small town to look after cattle located in a nuclear no-man’s land.

Nakamura kindly took the time out of her busy schedule to take part in an interview where she explained the origins of the story, her influences, and how she and a small cast and crew filmed it. This interview was originally connected to the screening of the film as part of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021, where it won the Japan Cuts Award Special Mention. Its posting coincides with its streaming availability as part of JAPAN CUTS. My thanks go out to the filmmaker and the organizers who made this conversation happen.

Continue reading “An Interview with Mayu Nakamura, Director of Among Four of Us [OAFF 2021/JAPAN CUTS 2021]”

An Interview with Kazuya Shiraishi, Director of “Last of the Wolves” [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

All bets were off with Last of the Wolves. It was the highly anticipated sequel to The Blood of Wolves, a gangster epic that was a throwback to Kinji Fukasaku’s Battles Without Honor and Humanity series what with its yakuza politics, police corruption, and fearless depiction of brutal violence. This crime world is based on the critically-acclaimed novels of Yuko Yuzuki so there is a lot of material to work with but with a number of major characters dead or locked up in the slammer, just where would the sequel go? To the younger generation as yakuza wars heated up in Hiroshima Prefecture!

Blood of the Wolves Level 2

This is the latest work by Kazuya Shiraishi (The Devil’s PathTwisted JusticeOne NightDawn of the Felines). He has a knack for filming edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers and Last of the Wolves managed to do justice to the first film and take things to the very next level thanks to two intensely physical performances, one from the intimidating presence of Ryohei Suzuki who plays a murderous yakuza thug, the other from Tori Matsuzaka who is wilier than a fox as a cop dodging death while double-dealing with gangsters. Director Kazuya Shiraishi explained more about the film, what drew him into the project, the talents that Suzuki and Matsuzaka have, and more in this interview done as part of the New York Asian Film Festival 2021.

Image taken from: https://news.yahoo.co.jp/byline/nakanishimasao/20191030-00148849

This interview was done with the help of Takako Pocklington, who translated my questions, Koichi Mori of the New York Asian Film Festival, who set up the interview and translated the answers, and also the film festival staff who pulled off an excellet NYAFF 2021! Many thanks go out to them and, of course, to Kazuya Shiraishi who participated!

Continue reading “An Interview with Kazuya Shiraishi, Director of “Last of the Wolves” [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]”

MIRRORLIAR FILMS Season1, Drunken Tokyo Dance Music, Dear Moon, Memories, Biwa Houshi Yamashika Yoshiyuki, Solitude Ability, Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend.

Kumagai Bresson

I hope you are well.

This is the second part of the trailer post. You can find the first part here.

What else is released this weekend?

Continue reading “MIRRORLIAR FILMS Season1, Drunken Tokyo Dance Music, Dear Moon, Memories, Biwa Houshi Yamashika Yoshiyuki, Solitude Ability, Japanese Film Trailers”

My Life Mom Life, A Balance, Ghost in the Shell 4K Remaster, Eternally Younger Than Those Idiots, Masquerade Night, Gekijouban Free! The Final Stroke, Black Crow 0, Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend!

©2021 YAMIKEN

I hope you are well.

This is the first of a two-part trailer post. I’m a bit slow at doing things but steadily knocking down targets. I finished my review of Double Layered Town / Making a Song to Replace Our Positions and that was posted on V-Cinema. As for this blog, I posted about the line-up of the 2021 edition of the Kanazawa Film Fest and I posted my review of To Sleep so as to Dream.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “My Life Mom Life, A Balance, Ghost in the Shell 4K Remaster, Eternally Younger Than Those Idiots, Masquerade Night, Gekijouban Free! The Final Stroke, Black Crow 0, Japanese Film Trailers”

A Preview of the Kanazawa Film Festival 2021 in Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Art (September 18-20)

The Kanazawa Film Festival 2021 will take place this year from September 18th (Saturday) to the 20th (Monday) at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Theatre 21. There are different sections but the one I am focussing on is dedicated to New Directors.

In the New Directors section, there are 11 films which were selected from 83 submissions. Each of the films is new and so they were done during the Coronavirus pandemic. The winner of the Grand Prix “Promising New Director Award” will receive 2 million yen to support his or her next film.

 I hope you and I get some use out of this information and from the images, all of which have been taken from the film festival’s website:

Continue reading “A Preview of the Kanazawa Film Festival 2021 in Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Art (September 18-20)”

To Sleep So as to Dream 夢みるように眠りたい (1986) Director: Kaizo Hayashi [Japan Cuts 2021]

To Sleep So as to Dream   To Sleep So as to Dream Film Poster

夢みるように眠りたい Yumemiru you ni nemuritai

Release Date: May 18th, 1986

Duration: 84 mins.

Director: Kaizo Hayashi

Writer: Kaizo Hayashi (Script), 

Starring: Shiro Sano, Koji Otake Moe Kamura, Kenji Endo, Fujiko Fukamizu, Baiken Jukkanji, Kyoko Kusajima, Kazunari Ozawa, Morio Agata,

Website IMDB

Kaizo Hayashi’s 1986 film, To Sleep so as to Dream, re-emerged like a dimly remembered fantasy onto cinema screens last year after receiving a crowd-funded 2K restoration. Hayashi is probably best known for his Mike Hammer detective trilogy – The Most Terrible Time in My Life (1994), Stairway to the Distant Past (1995), The Trap (1996) – and the recently released Fukushima disaster-inspired omnibus movie BOLT (2020) but his debut, which he made at the age of 29 and with zero experience on a film set, deserves to be more widely seen as he pulls off a narratively audacious metacinema narrative that is an eerily beautiful paean to Japan’s silent cinema past and the joys of silver screen illusions.

Continue reading “To Sleep So as to Dream 夢みるように眠りたい (1986) Director: Kaizo Hayashi [Japan Cuts 2021]”

Ghost Diaries, Tatsujin The Master, Mijyoubutsu Hyakumonogatari ~AKB48 Ikai e no Tomoshibi Tera~, 2887, Gishin – The Second God, Ashita o hegeru, Under the Stairs is the Place to Do “X” Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, again!

Haruka's Pottery Film Image Haruka (NAO) and Plate

This is the second of my trailer posts.

Here’s the link for the first one.

What else was released this weekend?

Continue reading “Ghost Diaries, Tatsujin The Master, Mijyoubutsu Hyakumonogatari ~AKB48 Ikai e no Tomoshibi Tera~, 2887, Gishin – The Second God, Ashita o hegeru, Under the Stairs is the Place to Do “X” Japanese Film Trailers”

Moonlight Shadow, Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me?, Hama no Asahi no Usotsukidomo to, Super Battle Junretsuger, Iru, Eiga Okaasan to issho Escape from the Weird World!, Gekijouban Hontou ni Atta Kowai Hanashi Jiko Bukken Geinin 3 Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekendreiwa_sub01

I hope you are well

This is the first of a two-part trailer post.

My coverage of Japan Cuts continued this week when I posted reviews of Mari and Mari and School Radio to Major Tom on my blog and my review for To Sleep so as to Dream was posted on V-Cinema. I also had a satisfying discussion about Whispering Corridors and Memento Mori for a Heroic Purgatory podcast recording.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Moonlight Shadow, Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me?, Hama no Asahi no Usotsukidomo to, Super Battle Junretsuger, Iru, Eiga Okaasan to issho Escape from the Weird World!, Gekijouban Hontou ni Atta Kowai Hanashi Jiko Bukken Geinin 3 Japanese Film Trailers”