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Maggie 메기 Dir: Yi Ok-seop (2018) South Korea Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Maggie   

메기

Running Time: 88 mins.

Release Date: October 2018

Director: Yi Ok-seop

Writer: Yi Ok-seop, Koo Kyo-hwan (Screenplay),

Starring: Lee Ju-young, Moon So-ri, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Ju-yeong, Mun So-ri, Koo Gyo-Hwan, Myeong Gye-nam, Kim Kkobbi Flowerain,

IMDB

http://www.oaff.jp/2019/en/program/c09.html

Winner of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Grand Prix (Best Picture Award) as well as Busan International Film Festival 2018’s CGV Art House Award and Citizens’ Critic Award, Maggie heralds a new directing talent in Yi Ok-Seop, someone who brings a lively verve to her examination of how doubt can infect everything and how such an infection should be cured by seeking the truth. It’s a large topic tackled with a disparate range of elements from a talking catfish to mysterious seismic activities and audiences will be forgiven for having doubts of their own as to how everything links up and if it will be satisfying but it works in the end.

Continue reading “Maggie 메기 Dir: Yi Ok-seop (2018) South Korea Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Just Only Love, Kingdom, Naminori Office e Yokoso, Crayon Shin-chan Movie 27: Shinkon Ryokou Hurricane – Ushinawareta Hiroshi, Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale, Itsuka kagayaite ita kanojo wa, Chronos Jaunter, Godot of the Emotos, Centre line Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

This is my first trailer post since being in Japan, travelling to Himeji and other cities in Hyogo Prefecture as well as places like Nara and Kyoto, working at the Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF) and then travelling to Kamakura, Tokyo and places in central Japan that I will probably never visit again because I like Tokyo and Kansai more and time is always short.

Apologies for the radio silence in terms of trailers but I have cranked out reviews from OAFF and I’m still working on interviews with a friend. When it’s all done, it will come to 24 or 25 pieces, which isn’t bad. I’m most pleased that I will be able to get everything released by mid-May. Most of it came out during the festival period back in March. It has been quick. I can see where further improvements can be made so if I get another shot at this, it’ll be better.

You can see the current reviews and one interview over at V-Cinema by clicking on this link.

For this blog, I have posted:

 A preview article, Nunchaku and Soul, Randen, Sisterhood, Hana, The CrossingStill Human, The Eternity Between Seconds, and Wild Tour.

As well as OAFF, I posted about the Japanese Film Festival Ireland , The Korea Independent Animation Festival, and Udine Far East Film Festival and, over at Anime UK News, an article for Kickstarter for a cool stop-motion animation that tells a supernatural tale called The Depth of Yagen. I’ll post more information on here at some point.

Rambling over. You’re here for the trailers for films released this week. Here they are:

Continue reading “Just Only Love, Kingdom, Naminori Office e Yokoso, Crayon Shin-chan Movie 27: Shinkon Ryokou Hurricane – Ushinawareta Hiroshi, Hibike! Euphonium Movie 3: Chikai no Finale, Itsuka kagayaite ita kanojo wa, Chronos Jaunter, Godot of the Emotos, Centre line Japanese Film Trailers”

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Japanese Films at the Udine Far East Film Festival 2019 (April 26th to May 4th)

The Udine Far East Film Festival 2019 runs from April 26th to May 4th and has a lot to offer audiences eager for the latest in Asian cinema. This year’s edition has a special on retrospective on Korean cinema entitled ‘100 Years Of Korean Cinema’, which has 23 films programmed, and organisers are also going to hand Hong Kong star Anthony Wong the Golden Mulberry Award for Outstanding Achievement. Two of his film, Wong’s debut My Name Ain’t Suzie (1985) and the recent Still Human (2018), will also be screened.

Indeed, there are a few films I’ve already seen as part of work in Osaka with The Crossing and Still Human being my absolute must-recommends. From Japan, there are nine films in total, a few from the festival circuit such as a collection of political dystopian tales, Ten Years Japan, and Melancholic, an acerbic workplace comedy involving onsen and contract killers.

On top of film screenings, there’s also the industry side of things and Focus Asia 2019, a section where 15 projects are mainlined for international co-productions by a group of judges, has selected two Japanese projects, the first an offshoot of Ten Years Japan, Plan 75, by Chie Hayakawa and produced by Eiko Mizuno-Gray, and the second looks totally new. The Convenience Store features the film critic Mark Schilling (Japan Times), producer Emi Ueyama (Wasted Eggs, At the Terrace) and director Satoshi Miki (Adrift in Tokyo).

That was an unwieldy paragraph. On to the trailers!

Here is what on offer:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Udine Far East Film Festival 2019 (April 26th to May 4th)”

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The Crossing Dir: Bai Xue (China) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

The Crossing 

Running Time: 99 mins.

Release Date: March 15th, 2019

Director:  Bai Xue

Writer: Bai Xue (Screenplay),

Starring: Huang Yao, Sunny Sun, Carmen Soup, Ni Hongjie, Elena Kong, Kai Chi Liu, Jiao Gang,

Website IMDB

The Crossing is a coming-of-age film set to the background of a smuggling ring operating between Hong Kong and mainland China. It is a remarkably confident debut from writer/director Bai Xue and captures a new form of living what with the vagaries of living a transnational life and the opportunities travel affords.

Sixteen-year-old Peipei (Huang Yao) is a kid who lives in Shenzhen with her mother (Ni Hongjie) but attends a high school in Hong Kong, a privilege granted by her father (Kai Chi Liu) who comes from the island. As a result of her parent’s former union, Peipei can catch a train between cities, effectively crossing a border every day. Customs officials pay her little mind because of her school uniform, innocent face and quiet demeanour.

Continue reading “The Crossing Dir: Bai Xue (China) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Still Human 淪落人 Dir: Oliver Siu Kuen Chan Hong Kong (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Still Human 淪落人   

Running Time: 115 mins.

Release Date: Summer 2018

Director: Oliver Siu Kuen Chan

Writer: Oliver Siu Kuen Chan (Screenplay),

Starring: Anthony Wong, Crisel Consunji, Sam Lee, Cecilia Yip, Himmy Wong,

IMDB

http://www.oaff.jp/2019/en/program/c12.html

The city state of Hong Kong has been the setting for big emotions found in heroic bloodshed actioners, crime thrillers, romantic dramas, and martial arts extravaganzas. However, one of the most satisfying films to come out of the place in recent years is a small-scale drama about the friendship between a disabled man and his carer. Still Human is the debut feature film from Oliver Siu Kuen Chan and it has won accolades such as Best New Director at the 2019 Asian Film Awards, the Netpac Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival 2018 and the Audience Award at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019. With a mixture of assured storytelling and great acting, it provides a moving drama that is sure to win over anyone who watches it. Just keep a hanky ready.

Continue reading “Still Human 淪落人 Dir: Oliver Siu Kuen Chan Hong Kong (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Hana Dir: Mai Nakanishi (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Hana    Hana Film Poster

Running Time: 13 mins.

Release Date: 2019

Director: Mai Nakanishi

Writer: Mai Nakanishi (Screenplay), 

Cinematography: Jun-sang Lee 

Starring: Jeong-bi Lee, Hee-Jin Jean, Do-Eun Kim,

Website IMDB

This is a re-write of my review that was published on V-Cinema a month ago. Corrections and a bit more thoughtful analysis were made as well as references to favourite directors. I want to see more from Mai Nakanishi.

