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The House Where The Mermaid Sleeps, The Suzuki’s Family Lie, No Matter How Much My Mom Hates Me, Samurai Teacher, The Gun, Out and Out, TAKE ME TO THE OH!ITA Kishou Taniyama’s Rocky Holiday, PEACE MAKER Kurogane Friend, MAKI, Mesaia Maboroshi Yoruno Koku Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I hope everyone is feeling great!

I have instituted a new sort of learning and writing regime whereby all of the film stuff is done at the start of the week and the end of the week is dedicated to learning languages. This week I posted some news articles about the release of SABU’s 1996 film Dangan Runner and the a series of free events in London dedicated to the actor Kinuyo Tanaka. I watched Triple 9 (2016), Train to Busan (2016) and Inuyashiki (2018) this week and I’m planning on watching something tonight but the list of titles is pretty large so I don’t know what yet. The image above is from Haruneko… I want to watch Seoul Station…   

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The House Where The Mermaid Sleeps, The Suzuki’s Family Lie, No Matter How Much My Mom Hates Me, Samurai Teacher, The Gun, Out and Out, TAKE ME TO THE OH!ITA Kishou Taniyama’s Rocky Holiday, PEACE MAKER Kurogane Friend, MAKI, Mesaia Maboroshi Yoruno Koku Japanese Film Trailers”

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Third Window Films Release “DANGAN RUNNER” on November 12th on DUAL FORMAT Blu-ray/DVD

Third Window Films are back again with the release of a 90s classic Dangan Runner by the director SABU (Mr. Long, Happiness, Miss Zombie). It is his directorial debut and is the world’s first Blu-ray and remastered DVD release and it contains a treasure trove of extras including an interview with the director. It gets released on November 12th on Blu-ray and DVD. Here are the details.

Special Features:

Dual format DVD & BLURAY

First 1000 copies come with collectable slipcase

Interview with director SABU

VCinema: A Video Essay by Tom Mes

Audio Commentary by Jasper Sharp

Continue reading “Third Window Films Release “DANGAN RUNNER” on November 12th on DUAL FORMAT Blu-ray/DVD”

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Lovers on Borders, Nunuko no Hijirisen HARAJUKU STORY, Asia Three-Fold Mirror 2018 Journey, My Retirement My Life, We Love, GODZILLA The Planet Eater, Zoku Owarimonogatari, Love Revolution, Anemone: Eureka Seven: Hi – Evolution, Umi ni noseta gazu no yume, SOUNDS LIKE SHIT the story of Hi-STANDARD, Jizo Libido, Tsugaru no Kamari Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

poetry-angel-film-image-8

I hope you are all doing fine!

Life has been a bit of a trudge recently. I’m in the middle of a 12-day work week with early starts in the morning. I’ve just started doing film festival feedback forms. The weather is getting darker and colder. I managed to get a good dose of sleep last night and keep up my exercise routine so I’m feeling good. I need to get some dynamism back. Anyways, I posted reviews for Vampire Clay (2017) and Re:born (2017) and my review for Naomi Kawase’s film Vision (2018) went live on v-cinema. I hope you guys have managed to watch some great films.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Lovers on Borders, Nunuko no Hijirisen HARAJUKU STORY, Asia Three-Fold Mirror 2018 Journey, My Retirement My Life, We Love, GODZILLA The Planet Eater, Zoku Owarimonogatari, Love Revolution, Anemone: Eureka Seven: Hi – Evolution, Umi ni noseta gazu no yume, SOUNDS LIKE SHIT the story of Hi-STANDARD, Jizo Libido, Tsugaru no Kamari Japanese Film Trailers”

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RE:BORN リボーン Dir: Yuji Shimomura (2017)

Re: Born   Re Born Film Poster

RE:BORN リボーン 「RE:BORN Ribo-n

Running Time: 115 mins.