Hana is a Korea-Japan co-production from newbie director Mai Nakanishi. Originally from Tokyo, she has spent much of her career abroad working in various roles on a wide range of international projects including working as an assistant director for Eric Khoo and as producer for Sion Sono. Nakanishi has also worked as producer on the Japanese segments for the horror anthology ABCs of DEATH 2. Most tellingly, she is a founder and director of Scream Queen FilmFest Tokyo, the only female-centric genre film festival in Asia. In short, she is a horror fan, and when she was selected by the Busan International Film Festival to be a fellow at the Asian Film Academy 2016, she produced this short film under the mentorship of the world-renowned Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-Liang. The final product is very much rooted in horror, her favourite playground, and is an effective short.

A home is a reflection of who lives there and how it is decorated and lived in says a lot about a person and how they want to shape their lives (which is why it can be terrifying entering one if you stop and think about it long enough). Couple that idea with the existential one of how we can never truly know another person, pressures and desires and all, then someone seemingly normal can actually be stranger than imagined which is what happens in this neat horror short.

Continue reading “Hana Dir: Mai Nakanishi (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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A Preview of of the Japanese Film Festival Ireland 2019

Ireland will get a slew of the latest cinematic delights from Japan when theJapanese Film Festival Ireland 2019 Image Japanese Film Festival Ireland gears up for its latest run. It all starts on April 6th and last until the 20th with screenings of a selection of films at venues in Dublin, Galway, Tipperary, Limerick, Cork, Sligo, Waterford and Dundalk.

There are many highlights, many of which have set screens ablaze at the likes of Japan Cuts 2018, three of the biggest titles to get a release in 2019 from Third Windows Films and the latest anime to be licensed Anime Limited. There is also a slew of indie films, only a couple of which have been screened at something like the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019.

As is always the case, whether new or old, whether confirmed for a home format release or not, seeing these films on the big screen and sharing it with others is an exciting proposition and I hope you can find something that sparks your imagination.

Here are the films:

Continue reading “A Preview of of the Japanese Film Festival Ireland 2019”

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Korea Independent Animation Festival 2019 in Japan

For fans of Asian animation in the English-speaking world, Korea is a bit of an unknown quantity. Despite a few brave bloggers trying to keep track of various titles that get released, actually getting to see the films is pretty hard to do. So, if you are interested in Korean animation and are in Japan, this event will be perfect for you.

Korean Independent Animation Festival 2019 Image

With the onset of Spring, cherry blossom petals will shower the streets whilst on cinema screens will be the delightful sight of Korean animation. Throughout April, at three different locations, the Korea Independent Animation Film Festival will take place.

Osaka goes first from April 06th to the 10th at the Planet +1 cinema, which is located in the bohemian neighbourhood of Nakazakicho near Umeda,

Tokyo gets it from April 19th to the 21st at the Uplink Theatre in trendy Shibuya,

Nagoya is a bit later from July 06th to the 07th at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, near Sakae station.

A collection of 29 films will be screened and there will be talks over the course of the festival. The films consist of two programmes dedicated to Korean animated shorts, a programme of shorts from creators based in Asia, and a feature film. These are mainly award films of “Indie-AniFest2018”, which took place in Seoul, and there’s a real variety to the techniques used in animation from stop-motion to 2D in various artistic styles, 3D, CG and even rotoscoping. Each of the shorts programmes and the feature clocks in at around an hour, making this an easily digestible series of screenings. Furthermore, the Osaka run has special guests and a special programme dedicated to the Kansai region – Kansai short program (62 minutes / 8 films) “Kansai Resident! Animator Special Feature”!

Continue reading “Korea Independent Animation Festival 2019 in Japan”

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The Eternity Between Seconds Dir: Alec Figuracion (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

The Eternity Between Seconds    The Eternity Between Seconds Alec Figuracion (2018) Film Poster

Running Time: 83 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Alec Figuracion

Writer: Alec Figuracion (Screenplay)

Starring: Yeng Constanino, TJ Trinidad,

Website IMDB

There is something about liminal spaces such as airports which allows the mind to wander loose from the moorings that reality keeps us grounded with. While there, free from commitments to family or work, it is possible to drift in a sea of strangers as we travel from one location to the next which is when we reassume responsibility. We can take a break from ourselves and be open, not just to a change in place but also thinking. This is an idea explored realistically and relatably in The Eternity Between Seconds, a Filipino film where two weary souls meet and offer respite from life’s worries.

Continue reading “The Eternity Between Seconds Dir: Alec Figuracion (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Wild Tour ワイルドツアー Dir: Sho Miyake (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Wild Tour    Wild Tour Film Poster

ワイルドツアーWairudo Tsua-

Running Time: 67 mins.

Release Date: Summer 2018

Director:  Sho Miyake

Writer: Sho Miyake (Screenplay),

Starring: Honoka Ito, Ryutaro Yasumitsu, Osuke Kuribayashi, Takamasa Yamazaki,

Website IMDB

http://www.oaff.jp/2019/en/program/if10.html

Sho Miyake made waves with his 2012 sophomore feature Playback (2012), a time slip drama shot in monochrome which was officially screened at the 65th Locarno International Film Festival and won him international attention. Since then he has refused to conform to any one genre and dabbled in a myriad of projects with no common theme. 2014 saw him make the hip-hop documentary THE COCKPIT and that was followed by a 2017 period drama, The Courier. His most recent feature, the human drama And Your Bird Can Sing (2018), based on a novel by Yasushi Sato, was played at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival and this year’s Berlinale. He has another film from 2018 and it goes somewhere else entirely as it combines a documentary about a scientific club with stories of first love.

Continue reading “Wild Tour ワイルドツアー Dir: Sho Miyake (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Sisterhood シスターフッド Dir: Takashi Nishihara (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Sisterhood    Sisterhood Film Poster

シスターフッド  Shisuta-fuddo

Running Time: 87 mins.

Release Date: 2019

Director: Takashi Nishihara

Writer: Takashi Nishihara (Screenplay),

Starring: BOMI, Manami Usamaru, Nina Endo, Ryo Iwase, Mika Akizuki

Website IMDB

http://www.oaff.jp/2019/en/program/if07.html

The only constant in life is change and we are living through massive changes, not least with regard to the battle for gender equality which has been marked most recently by the #MeToo movement which has spread from America and gained traction in some of the most conservative of societies around the world. Channelling some of the momentum experienced in Japan is Takashi Nishihara, writer and director of Sisterhood. He graduated from the Department of Arts and Film at Waseda University with a focus on documentary and has created fiction films – Blue Ray (2011) and the lesbian love drama Starting Over (2014) – as well as documentaries – About My Freedom (2016) and Queer Asia, a series for GagaOOLala, Asia’s first LGBTQ streaming service. With Sisterhood, he mixes fact and fiction in a film that shows some of the voices asking for change to mainstream of Japanese society.

To capture the shifts going on in gender relations in Japan, Nishihara blurs the bounds between fiction and reality by merging footage from a documentary he has been shooting over the last few years and casting real life actors and models such as Nina Endo and Mika Akizuki (the two leads from Starting Over), SUMIRE and Manami Usamaru, as well as the musician BOMI, and making them play fictional variations of themselves. Each gives a portrayal of a young woman going about their lives. We see them modelling, studying, performing concerts, each desiring to be treated fairly as they chase their dreams and each question their role in society. These questions emerge thanks to a link character, a middle-aged male Tokyo-based documentary film director named Ikeda, played by Ryo Iwase, who interviews people for a documentary about feminism.

Continue reading “Sisterhood シスターフッド Dir: Takashi Nishihara (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram Dir: Takuji Suzuki (2019) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram  RANDEN The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram Film Poster

嵐電 Randen

Running Time: 114 mins.

Release Date: May 24th, 2019

Director:  Takuji Suzuki

Writer: Takuji Suzuki, Hiroshi Asari, (Screenplay),

Starring: Arata Iura, Ayaka Onishi, Tamaki Kubose, Satoko Abe, Kenta Ishida, Hiroto Kanai,

Website

Opening the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 is the world premiere of RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram, a love-letter to the local tram that runs in the west of Kyoto City that links famous sites such as scenic Arashiyama to the ancient Koryu-ji temple and the exciting Toei Kyoto Studio Park where jidaigeki have been made over the centuries. It is beloved by many who ride it and the film’s story depicts the intersecting lives of three different couples whose love resonates throughout a narrative as fate, by way of the trams, deliberately bring people together.

Continue reading “RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram Dir: Takuji Suzuki (2019) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Nunchaku and Soul Dir: Akiyoshi Koba (2019) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Nunchaku and Soul

ヌンチャクソウル  Nunchaku Souru

Running Time: 25 mins.

Release Date: 2019

Director: Akiyoshi Koba

Writer: Akiyoshi Koba (Screenplay),

Starring: Masahiro Kuroki, Atsushi Takahashi, Jun Bay, Anju Kurosu, Yun Hayama, Michiko Hayashi, Shinichiro Osawa,

Website IMDB

http://www.oaff.jp/2019/en/program/if03.html

Director Akiyoshi Koba is a part-time lecturer at Nagaoka Zokei University and an indie filmmaker whose works feature a mixture of everyday settings dusted with a little sci-fi and tweaked with comedy. Titles include, Slippers and  a Midsummer Moon (2015) where two sisters travel between parallel worlds to find their missing father, the tokusatsu parody short Psychics Z (2016), and Tsumugi’s Radio (2017), a gentle comedy about mental illness and mistimed romance told with a lot of flashbacks. In each of the films, mundane locations are used for out of the ordinary events. This is probably driven by budget constraints but it has resulted in an oeuvre which celebrates the possibility of fun and DIY filmmaking in small-town Japan. Nunchaku and Soul is probably Koba’s most amusing work to date and continues in this vein.

Continue reading “Nunchaku and Soul Dir: Akiyoshi Koba (2019) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Black Crow 1, Kibaiyanse! Watashi, Ramen Shop, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case.3 On the Other Side of Love and Hate, Kimi to, tsuredure, Ultraman R/B The Movie: Select! The Crystal of Bond, Rise Dharuriser – The Movie New Edition, Geki × cine “Seven people of the skull castle” Season flowers, Japanese Film Trailers    

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well.

I am currently in Osaka working at the Osaka Asian Film Festival. I’ve written quite a few reviews already as I try and make more condensed and concise coverage that is effective. I have been able to do this because I wake up at around 02:00 or 03:00 in the morning and have difficulty getting back to sleep which leaves me falling asleep at 18:00. I hope I can get a handle on it because I’ve got interviews lined up with directors!

The festival opened yesterday with RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram and my reviews have been getting published over on V Cinema, one a day! So far:

Preview    Hana  Wild Tour  Sisterhood  The Eternity Between Seconds    Demolition Girl

In order to get my Osaka coverage going, I finished up my reviews of Koji Fukada’s films Harmonium (2016) and also posted a preview of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019. Expect reviews for the festivals films to start next Monday.

Before then… What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Black Crow 1, Kibaiyanse! Watashi, Ramen Shop, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case.3 On the Other Side of Love and Hate, Kimi to, tsuredure, Ultraman R/B The Movie: Select! The Crystal of Bond, Rise Dharuriser – The Movie New Edition, Geki × cine “Seven people of the skull castle” Season flowers, Japanese Film Trailers    “

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A Preview of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – March 17th)

The Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (OAFF) is back for its 14th edition and it promises a wealth of cinematic experiences from across Asia with a healthy selection of local indies programmed alongside international award-winners, auteur works, modern classics and genre cinema. I’m working at the festival again so I’ve got a lot of writing to do and I originally wrote this for V-Cinema to introduce the films.

The festival runs at various locations in the city from March 08th through to March 17th and organisers have carefully created a programme consisting of 51 films from 17 regions including 10 world and 9 international premiere films. Over half the titles will be screened in Japan for the first time and there will be filmmakers travelling from across the world to join film fans and take part in Q&A sessions to give more information about their works.

Everything has been organised across multiple programmes including the Competition section as well as sections dedicated to Hong Kong and Taiwan and there is also the prestigious Osaka Asia Star Award which is given to a significant figure from the Japanese or Asian film industry and presented at an award ceremony which is followed by an in-depth talk event.

What’s on offer?

Continue reading “A Preview of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – March 17th)”

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Harmonium 深田晃司 Dir: Koji Fukada (2016)

Harmonium  harmonium-film-poster 

深田晃司 「Fuchi ni Tatsu

Release Date: October 10th, 2016

Running Time: 118 mins.

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer: Koji Fukada

Starring: Mariko Tsutsui, Tadanobu Asano, Kanji Furutachi, Taiga, Takahiro Miura, Momone Shinokawa,

IMDB   Website

Koji Fukada’s Harmonium took the Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and for good reason because it shows a director in precise control of his material. Story-wise, it follows in the footsteps of his debut feature Hospitalite (2011) wherein a stranger enters the lives of a family and disrupts things. While Fukada’s earlier title was light-hearted and poked fun at the social mores of Japan, this film is harsher with only a few dashes of hope beaming down in the final scenes.

Taking the lead is experienced thesp Kanji Futurachi, a familiar face from Fukada’s earlier films like Au Revoir l’ete (2015) and Human Comedy Tokyo (2012) and, crucially, Hospitalite (2011) where he was the stranger that forced a revolution on a family. In a role reversal he is the patriarch and a victim of sorts here as he plays Toshio, the owner of a small factory in the suburbs of some city or other. No location is given. It’s a nondescript and quiet place where he lives a quiet existence with his church-going wife Akie (Mariko Tsutsui) and their daughter Hotaru (Momone Shinokawa). It is she who plays the titular harmonium that gives the film’s soundtrack a funereal sense.

Harmonium Film Image

Continue reading “Harmonium 深田晃司 Dir: Koji Fukada (2016)”

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Until I Meet September’s Love, Siblings of the Cape, Haman, Running Again, Sisterhood, Afternoon Breezes, Doraemon the Movie: Chronicle of the Moon Exploration, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Chapter 7 “Nova Chapter”, A Japanese Boy Who Draws, Goro no Shin Sekai, Umeko, Giwaku to Dansu, Fukushima wa Kataru, Yoake no takibi, Happy Island, Uchi uchi no men-tachi (tsura-tachi) wa., Last Judgement, Saigo no Shinpan, Sayonara Kazoku, Hazure Kazoku no Saaya, Kumori tokidoki hare Noise, KING OF PRISM: Shiny Seven Stars I – Prologue x Yukinojou x Taiga Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Au revoir l'ete Film Image 3

I hope you are all well!

I’ve written this the day after arriving in Japan. Yes, I am back in Osaka and getting ready for work at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019. I hope to provide coverage of the Japanese films and interview the directors and others who make them. I also intend to review films from other countries. Expect a lot of cross-posting between this blog and V-Cinema.

I wrote this trailer post while suffering jet lag so there’s a lot of brevity. I’m surprised I got it done in two sessions over one day! It was completed after walking around Osaka for about four hours. 