Director:  Yuji Shimomura

Writer: Benio Saeki (Screenplay),

Starring: Tak Sakaguchi, Orson Mochizuki, Yura Kondo, Issei Ishida, Mariko Shinoda, Takumi Saitoh, Hiroko Yashiki, Hitomi Hasebe, Masaya Kato, Akio Otsuka, Makoto Sakaguchi, Kenta, Rina Takeda (voice),

IMDB Website

Re:Born stars Tak Sakaguchi, a fighter, action-director, director and actor. Since his debut in Ryuhei Kitamura’s 2000 zombie action film Versus, he has been a staple of the cult cinema scene. Even if the films he acts in are comedic gore-fests from the likes of Yudai Yamaguchi (Deadball) and Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) he tends to make an impact because he has the charisma and martial arts skills needed by a good action hero. He can act and has shown this in works that stretch across genres with Osaka Snake Road: Snake of Violence, Alive, Shinobi: Heart Under Blade and Meatball Machine: Kodoku. His best role was as a failed-actor given one more shot in Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell? which, if you had to watch one performance, is the one I’d recommend. Re:Born gives him the stage he deserves to show his martial-arts skills. 

Continue reading “RE:BORN リボーン Dir: Yuji Shimomura (2017)”

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Vampire Clay 血を吸う粘土 Dir: Soichi Umezawa (2017)

Vampire Clay   Vampire Clay Film Poster

血を吸う粘土Chi wo su nendo

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: August 19th, 2017

Director:  Soichi Umezawa

Writer: Soichi Umezawa (Screenplay),

Starring: Asuka Kurosawa, Kanji Tsuda, Ena Fujita, Ryo Shinoda, Kyoka Takeda, Yuyu Makihara, Momoka Sugimoto,

Website IMDB

Vampire Clay is the feature-length film debut of writer/director Soichi Umezawa, a man who has had a long career as a special effects and make-up artist on many doramas and films like those of the Tomie franchise, low-budget sci-fi action flick like Alien vs Ninja, the chilling ghost story Dead Waves and the rather excellent Kiyoshi Kurosawa film Bright Future. That one’s not a horror but it features jellyfish which some may find horrific if stung by one. Vampire Clay is more in line with Umezawa’s horror films and the special effects are pretty good in a goofy way – gooey and creepy dolls made from clay that stalk a rural art school and bump off students one by one a la John Carpenter’s The Thing

Continue reading “Vampire Clay 血を吸う粘土 Dir: Soichi Umezawa (2017)”

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10 Years Japan, Biblia Used Bookstore Casebook, Sumaho o Otoshita dake, Run! T High School Basketball Club, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Chapter 6 “Kaisei-hen”, No Where, Now Here, Nekkyo Sengen, K SEVEN STORIES Episode 5 「Memory of Red BURN」, Simple gift haimari no utagoe, Tetsuya Kumagawa K Ballet Company “Coppelia” in Cinema, The Darkness of Pure White, Bokemasukara, yoroshiku onegaishimasu, Boku ha boku, kujira ha kujira de, oyoide iru Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

The Snow Woman 1968

I hope you are well!

Interesting week at work insofar as a new exhibition has opened and I’ve had a nice time introducing art to people whilst doing my regular job. I also met a progressive young artist who I think I had good chemistry with which inspires hope and I had a bunch of great conversations with trusted workmates. Still, I’ve got to do something more with my time…

I watched a whole grip of Japanese films although the horror film I chose for Halloween was a Japanese found footage film that sent me to sleep. I posted reviews for Snow Woman (1968) and Sore dake (2015). 

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “10 Years Japan, Biblia Used Bookstore Casebook, Sumaho o Otoshita dake, Run! T High School Basketball Club, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Chapter 6 “Kaisei-hen”, No Where, Now Here, Nekkyo Sengen, K SEVEN STORIES Episode 5 「Memory of Red BURN」, Simple gift haimari no utagoe, Tetsuya Kumagawa K Ballet Company “Coppelia” in Cinema, The Darkness of Pure White, Bokemasukara, yoroshiku onegaishimasu, Boku ha boku, kujira ha kujira de, oyoide iru Japanese Film Trailers”

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The Snow Woman 怪談雪女郎 Tokuzo Tanaka (1968)

The traditional Halloween movie review is back and there’s a continuation from last year as we look at another film incarnation of the legendary Yuki Onna, only this time it’s from an older interpretation of the film.

The Snow Woman   Yuki Onna 1968 Film Poster

怪談雪女郎 「Kaidan yukijorô

Running Time: 79 mins.

Release Date: April 20th, 1968

Director:  Tokuzo Tanaka

Writer: Fuji Yahiro (Screenplay), Lafcadio Hearn (Novel)

Starring: Shiho Fujimura, Akira Ishihama, Machiko Hasegawa, Tatsuo Hanabu, Sen Hara, Yoshiro Kitahara,

IMDB

Yuki Onna has been a famous legend around Japan for centuries and has become a part of Japanese popular culture thanks to seminal works such as Lafcadio Hearn’s collection of folk-tales, Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1904), a book which went on to inspire Masaki Kobayashi’s omnibus horror film Kwaidan (1965).  Yuki Onna has had many film incarnations, some of which focus on her monstrousness while others look at her humanity and relation to nature like Kiki Sugino’s 2016 film of the same name. Here we get the mysterious and somewhat scary take as well as a rumination on the supernatural world and its relation on the world of people.

Long ago, on the border between Mino and Hida, where there is much snow, there circulated among the people who lived there, the legend of Yuki Onna…”

Continue reading “The Snow Woman 怪談雪女郎 Tokuzo Tanaka (1968)”

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That’s It  それだけ Dir: Gakuryu Ishii (2015)

That’s It   

Soredake That's It Film Poster
Soredake That’s It Film Poster

それだけ 「Sore dake」

Release Date: May 27th, 2015

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Gakuryu Ishii

Writer: Kiyotaka Inagaki (Screenplay),

Starring: Shota Sometani, Erina Mizuno, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Jun Murakami, Gou Ayano,

Website   IMDB

Gakuryu Ishii loves punk music and this film was inspired by the 1999 song “Sore dake” by Japanese rock band Bloodthirsty Butchers. The rest of the band’s music is also featured in the film which was released on May 27, 2015, two years to the day the Bloodthirsty Butchers’ lead singer Hideki Yoshimura died. With lyrics and chords adding to the energy of the proceedings, this is a shot of urban punk action with echoes of films from director Gakuryu’s earlier career.

Continue reading “That’s It  それだけ Dir: Gakuryu Ishii (2015)”

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles, Black Dahlia, Oz Land, Bookmark, Under One Umbrella, Dreaming Novelist, A Cherry Boy’s Love, Yaru Onna: She’s a Killer, Eiga HUGtto! Pretty Cure Futari wa Pretty Cure: All Stars Memories, Exorcism of Mary Lamb, No Mark Bakuhaito, Stay with Me Till the Dawn Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

After the Storm Ryota and Yoshiko

I hope everyone is well!

I’ve had a decent week what with work at the day job and getting film reviews done. I also managed to finish a book my sister bought for me which is cool. To be honest it was the first fiction book that I’ve finished in quite a while and so I feel good. Inspired. I posted reviews for After the Storm (2016) and Sweet Bean (2015) to highlight two great performances from Kirin Kiki. Halloween next week so stay tuned for a spooky film I’m going to review!

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Travelling Cat Chronicles, Black Dahlia, Oz Land, Bookmark, Under One Umbrella, Dreaming Novelist, A Cherry Boy’s Love, Yaru Onna: She’s a Killer, Eiga HUGtto! Pretty Cure Futari wa Pretty Cure: All Stars Memories, Exorcism of Mary Lamb, No Mark Bakuhaito, Stay with Me Till the Dawn Japanese Film Trailers”

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Sweet Bean あん Dir: Naomi Kawase (2015)

Sweet Bean

An Sweet Red Bean Paste Film Poster
An Sweet Red Bean Paste Film Poster

あん 「An」

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 113 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase,

Writer: Naomi Kawase (Screenplay), Tetsuya Akikawa (Original Novel),

Starring:  Masatoshi Nagase, Kirin Kiki, Kyara Uchida, Etsuko Ichihara, Miki Mizuno, Taiga, Wakato Kanematsu, Miyoko Asada.