This week, I reviewed Au Revoir l’ete and Human Comedy in Tokyo, two films from Koji Fukada. I intend to finish the mini Koji Fukada season with a fifth film, Harmonium, next Monday and then from Wednesday, it will be Osaka. I’m going to try and do it in a condensed time and not string it out.

Anyway, what’s released this weekend??? Continue reading “Until I Meet September’s Love, Siblings of the Cape, Haman, Running Again, Sisterhood, Afternoon Breezes, Doraemon the Movie: Chronicle of the Moon Exploration, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Chapter 7 “Nova Chapter”, A Japanese Boy Who Draws, Goro no Shin Sekai, Umeko, Giwaku to Dansu, Fukushima wa Kataru, Yoake no takibi, Happy Island, Uchi uchi no men-tachi (tsura-tachi) wa., Last Judgement, Saigo no Shinpan, Sayonara Kazoku, Hazure Kazoku no Saaya, Kumori tokidoki hare Noise, KING OF PRISM: Shiny Seven Stars I – Prologue x Yukinojou x Taiga Japanese Film Trailers”

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Human Comedy in Tokyo 東京人間喜劇 Dir: Koji Fukada (2008)

Human Comedy in Tokyo    Human Comedy Tokyo Film Poster

東京人間喜劇 Tokyo Ningen Kigeki

Running Time: 139 mins.

Release Date: October 11th, 2008

Director:  Koji Fukada

Writer:  Koji Fukada (Screenplay),

Starring: Michitaro Mizushima, Misako Watanabe, Shoichi Ozawa, Shinsuke Ashida, Mari Shiraki, Akira Hisamatsu, Tatsuo Matsushita, Reiko Arai, Kotoe Hatsui,

IMDB

Having watched Fukada’s later works, Harmonium (2016), Sayonara (2015) and Au revoir l’ete (2013) (in that order), I was a fool to expect his feature-film debut Human Comedy Tokyo (2008) to actually be a comedy. What it has to say about human relations makes it one of the bleakest films I have seen in a while as we find that the title is super ironic because he depicts people in Tokyo as super isolated. Continue reading “Human Comedy in Tokyo 東京人間喜劇 Dir: Koji Fukada (2008)”

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Au revoir l’ete ほとりの朔子 Dir: Koji Fukada (2014)

Au revoir l’ete          

Au revoir lete Film poster
Au revoir lete Film poster

ほとりの朔子 「Hotori no Sakuko」

Running Time: 125 mins.

Release Date: January 18th, 2014

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer: Koji Fukada (Screenplay)

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Mayu Tsuruta, Kanji Furutachi, Taiga, Ena Koshino, Makiko Watanabe, Kiki Sugino

Website

Koji Fukada is a film-maker inspired by the cultures of France and Indonesia as best evidenced by him transplanting elements to his native Japan in his many works. His like of French New Wave cinema is made obvious by this film, Au Revoir l’ete, which means goodbye summer and plays like an Eric Rohmer film where relationships are unpicked in a nonchalant manner as we get to a deeper understanding of some human relationships. It’s the perfect title for a film that describes the quiet misadventures of a teenage girl who waves goodbye to her naivete and matures a little more while in the company of some childish adults.

It is late August and an eighteen-year-old Tokyoite Sakuko (Fumi Nikaido) is a ronin student who is preparing to take her university entrance exam after flunking her previous one. Studying is the perfect excuse for her to tag along with her aunt Mikie (Mayu Tsuruta) who is house-sitting for her sister, Sakuko’s mother, in a sleepy coastal town.

Au revoir l'ete Film Image 3

Continue reading “Au revoir l’ete ほとりの朔子 Dir: Koji Fukada (2014)”

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Ano Hi no Orugan, The Island of Cats, Omaera Zenin Mendokusai!, Rin, Samurai Marathon 1855, Tonde Saitama, When Mother Died, I Thought That I Wanted to Eat Remains, Boku no kanojo wa mahoutsukai, Junction 29, Michikusa, Mirai no Atashi, Made in Japan, Sora no Hitomi to Katatsumuri, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Giko no kakusei, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Nero no fukushu Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you are well!!

This is another truncated film trailer post and there are so many titles getting released over this weekend and the next! As far as film review go, I started a mini-season dedicated to Koji Fukada with reviews of Sayonara and Hospitalite.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Ano Hi no Orugan, The Island of Cats, Omaera Zenin Mendokusai!, Rin, Samurai Marathon 1855, Tonde Saitama, When Mother Died, I Thought That I Wanted to Eat Remains, Boku no kanojo wa mahoutsukai, Junction 29, Michikusa, Mirai no Atashi, Made in Japan, Sora no Hitomi to Katatsumuri, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Giko no kakusei, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Nero no fukushu Japanese Film Trailers”

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Sayonara さよなら Dir: Koji Fukada (2015)

Sayonara      

Sayonara Film Poster
Sayonara Film Poster

さよなら「Sayonara

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer:  Koji Fukada, Oriza Hirata (Screenplay),

Starring: Bryerly Long, Hirofumi Arai, Geminoid F, Makiko Murata, Yuko Kibiki, Nijiro Murakami,

Website   IMDB

Koji Fukada’s (Hospitalité, Au revoir l’été) 2015 movie Sayonara is billed as the first ever film with an android as one of the stars. As intriguing as seeing an artificial life-form act seems to be, the final result is a pretty lifeless affair in both acting and story terms but it does have some emotional impact.

It is based on a collaboration between Japanese playwright Oriza Hirata (a familiar collaborator with Fukada) and a leading robotics scientist named Hiroshi Ishiguro who works at Osaka University and has been developing different models of the Geminoid androids since 2005. Their team-up resulted in a 15-minute stage-play that travelled Japan with people being able to see the actor Bryerly Long conversing with the latest in android technology. With the two actors on stage and sat down it was a largely static affair in a story where a human woman comes to terms with her impending death through talking and the recitation of poetry. The film largely adopts the stage-play from what I have read and, despite looking good, suffers from relaying the content straight in an end-of-the-world tale that takes two hours but feels longer.

Continue reading “Sayonara さよなら Dir: Koji Fukada (2015)”

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Another World, Fortuna’s Eye, Smiles Leading to Happiness, Tiger: My Life as a Cat, Dynamite Wolf, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case.2 First Guardian, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion, The Royal Tutor Film Version, FIGHTERS THE MOVIE Challenge with Dream, Bon Uta A Song From Home, Memories of a Dead End, Iron Girl Final Wars, Shota Sometani Films, Kiyosumi, Blank, Similar But Different, LAPSE, Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!Charisma Yabuki (Yakusho) at the Bus stop

I hope you are all well!

The next few weekend posts are going to be really brief and probably lacklustre because I am super busy. I have had my time packed with all sorts of things like proofing friend’s works, finishing a game script and trying to practice Japanese. Fortunately, I have a stack of reviews good to go for the next month and a bit so that takes the pressure off. This week’s review was for Destiny a Tale of Kamakura (2017) and there was news about Shinya Tsukamoto who will receive the Nippon Honor Award at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival in May.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Another World, Fortuna’s Eye, Smiles Leading to Happiness, Tiger: My Life as a Cat, Dynamite Wolf, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case.2 First Guardian, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion, The Royal Tutor Film Version, FIGHTERS THE MOVIE Challenge with Dream, Bon Uta A Song From Home, Memories of a Dead End, Iron Girl Final Wars, Shota Sometani Films, Kiyosumi, Blank, Similar But Different, LAPSE, Japanese Film Trailers”

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Shinya Tsukamoto will receive Nippon Honor Award at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival

Shinya TsukamotoShinya Tsukamoto will receive the NIPPON HONOR AWARD at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (May 28th – June 02nd). Shinya Tsukamoto tweeted this news earlier in the month and it has been confirmed by a press release sent out on Tuesday this week. This is the fifth time the award has been bestowed on someone and it goes to a person who has made outstanding contributions to Japanese cinema. I can’t think of a better person at the moment!