Website   IMDB

Travelling through Japan is an amazing culinary experience because of the sheer amount of restaurants, stores and street food available in shotengai, yokocho and main streets. Everything from big chains to small stores selling a variety of things from tasteless but healthy jelly-like konyaku to the pastry-like manju (the greatest delicacy!!!) all cooked up and served by a variety of people. The most memorable encounters I had were usually old ladies with crooked backs bent from a lifetime of hard work. While they were cooking they would impart some of their experiences and what the food means and these experiences and informed how they cooked and made the food seem more meaningful and tasty than store-bought goods. It is this sort of thing that Naomi Kawase channels in her drama Sweet Bean which is based on a novel by Durian Sukegawa. It tells the tale of a melancholy cake shop owner who rediscovers his joie de vivre after meeting an exceptional person. It marries Kawase’s visual lyricism and penchant for making connections between humans and nature to a simple tale and works well.

Sweet beans, known as an in Japanese, is a wonderfully sweet-tasting thick substance made from adzuki beans and is a filling usually found in confections from doughnuts to the dorayaki as seen in this film. Dorayaki are like pancakes where the batter is poured onto a metal griddle and flipped with a spatula before the sweet bean filling is added.

Continue reading “Sweet Bean あん Dir: Naomi Kawase (2015)”

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After the Storm 海よりもまだ深く Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda (2016)

After the Storm   

After the Storm Film Poster
After the Storm Film Poster

海よりもまだ深く 「Umi yori mo mada fukaku」

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Original Story, Screenplay)

Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Kirin Kiki, Lily Franky, Sosuke Ikematsu, Yoko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi, Isao Hashizume, Taiyo Yoshizawa

IMDB   Website

After the Storm is a story of everyday human failings and the constant hope for a better tomorrow that motivates us. Kore-eda cast a cadre of familiar actors who he had worked with in previous films including Kirin Kiki and Hiroshi Abe, both of whom were in Still Walking (2008) as mother and son Toshiko and Ryota. This family drama could be a sort of sequel to Still Walking due to similarities – Kiki’s character Toshiko (とし子) turns into Yoshiko (淑子) here while Abe’s character is named Ryota (良多) in both films – and callbacks likethe butterfly motif and it features a deceptive simpleness in its approach, a story of a family gathering made complex by tangled emotions tinged with bitter history.

Continue reading “After the Storm 海よりもまだ深く Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda (2016)”

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It’s Boring Here, Pick Me Up, Hanalei Bay, Million Dollar Man, Love’s Water Drop, Gokko, Usuke Boys, Their Nuclear Power Plant, Karera no Genpatsu, Idol SKE48, Obo no Koe, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Detonation, Haikara-san ga Tooru Movie 2: Hana no Tokyo Dai Roman, Workers Arise in Disaster Areas, Last Wedding Dress, Take 8, Neapolitan, Tamae no supa harawata, Mimikaki Randebu, Bunbuku chagama Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Still Walking Film Image 2

I hope you are all well!

It is time for another weekend trailer post and it has come after a somewhat productive week film-wise. I watched a couple of Japanese films from the 1960s and continued my role as social media/writer guy for a film festival and I managed to write three reviews. I’ve set aside time to watch three classic Japanese films tomorrow after exercise and Japanese practice. I published an article about Kiki Kirin who passed away last month and a review for Still Walking (2008) this week. At least I’m not overworking myself in my day job.