Fans of Japanese films who have followed this blog for a while will know I am a big fan of the actor and director, editor and cinematographer. He was one of the first directors I went and wrote a biography for and reviewed a whole bunch of his films (my favourite being Vital). In fact, I met him at the Raindance Independent Film Festival a few years back and had my picture taken with him just before a screening of Fires on the Plain!

Anyway, according to the press release:

Continue reading “Shinya Tsukamoto will receive Nippon Honor Award at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival”

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Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり Dir:  Takashi Yamazaki (2017)

Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura   DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari Film Poster

DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari

Running Time: 129 mins.

Release Date: December 09th, 2017

Director:  Takashi Yamazaki

Writer:  Takashi Yamazaki (Screenplay), Ryohei Saigan (Original Manga)

Starring: Masato Sakai, Mitsuki Takahata, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Sakura Ando, Min Tanaka, Tamao Nakamura, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Kunimura, Tomokazu Miura,

Website IMDB

Kamakura is one of the old capitals of Japan and the most magical place in the country according to Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura. In this CG-heavy adventure, a young woman discovers her new husband’s titular home town is where the borders between life, death, fairytale and reality are blurred as she and her beloved embark on a magical fantasy adventure.

Continue reading “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり Dir:  Takashi Yamazaki (2017)”

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Born Bone Born, Back Street Girls: Gokudoruzu, 21st Century Girl, 40 Manbun no 1, 1 in 400000, Saga of Tanya the Evil, City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, Amanogawa, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Smile Playing Ping Pong

I hope everyone is feeling great!

Since the last time I wrote a trailer post I have spent my days either meeting thousands of people in my day job (I kid you not) or watching films from around Asia in the comfort of my home. I managed to finish off a big proof reading projects. In terms of writing on this blog, I posted a review of Blame !(2017), a preview of the Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2019, and a glance at the Closing Film at Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019.

Here are the new films released this weekend:

Continue reading “Born Bone Born, Back Street Girls: Gokudoruzu, 21st Century Girl, 40 Manbun no 1, 1 in 400000, Saga of Tanya the Evil, City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, Amanogawa, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Japanese Film Trailers”

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Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues

The closing film of Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – 17th) has been announced and it is the Vietnamese family comedy Daddy Issues. This is the Japanese premiere of a film directed by Ken Ochiai whose Kyoto-based film Uzumasa Limelight (2014) should be familiar to fans of Japanese cinema – quite appropriate since OAFF 2019’s opening film Randen is set in Kyoto. Most recently, he has been working in the Vietnamese film industry and created a comedy hit with Saigon Bodyguards which was released in 2016 and beat Rogue One in the charts and became the 4th biggest movie of that year.

Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues”

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Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2019

The Berlin International Film Festival launches at the end of this week and runs from February 07th to the 17th. There are a decent number of features and a couple of shorts for fans of Japanese cinema to watch out for. Two of the features seems brand new to me, as in, I haven’t seen it at places like Rotterdam but one was winning major buzz at Sundance last month. The others I have seen at Glasgow. Anyway, here are the Japanese films playing at the festival:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2019”

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Blame! ブラム Dir: Hiroyuki Seshita (2017)

Blame!   Blame Film Poster

ブラム Buramu

Running Time: 105 mins.

Director: Hiroyuki Seshita

Writer: Sadayuki Murai (Screenplay) Tsutomu Nihei (Original Creator),

Animation Production: Polygon Pictures

Starring: Takahiro Sakurai (Killy), Kana Hanazawa (Cibo), Sora Amamiya (Zuru), Kazuhiro Yamaji (Pop), Aki Toyosaki (Administration Authority), Aya Suzuki (Tae), Yuuki Kaji (Atsuji), Mamoru Miyano (Sutezo), Saori Hayami (Sanakan)

Website ANN MAL

Long-term readers will know that I am a fan of Tsutomu Nihei and I have written about his manga Abara, Biomega, and the anime adaptation of Knights of Sidonia. Blame! is based on Nihei’s manga of the same name which was his first commercial manga series when it was published in Kodansha’s Monthly Afternoon magazine from 1997 until it ended in 2003. This movie adaptation is from the team behind the TV anime adaptation of Knights of Sidonia and Ajin and it looks awesome thanks to the financial muscle and time given to the animation studio Polygon Pictures by their backers Netflix:

The story of the film takes place in the same setting, a distant dystopic technological future where civilisation has reached its ultimate net-based form and transhumanism is rife. Unfortunately, an “infection” wipes out the one way humans control everything – Net Terminal Genes. This causes the automated systems to spiral out of order, resulting in artificial intelligence running amok as it fulfils its function to create an ever-expanding multi-levelled city that replicates itself infinitely in all directions.

Continue reading “Blame! ブラム Dir: Hiroyuki Seshita (2017)”

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Snow Flower, Whistleblower, Akai Yuki Red Snow, Korasho no Kaitei Wakuwaku Daibouken!, Gekijouban Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shōmei Shite Mita, Gan ni naru mae ni shitte okukoto, Documentertainment AD-LIVE, Nemuru Mura Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Radiance Film Image 2

I hope you are well!

It has been an intense week knocking down proofreading projects, writing reviews, doing PR, and doing my regular day job and practising Japanese but I think I’m on top of everything. The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 has started but I won’t be going to the London leg of it because of a lack of time. That’s a bit of a shame because there are friends I would like to see. I’ve been fortunate to watch films that are fresh from 2018 as well as some from 2016 during this week and hope to continue.

I posted a review for Naomi Kawase’s 2016 drama Hikari and I posted about the films at this year’s Glasgow International Film Festival and the opening film of this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “Snow Flower, Whistleblower, Akai Yuki Red Snow, Korasho no Kaitei Wakuwaku Daibouken!, Gekijouban Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shōmei Shite Mita, Gan ni naru mae ni shitte okukoto, Documentertainment AD-LIVE, Nemuru Mura Japanese Film Trailers”

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Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Opening Film: “RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram”

The opening film of the 2019 edition of the Osaka Asian Film Festival is Randen: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram. It is a magical tale of romance amidst the heart of historic Kyoto with the Randen tram’s that runs in the western part of the city uniting a selection of commuters fated to be together. The film will have its World Premiere on Friday, March 8th at Hankyu Umeda Hall.

randenfilmimage

As mentioned earlier, Randen is a local tram that runs in the west of Kyoto City. It’s a wonderful way to travel between tourist sites like temples and Arashiyama and it is beloved by local people as well as tourists from all over the world. This story depicts the love of three different couples who resonate and echo each other as they are drawn to the Randen trams.

Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Opening Film: “RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram””

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Japanese Films at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2019

The Glasgow Film Festival (February 20th – March 03rd) will launch for its 15th edition in just under a month’s time and there are three Japanese films on offer and one Japan-China co-production. Two of the titles come from Third Window Films and two have not been licensed for the UK as far as I am aware so this might be your best chance to see them.

Here is what is on offer:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2019”

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Radiance 光 Dir: Naomi Kawase (2017)

RadianceHikari Film Poster

 Hikari

Running Time: 129 mins.