I hope all of you are managing to be productive.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “It’s Boring Here, Pick Me Up, Hanalei Bay, Million Dollar Man, Love’s Water Drop, Gokko, Usuke Boys, Their Nuclear Power Plant, Karera no Genpatsu, Idol SKE48, Obo no Koe, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Detonation, Haikara-san ga Tooru Movie 2: Hana no Tokyo Dai Roman, Workers Arise in Disaster Areas, Last Wedding Dress, Take 8, Neapolitan, Tamae no supa harawata, Mimikaki Randebu, Bunbuku chagama Japanese Film Trailers”

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Still Walking 歩いても 歩いても Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda (2008)

Still Walking   Still Walking Film Poster

歩いても 歩いても Aruitemo Aruitemo

Running Time: 114 mins.

Release Date: June 28th, 2008

Director:  Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Screenplay/Original Story),

Starring: Kiki Kirin, Hiroshi Abe, You, Yui Natsukawa, Kazuya Takahashi, Yoshio Harada, Shohei Tanaka, Haruko Kato, Susumu Terajima,

IMDB

Quite possibly Kore-eda’s best film this is a snapshot of a family over 24 hours that, through deft storytelling reveals richly complicated and interwoven lives from different generations.

The seasons are about to change from summer to autumn and preparations are underway at the Yokoyama household for the annual commemoration of the eldest son Junpei who drowned in an accident 15 years ago. The spacious, comfortable and old-fashioned house run by Toshiko (Kirin Kiki) will welcome her middle-aged children and their young families who will be arriving soon. Meanwhile, curmudgeon father Kyohei (Yoshio Harada), a former physician, walks around their quiet neighbourhood to the beach where the tragic accident happened when not hiding in the clinic attached to their home. The daughter, Chinami (YOU), will bring her good-natured husband Nobuo (Kazuya Takahashi) and their cheerful kids Satsuki (Hotaru Nomoto) and Mutsu (Ryoga Hayashi) who will invade the house and fill it with laughter and tales from school but there is an edge to the atmosphere as they await second son Ryota (Hiroshi Abe).

Continue reading “Still Walking 歩いても 歩いても Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda (2008)”

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Kirin Kiki (January 15, 1943 – September 15, 2018)

It has been over a month since veteran actor Kirin Kiki passed away. Fans of Asian cinema are still mourning her passing and I’d just like to add a couple of thoughts.

Kirin Kiki 1960s

Kirin Kiki was born in Tokyo in 1943 and started her acting career fresh from graduating from high school in the early 1960s. Her first steps were to become a member of the Bungakuza theatre troupe using the stage name Chiho Yuki and taking on two early screen roles, the first being a TBS drama Seven Grandchildren (Shichinin no mago 七人の孫) in 1964 and then two film roles, the drama Gentlemen Beware (Tonogata Goyoujin 殿方御用心), released in June 1966 and the comedy Drunken Doctor Continues (Zoku Yoidore hakase 続・酔いどれ博士), written by Kaneto Shindo and released in September of the same year. She continued working throughout the years and showed her versatility when she collaborated with the likes of Seijun Suzuki on Zigeunerweisen (1980) and Pistol Opera (2001) and Nobuhiko Obayashi on Sabishinbo (1985), continuing on to titles like Villain and Arrietty (both from 2010) where she played grandmother types. She had a diverse range but I, and many Japanese film fans, would come into contact with her due to her work with Hirokazu Kore’eda.

Koreeda and Kirin Together

An interesting life and deep experience in the world of acting gave her a quality of wisdom and endurance and also brusqueness, something she called upon when working with Kore-eda. Usually playing a grandmother or an old friend of a family with a flinty personality, she became a reassuring and welcome presence who was like a steady hand at the tiller when all around her were adrift *even if you disagreed with her) whenever she was on the screen in titles such as Kiseki (2011), Like Father, Like Son (2013), and Our Little Sister (2015), and After the Storm (2016) but her most iconic role will be Still Walking (2008).

In it, lead actor Hiroshi Abe plays Ryota Yokoyama, the unpopular second son and an art restorer who returns to his parent’s home to commemorate the death of the beloved eldest son. Everyone is struggling with barely suppressed emotions as we find that the Yokoyama family are riven by the death and the healing process is glacial. Audiences will wonder if it will ever occur as comments and actions are full of personal slights and resentment that show a lifetime of hurt. Kirin’s character probably has the sharpest moments where her harshness is well-hidden by the jollity she brings to her performance. 