Release Date: May 27th , 2017

Director: Naomi Kawase

Writer: Naomi Kawase (Screenplay),

Starring: Masatoshi Nagase, Ayame Misaki, Tatsuya Fuji, Chihiro Ohtsuka, Kazuko Shirakawa, Saori Koide, Nobumitsu Onishi, Mantaro Koichi,

Website IMDB

Naomi Kawase is one of the “4 Ks”, directors who dominate contemporary Japanese cinema (the others are Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Kitano and Kore-eda) and she is a film-maker whose ability to capture sensual experiences makes for transcendent films. This is something which masks the slightness of some of her stories but at the same time it lends them more power. With Radiance she looks at the transcendent nature of film itself and she does so through the realm of using words.

Misako Ozaki (Ayame Misaki) is a woman who is involved in a project providing audio description for films for the visually impaired. She watches films and writes down the best way to describe scenes and characters and then presents them to a panel of people who critique her work so she can tweak it for a wider release. Masaya Nakamori (Masatoshi Nagase) is one of those people on the panel. He is a genius photographer and he has the harshest criticisms. The two initially don’t get on because Masaya has a cold attitude but when Misako sees a photograph of a sunset shot by him, she is inspired to look into Masaya’s life and discovers that he is losing his sight and their relationship changes as she gets to know him.Radiance Film Image 2

Continue reading “Radiance 光 Dir: Naomi Kawase (2017)”

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Aiuta: My Promise To Nakuhito, School-Live!, Restaurant in the Sky, 12 Suicidal Teens, Day and Night, The Nikaido’s Fall, Imagination Alone is Beautiful GO TO THE FUTURE, Parallel World Theater, Kamen Rider Build NEW WORLD: Kamen Rider Cross-Z, Le Chocolat de H, Kakitai, ga tomaranai, Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case. 1 Crime and Punishment Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Wild Zero Guns Out

I hope you are all well!

The weather has gotten cold and I have been staying in a bit more and watching films. I’ve continued my exercise routines and trying to get my English language studies back in flow. Really, this is business as usual.

This week I posted a review for Pink and Gray (2016) and a preview for the Japanese films playing at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam.

What is released this week?

Continue reading “Aiuta: My Promise To Nakuhito, School-Live!, Restaurant in the Sky, 12 Suicidal Teens, Day and Night, The Nikaido’s Fall, Imagination Alone is Beautiful GO TO THE FUTURE, Parallel World Theater, Kamen Rider Build NEW WORLD: Kamen Rider Cross-Z, Le Chocolat de H, Kakitai, ga tomaranai, Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case. 1 Crime and Punishment Japanese Film Trailers”

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Pink and Gray ピンクとグレー Dir: Isao Yukisada (2015)

Pink and Gray   

Pink and Gray Film Poster
Pink and Gray Film Poster

ピンクとグレー Pinku to gure-

Release Date: January 09th, 2015

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Isao Yukisada

Writer: Ryuta Horai, Isao Yukisada (Screenplay), Shigeaki Kato (Original Novel)

Starring: Yuto Nakajima, Masaki Suda, Kaho, Yuya Yagira, Yukino Kishii, Makita Sports, Jingi Irie,

Website    IMDB

The first casualty of fame is typically friendship as changing personalities, lifestyles and goals tear apart relationships. It is a familiar subject in film and audiences will be able to spot jealousy and arrogance rearing their heads and causing ructions between characters before hoping that all problems will be solved and friendship healed by the end. Shigeaki Kato, a young idol with the boyband NEWS (signed to the label/idol factory Johnny’s Entertainment) wrote this type of story in his 2012 novel of the same name but it features a twist that gives it a little freshness and director Isao Yukisada (Crying Out Love in the Centre of the Earth, Go, Aroused by Gymnopedies).

The film opens with scenes from a ballet and a suicide. As the ballet climaxes we see a popular actor named Rengo Shiraki (Yuto Nakajima) hang himself. His best friend Daiki Kawata (Masaki Suda) enters the scene in the aftermath. Daiki is left facing a beautiful corpse and six wills that have been left on a nearby coffee table. An accompanying note written by Rengo apologises and informs Daiki that he must choose one will but before we know what the wills contain we are taken back in time to their first meeting.

Continue reading “Pink and Gray ピンクとグレー Dir: Isao Yukisada (2015)”

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Japanese Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019

The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 starts on January 23rd and ends on February 03rd. There are many Japanese titles, nearly all of them being indies and all but two in the Bright Future strand which is dedicated to supporting new artists such as Natsuka Kusano and Koki Tanaka. There is also the Voices strand which is a place for more established directors like Shinya Tsukamoto. The indies towards the end of this post look fascinating.

Here are the films!

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019”

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Made in Abyss Movie 2: Wandering Twilight, Chiwawa, His Lost Name, Masquerade Hotel, Mentai Piriri, Touken Ranbu: The Movie, Divine Justice, Yuri!!! on ICE TV Series Kyo gekijō jōei, Gekijonan DARWIN Ga Kita! Africa Shindensetsu, Kazokuwari, Documentary Film Taro Okamoto’s Okinawa – What He Found, A Step Forward, The Fox Dancing in the Dusk, SAVE THE DAY SILENT POETS SPECIAL DUB BAND LIVE SHOW the MOVIE Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone.

i am a hero film image yo oizumi masami nagasawa and kasumi arimura

I hope you are all well.

Proofing for that otome game script I was working on has now been completed. I did it in the space of twelve days or so. I’m going through it again to tighten things up. I have a month and a bit left before the deadline.

Not much done in terms of movie-watching but I did get a review done for a big title from last year.

I posted reviews for two Shinsuke Sato films, the first being I Am a Hero (2016) and the second Inuyashiki (2018). I really enjoyed these two films and highly recommend them. Please watch them if you get the chance because they are fun and have thrilling fights, super special effects and awesome acting.

I need to be a hero soon so I’ll be studying Japanese intensely.

What films are released this weekend?

Continue reading “Made in Abyss Movie 2: Wandering Twilight, Chiwawa, His Lost Name, Masquerade Hotel, Mentai Piriri, Touken Ranbu: The Movie, Divine Justice, Yuri!!! on ICE TV Series Kyo gekijō jōei, Gekijonan DARWIN Ga Kita! Africa Shindensetsu, Kazokuwari, Documentary Film Taro Okamoto’s Okinawa – What He Found, A Step Forward, The Fox Dancing in the Dusk, SAVE THE DAY SILENT POETS SPECIAL DUB BAND LIVE SHOW the MOVIE Japanese Film Trailers”

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Inuyashiki いぬやしき Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2018)

Inuyashiki         Inuyashiki Film Poster

いぬやしき Inuyashiki

Running Time: 127 mins.

Release Date: April 20th, 2018

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Writer: Hiroshi Hashimoto (Screenplay), Hiroya Oku (Original Manga)

Starring: Noritake Kinashi, Takeru Satoh, Kanata Hongo, Fumi Nikaido, Yuki Saito, Yusuke Iseya, Mari Hamada, Ayaka Miyoshi, Nayuta Fukuzaki,

Website IMDB

Ever since his debut The Princess Blade (2001), director Shinsuke Sato has helmed action-packed films with a particular focus on live-action adaptations of manga. Titles in his filmography include Death Note: Light Up the New World, Library Wars, and I Am a Hero. He also sat in the directors chair for the two adaptations of Hiroya Oku’s manga Gantz which were released in the early 00s. Most are slick and solid and his style is improving all the time with Inuyashiki, which is based on another of Oku’s works, being his best yet. This is like a coherent, sanitised, high-budget take on Tetsuo The Iron Man.