That mother and son double-act she formed with Abe was brought back with After the Storm as the two worked together perfectly to showcase another quietly dysfunctional family but with less of a sharper and darker edge as Abe’s character tries to deal with his separation from his wife. Hope springs eternal for these characters but they eventually have to let go of the past. Kirin steals the show in a tear-inducing scene where she tries to revive her son’s happy family. A nice thematic link between the two is the butterfly...

After the Storm Koreeda Kirin Abe

Perhaps her best performance in recent years is to be found in the Naomi Kawase film Sweet Bean (2015) where she starred alongside granddaughter Kyara Uchida and she finds another perfect acting partner in the superb Masatoshi Nagase. While he is all stoicism and bitterness, she is the hopeful and delightful ray of light that balances him and helps the film make a point about people needing to understand the world around us. 

Kirin’s death was not unexpected. She had been diagnosed with cancer back in 2004 and had undergone operations for it. In an interview with reporter Mai Yoshikawa for The Japan Times earlier this year she commented,

My cancer has spread throughout my entire body and there’s nothing the doctors can do,” Kiki added. “There’s no point in comparing myself now to my old healthy self and feeling miserable. . . . Rather than fighting reality, I choose to accept what’s in front of me and go with the flow.”

To think that she went through cancer treatment and still put in these great performances! 2018 was the year of Kirin as she starred in Kore-eda’s latest film, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and she was feted at his year’s Japan Cuts where she won the CUT ABOVE award for her services to the Japanese film industry.

This isn’t the last we have heard of her as audiences in Japan can see her in a Tatushi Omori film in October called Nichinichi Kore Kojitsu (2018).

Every Day A Good Day   Every Day A Good Day Film Poster

日日是好日 Nichinichi Kore Kojitsu

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: October 13th, 2018

Director: Tatsushi Ohmori

Writer: Tatsushi Ohmori (Screenplay), Noriko Morishita (essay)

Starring: Haru Kruoki, Mikako Tabe, Kirin Kiki, Shingo Tsurumi, Mayu Tsuruta, Mayu Harada, Saya Kawamura, Chihiro Okamoto,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Noriko (Haru Kuroki) is a 20-year-old university student who has lost her way in life. Noriko’s mother suggests that she attends a Japanese tea ceremony near her house with her cousin Michiko (Mikako Tabe). Michiko is enthusiastic about it but Noriko doesn’t seem so certain. However, once there, Noriko learns from the teacher, Takeda (Kirin Kiki) and experiences a whole new world. It stays with Noriko throughout her life, during frustrations while job hunting, moments when she suffers a broken heart, and during the death of someone important. The tea ceremony always offers her something to return to…

Kiki Kirin’s final screen appearance in a drama. Here is a clip from her performance, Erika 38, which is released next year:

My words don’t really do her justice but through her films, family, friends, and fans, she will live on.

Kirin Kiki, Rest in Peace.

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Louder!: Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp!, Every Day a Good Day, Dare to Stop Us, The Laws of the Universe: Part 1, Asia Sanmenkyo 2016 Reflections, Saint Young Men, Lock-On Love, BD Akechi tantei jimusho, Blood-Club Dolls 1, Please Be My Slave Chapter 3 Depending On You., Mutafukaz Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, people!

LOUDER I CAN'T HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SINGING

I hope you are all well!

I’ve had a busy week of constant travelling between cities and trying to get back into reading books. I reviewed two Edmund Yeo films, River of Exploding Durians and Aqerat. I watched some Italian horror movies and posted reviews for the documentary Towards A Common Tenderness and the Nobuhiko Obayashi drama Hanagatami. Also, the lead picture is awesome.

I hope you had a good week.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “Louder!: Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp!, Every Day a Good Day, Dare to Stop Us, The Laws of the Universe: Part 1, Asia Sanmenkyo 2016 Reflections, Saint Young Men, Lock-On Love, BD Akechi tantei jimusho, Blood-Club Dolls 1, Please Be My Slave Chapter 3 Depending On You., Mutafukaz Japanese Film Trailers”

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Hanagatami 花筐 Dir: Nobuhiko Obayashi (2017)

Hanagatami    Hanagatami Film Poster

花筐 「Hanagatami

Running Time: 169 mins.

Release Date: December 16th, 2017

Director:  Nobuhiko Obayashi

Writer: Nobuhiko Obayashi, Chiho Katsura(Screenplay), Kazuo Dan (Original Novel)

Starring: Shunsuke Kubozuka, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Keishi Nagatsuka, Tokio Emoto, Mugi Kadowaki, Tetsuya Takeda, Takako Tokiwa, Hirona Yamazaki,

IMDB Website

Is there subject-matter that film as a medium is better than others at capturing? Perhaps it is emotions. Or maybe memories. Filmmakers can examine them in many expressive ways and with an incredible arsenal of technical tools open to the cast and crew, imagination really is the limit. Enter the adventurous Nobuhiko Obayashi, a man not shy of being creative as proven in his career which stretches back to the 1950s and features a long filmography that trades in fantasy, experimentalism, and surrealism. He is best known for the haunted-house musical House (1977) but nothing will prepare those familiar solely with that fun film for Hanagatami! Obayashi’s limiters are off in this deep-dive into the precious memories of a man who lived through an age of emotional turbulence as Japan hurtled headlong into the chaos of World War II.

Hanagatami Image 4

It is the summer of 1941 in Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture. 17-year-old Toshihiko Sakakiyama (Shunsuke Kubozuka) has just travelled from his parents’ home in Amsterdam to stay with his wealthy aunt Keiko Ema (Takako Tokiwa) in her large manor. He will share it with his sickly cousin Mina (Honoka Yahagi) who suffers from tuberculosis. While there, he is attending a school where falls under the influence of the grim and philosophical Kira (Keishi Nagatsuka) who is physically infirm, and Ukai (Shinnosuke Mitsushima), a boy both strong in body and mind and with a pure soul that attracts Toshihiko. There are girls his age, too. Kira’s cousin, the melancholy Chitose (Mugi Kadowaki) who carries a camera she loves to use to capture people’s existence and the more playful and positive Akine (Hirona Yamazaki) whose mischievous grin and compassion for others lights up all occasions.

Continue reading “Hanagatami 花筐 Dir: Nobuhiko Obayashi (2017)”

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Toward a Common Tenderness あの優しさへ Dir: Kaori Oda (2017)

Toward a Common Tenderness

あの優しさへ Ano Yasashi-sa e

Running Time: 63 mins.

Release Date: N/A

Director:  Kaori Oda

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Director Kaori Oda uses her film Towards A Common Tenderness to explore the way that cinema can be used to depict the space and feelings between people, how the camera has the power to understand and destroy what is recorded, the ethics of film-making, and her own personal journey as a film-maker.

Originally from Osaka, Oda moved to Virginia where she studied film at Hollins University. She made her debut with the short Thus a Noise Speaks (2010), a self-documentary about her coming out as gay to her family which won the Audience Award at the Nara International Film Festival. Following this came a period where she faced a creative and personal impasse which resulted in her travelling to Sarajevo to study at Béla Tarr’s film.factory film workshop from 2013 to 2016. Whilst studying she made a few shorts and then created her first feature-length film Aragane (2015) which depicted work inside a coal mine. It made waves at documentary festivals around the world due to its impressionistic form which Oda created by focussing on using the senses to convey the space in the mine rather than approaching the subject solely through more conventional means such as an analysis of class. Her time in Bosnia proved to be beneficial as a way of overcoming personal and professional questions over using her family as the subject of her debut film. With a wealth of experience and footage to root through, Oda dives into this issue, sinuously and seamlessly pulling together many threads to create a smooth stream of images and sounds in an exploration of her own character and creative urges as she makes herself the subject.