Continue reading “Inuyashiki いぬやしき Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2018)”

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I Am a Hero アイアムアヒーロー Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2016)

I Am a Hero   

I am a Hero FIlm Poster
I am a Hero FIlm Poster

アイアムアヒーロー「Ai amu a hi-ro-

Release Date: April 23rd, 2016

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Writer: Akiko Nogi (Screenplay), Kengo Hanazawa (Original Manga)

Starring: Yo Oizumi, Masami Nagasawa, Kasumi Arimura, Miho Suzuki, Yu Tokui, Yoshinari Okada, Nana Katase,

Website    IMDB

I Am a Hero is the best zombie film to have come out in a long, long time or at least since 28 Days Later (2002) when Danny Boyle sent fast-running infected across the streets of London. Much like the aforementioned title, I Am a Hero has zed-heads that tear across the screen and they are very scary to behold and much like the classic titles of the zombie genre such as George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) it features some social commentary. Also, unlike tongue-in-cheek J-horror zom-comedies like Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (2008) and Big Tits Zombie (2010), I Am a Hero is serious and rooted in our world and gleefully slaps it sideways in a gory horror film that does justice to its source.

Continue reading “I Am a Hero アイアムアヒーロー Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2016)”

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Hikari no Uta, Listen to Light, Konomichi, Kinkyuu Kenshou! The Movie Nessie vs Nostradamus vs Uri Geller, The Saddest Audition in the World, Gekijouban Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel II. lost butterfly, Kimi kara me ga hanasenai Eyes on You, Cinema Kabuki Hototogisu Kojou Rakugetsu, Cinema Kabuki Yang Qin Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Kuon Mayo Walking Along a Street

Hope you are all well.

I am currently nearing the end of a big proofreading job and it’s a month and a half ahead of the deadline and that was by doing it before work, on my commute to work, in work and after work. I intend to move on to really intensive Japanese practice so that will be after I wake up in the morning, during the day, and during the evening. I also intend to keep the reviews going by watching a couple of titles a week and exercise. Cannot forget about exercise. I’m packing as much in as possible.

In terms of reviews, I posted about Train to Busan and Seoul Station a week after my review of One Cut of the Dead. I will keep it up with the zombie movies with what I consider to be the best I have seen in a long, long time. Speaking as someone who watched Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead on VHS and then DVD multiple times, I was pleased to see how this particular movie shaped up. Okay. That’s enough disjointed hype.

What films are released this weekend?

Continue reading “Hikari no Uta, Listen to Light, Konomichi, Kinkyuu Kenshou! The Movie Nessie vs Nostradamus vs Uri Geller, The Saddest Audition in the World, Gekijouban Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel II. lost butterfly, Kimi kara me ga hanasenai Eyes on You, Cinema Kabuki Hototogisu Kojou Rakugetsu, Cinema Kabuki Yang Qin Japanese Film Trailers”

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Seoul Station 서울역 Dir: Yeon Sang-Ho (2016)

Seoul Station   

서울역 Seoulyeok

Running Time: 92 mins.

Release Date: August 18th, 2016

Director:  Yeon Sang-Ho

Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho (Screenplay),

Starring: Shim Eun-Kyung, Ryoo Seung-Ryong, Lee Joon, Jang Hyuk-Hin, Lee Sang-Hee, Hwang Suk-Jung, Kim Nam-Jin,

IMDB

Seoul Station is the animated prequel to Train to Busan (TtB). Both made in 2016, the animation was released a couple of months before its more famous live-action sibling according to IMDB. It features similar themes to TtB in its criticism of an unjust society but it does not have a drop of sentimentality. This is a bleak look at life at the bottom in Seoul as the city stands on the cusp of a zombie apocalypse.

Continue reading “Seoul Station 서울역 Dir: Yeon Sang-Ho (2016)”

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Train to Busan 부산행 Dir: Yeon Sang-Ho (2016)

Train to Busan   Train to Busan Film Poster

부산행 Busanhaeng

Running Time: 118 mins.

Release Date: July 20th, 2016

Director:  Yeon Sang-Ho

Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho, Park Joo-Suk (Screenplay),

Starring: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-Mi, Ma Dong-Seok, Kim Soo-Ahn, Kim Eui-Sung, Choi Woo-Sik, Ahn So-Hee, Shim Eun-Kyung,

IMDB

Train to Busan was something of a global success for the Korean film industry in 2016 when it played to rave reviews at sold-out screenings in a variety of festivals. Familiarity with director Yeon Sang-Ho’s previous works which are animated dramas The King of Pigs and The Fake (both released in the UK under Terracotta) won’t prepare you for this film which is a non-stop thriller light on horror but never sidelines character development.

The action follows Seok-Woo (Gong Yoo), a handsome fund manager who lives with his daughter Soo-An (Kim Soo-Ahn) and mother in a fancy apartment in Seoul. The demands of his job meant his wife disembarked from the marriage and it is now affecting his relationship with his daughter who he doesn’t spend time with. Indeed, this is shown in how he misses a school recital and tasks a subordinate to get the cute girl a Nintendo Wii for her birthday little realising that he had bought one a few months earlier. Soo-An, feeling neglected, insists on staying with her mother in Busan for her birthday. A heartbreaking, “I won’t waste your time. I can go alone by myself.” uttered by Soo-An gets across the distance between the two.

Seok-Woo feels the gap and the guilt but he has no other choice but to take her on a train to Busan.

Continue reading “Train to Busan 부산행 Dir: Yeon Sang-Ho (2016)”

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Night of the Dead Geisha, Okechimyaku, A movie theater said to be the best in the world, Tetsuya Kumagawa K Ballet Company “Romeo and Juliet” in Cinema, Anime joshi gaiden ai no tsubasa karetsu, Astral Abnormal Suzuki-san, Made in Abyss: Tabidachi no Yoake, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, Trains on Parade 2019 Kids Passion, Trains on Parade Major Private Railway Collection Kanto Edition, Trains on Parade Major Private Railway Collection Kansai Edition, YUKIGUNI Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Gatchaman Ep 12 Heroes All

Also, Happy New Year!

Welcome to my first trailer post of 2019. I trust that everyone is well and enjoyed their holiday period. After a nice break the fight is back on. I find myself facing some big otome game scripts to work on as well as wanting to write about films for fun and so it’s a case of working all hours I can get. I’m confident I can deliver the game on time and do the film work as well.

In terms of posts here, the beginning of the week was spent saying goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 and also a review of One Cut of the Dead which I watched a couple of weeks ago for the first time. I also posted my Top Ten Films of 2018, a list made up of films that provide a transcendent experience.

What is released this weekend? A LOT!

Some great indies including one starring Nagiko Tsuji who is becoming one of my new favourite actors!

Continue reading “Night of the Dead Geisha, Okechimyaku, A movie theater said to be the best in the world, Tetsuya Kumagawa K Ballet Company “Romeo and Juliet” in Cinema, Anime joshi gaiden ai no tsubasa karetsu, Astral Abnormal Suzuki-san, Made in Abyss: Tabidachi no Yoake, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, Trains on Parade 2019 Kids Passion, Trains on Parade Major Private Railway Collection Kanto Edition, Trains on Parade Major Private Railway Collection Kansai Edition, YUKIGUNI Japanese Film Trailers”

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One Cut of the Dead  カメラを止めるな! Dir: Shinichiro Ueda (2017)

One Cut of the Dead    One Cut of the Dead Film Poster

カメラを止めるな! Kamera wo tomeru na!

Running Time: 96 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Shinichiro Ueda

Writer: Shinichiro Ueda (Screenplay),

Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, MAO, Harumi Syuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi, Tomokazu Yamaguchi,

IMDB        Website

One Cut of the Dead was created by the ENBU Seminar guys, an outfit who do indie films on a shoestring budget with somewhat experienced crews working with newbie actors. Originally released in November 2017, it disappeared before being picked up by film distribution house Third Window Films and soon it was touring international festivals racking up awards and buzz throughout 2018. It won runner-up in the audience vote in the Udine Far East Festival while taking audience awards at a variety of fests like Yubari in Japan, Camera Japan in Holland, Reel Asian in Canada, and more. In 2019 it is unleashed across the UK as Third Window Films gives it a theatrical and then home release.

With so many awards and nothing but praise from fans and critics, film-makers and publicists, the hype is big for this film so I went into it with some trepidation, that I might be out of step with nearly the rest of the world and not feel anything. Thankfully I was charmed and enjoyed it a lot. Before I go further, part of my enjoyment was not knowing what happens in the story and so I make this request to those who have not watched it: avoid trailers and reviews and just watch the film however you can.

Continue reading “One Cut of the Dead  カメラを止めるな! Dir: Shinichiro Ueda (2017)”

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Genkina hito Says Goodbye to 2018 and Hello to 2019 – New Year’s Resolutions – Follow Your Dreams [Black Label Remix]

Welcome to my last post of 2018.

I hope everyone is well and has had a good year.

2018 has been fantastic for me and even if I haven’t been able to respond to everything, I’ve still had fun and made friends. I wrote a piece for V-Cinema about my cinematic highlights and I’ve adapted parts of my entry for this post.

Continue reading “Genkina hito Says Goodbye to 2018 and Hello to 2019 – New Year’s Resolutions – Follow Your Dreams [Black Label Remix]”

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Genkinahito’s Top 10 Films of 2018

Columbus Film Image 2

2018 was the year of “I haven’t achieved my dream yet but I do what I want”. I travelled back to Japan for a second time and spent a month in the country, visiting places from Kawagoe to Onomichi and some things in between and I worked at the Osaka Asian Film Festival again. I’ve become involved in more than just Kotatsu, I have become part of other festivals in Europe and America which is so much fun and such an honour because I love films. I have also continued to contribute to V-Cinema and Anime UK News, typically highlighting indie gems, many of which form my top ten titles of the year.

To summarise what I have experienced in terms of cinema, I have contributed to V-Cinema’s end of year post which will be out soon. 

Now here is my Top Ten Films of 2018, starting with number one…

Continue reading “Genkinahito’s Top 10 Films of 2018”

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A Banana? At This Time of Night? Japanese Film Trailer

Hello everyone, welcome to the last trailer post of 2018!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday period or are about to have one!

My Christmas was okay. Quiet. I didn’t watch many films but I did practice a lot of Japanese and mastered some difficult kanji which I can write from memory!

We are coming up to the new year and so people in Japan are preparing for Hatsumode and people in the west, well, we’re preparing for parties. Now is a time for reflection, a time to put negative things away and to make the promise to do better. Life is a learning experience and the important thing to remember is to keep trying to be better. In my case, braver and kinder and more organised so I can learn and understand much more.

In terms of film posts, just one this week: Love and Peace (2015) which is the ultimate Christmas movie. Expect more to come before the year is out.

What is released this weekend in Japan? Just one film but next weekend has a lot more! What is the film???

Continue reading “A Banana? At This Time of Night? Japanese Film Trailer”

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Love & Peace ラブ&ピース Dir: Sion Sono (2015)

Love & Peace      

Love and Peace Film Poster
Love and Peace Film Poster

ラブ&ピース Rabu & Pisu

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

Starring:  Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Tohiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno, Makita Sports, Erina Mano, Megumi Kagurazaka, Miyuki Matsuda

Website IMDB

Christmas movies range far and wide in terms of content from Heavenly interventions seen in Frank Capra’s classic It’s A Wonderful Life to the monstrous antics of the little green Gremlins seen in Joe Dante’s same-named film but these appear normal compared to Sion Sono‘s 2015 film Love & Peace takes the seasonal setting and goes down a radically different path as he makes genre mash-up of a Christmas movie with a kaiju/rock opera epic with a little help from Santa

Ryoichi Suzuki (Hiroki Hasegawa) once dreamed of becoming a punk rock star but he gave up on his dreams and became a salaryman at a musical instrument parts company in Tokyo. Life is miserable because he is bullied by his colleagues and he has no friends but he has feelings for a timid office lady named Yuko Terashima (Kumiko Aso) whose bravery and kindness keeps him from going insane. Alas, he can’t express himself to her but fate soon strikes!

Continue reading “Love & Peace ラブ&ピース Dir: Sion Sono (2015)”

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Nisekoi: False Love, Futatsu no Kino to Boku no Mirai, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER, Karappo, Kuma Elohim, Watashi ha Watashi over the rainbow, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix 2, Planet of Amoebas, Shounen Hollywood “HOLLY STAGE FOR YOU” Complete Edition Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you are all well!

I’ve been pushed for time this week because Christmas is approaching and parties have been happening. I’ve also had to do a lot of shopping. I had planned to spend December practising my Japanese, French and English and maybe playing a game (90s JRPGs I’ve had on the backburner) but the month has slipped by. At least I got lots of Christmas cards and saw lots of smiles. I’ll practise the languages some other time and run some sets on Capcom vs SNK tonight.

This week was me on a holding pattern as I published news on the next Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme and also information on Third Window Films’ theatrical and home release of One Cut of the Dead (2017).

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Nisekoi: False Love, Futatsu no Kino to Boku no Mirai, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER, Karappo, Kuma Elohim, Watashi ha Watashi over the rainbow, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix 2, Planet of Amoebas, Shounen Hollywood “HOLLY STAGE FOR YOU” Complete Edition Japanese Film Trailers”

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Third Window Films Unleash “One Cut of the Dead” into UK Cinemas and Homes

The biggest surprise hit of 2018 is a low-budget zombie movie which has become one of the biggest box-office hits in Japan. International film outfit Third Window Films are bringing this “one-in-a-million success” to UK cinemas and homes early next year!

This is a workshop film with non-professional actors made with a budget of just $27,000 which has grossed $30 MILLION domestically despite opening on just 2 screens and with an advertising budget of $0! Since then it has toured the world and won lots of awards and has earned 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Every day on Film Twitter sees more news of its popularity and success so everyone should be getting hyped for this one as it comes to cinemas from Scotland to Wales and England. Here are the details:

Continue reading “Third Window Films Unleash “One Cut of the Dead” into UK Cinemas and Homes”

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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 Preview – People Still Call It Love – Passion, Affection and Destruction in Japanese Cinema

The Japan Foundation have announced the details of their next Touring Film Programme and it is full of fantastic films! The tour lasts from February 02nd to March 28th and the theme that connects them all is “love”. The stories address that emotion in a variety of ways through a broad variety of relationships. Love can be found in all shapes and sizes and it can also be an absence. What cannot be denied is that it is a powerful emotion and there are many powerful films that display this.

Amidst the works are stories of couples struggling to relate to each other, a father and his children overcoming differences, brothers and sisters who barely get along, a wife struggling with a husband that has no affection for her, a gay couple who run a law firm who support those on the margins of society and more.

Expect to understand the complexities of Japan, from Tokyo to Osaka and Aguni (an island off Okinawa) and further afield. I’m definitely going to see some of these before I jet off to Japan again.

Here are the films:

Continue reading “Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 Preview – People Still Call It Love – Passion, Affection and Destruction in Japanese Cinema”