Continue reading “Toward a Common Tenderness あの優しさへ Dir: Kaori Oda (2017)”

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Anoko no Toriko, Perfect World, You Are the Apple of My Eye, Kyoukaishi, Morgen, Ashita, Monster Strike The Movie: Sora no Kanata, Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Memory Snow, Usuzumizakura -Garo-, K SEVEN STORIES Episode3, Heartbeat, Single Mom Yasashii Kazoku。 a sweet family, Charlotte-Susabi Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you are well!

I’ve got past the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival work, I’m between otome games, and I’m not doing as much overtime in my regular job at the minute but I still don’t have much time to watch films or do much else. I’m trying to jam in as much writing, English/Japanese/French practice and films as possible and I’m also looking to try and sneak in some video games – Tactics Ogre in Japanese? One of the Persona games?

I am currently working on a review for a Malaysian film at the moment and considering purchasing some Thai cinema classics from the mid-00s since I’ve only got one or two.

This week, I posted reviews for Amiko and Born Bone Born which I reviewed a couple of months ago.

What is released this weekend in Japanese cinemas?

Continue reading “Anoko no Toriko, Perfect World, You Are the Apple of My Eye, Kyoukaishi, Morgen, Ashita, Monster Strike The Movie: Sora no Kanata, Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Memory Snow, Usuzumizakura -Garo-, K SEVEN STORIES Episode3, Heartbeat, Single Mom Yasashii Kazoku。 a sweet family, Charlotte-Susabi Japanese Film Trailers”

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Amiko  あみこ Dir: Yoko Yamanaka (2017)

Amiko     Amiko Film Poster

あみこ Amiko

Running Time: 66 mins.

Release Date: September 14th, 2018

Director: Yoko Yamanaka

Writer: Yoko Yamanaka (Screenplay),

Starring: Ai Sunohara, Hiroshi Oshita, Mineo Maiko,

Amiko is the directorial debut from Yoko Yamanaka, a twenty-year-old from Nagano whose indie film won the Audience Award and Hikari TV Award at the Pia Film Festival 2017 for it’s originality and entertainment and was featured at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, Fantasia and Japan Cuts, which is how I saw it. Its tale of a girl’s experience in love is a universal one but unique because of its central character, a firecracker of a person who is effortlessly entertaining.

Continue reading “Amiko  あみこ Dir: Yoko Yamanaka (2017)”

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Born Bone Born 洗骨 (2018) Dir: Toshiyuki Teruya

Born Bone Born

洗骨 Senkotsu

Running Time: 111 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director:  Toshiyuki Teruya

Writer: Toshiyuki Teruya (Screenplay),

Starring: Ayame Misaki, Eiji Okuda, Michitaka Tsutsui, Yoko Oshima, Akira Sakamoto, Kyutaro Suzuki, Mariko Tsutsui,

There is diversity to Japan that would surprise people but when one considers it is an archipelago which consists of over 6000 islands, of which 430 are inhabited with a diverse mix of people, most famously the Ainu in Hokkaido and the Ryukyu of Okinawa, it makes sense. Each region in Japan has its own unique custom, culinary dish, and colloquialisms and some places can be so cut-off from the mainland or under-explored that they have traditions that are unheard of even to Japanese which is what this film uses to give new life to the dysfunctional family reunion narrative.

Continue reading “Born Bone Born 洗骨 (2018) Dir: Toshiyuki Teruya”

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Samurai’s Promise, Gekijouban Linked Horizon Live Tour “Shingeki no Kiseki” Souin Shuuketsu Gaisen Kouen, DTC Yukemuri Junjo Hen from HiGH & LOW, Fooly Cooly Progressive, Girls Und Panzer 63rd National High School Sensha-dō Tournament Compilation, Natsume Yujin-cho the Movie: Ephemeral Bond, Please Be My Slave Chapter 2 Please Call Me Master., At the Children’s Restaurant, Tarinae, Tower of the Sun, Ai to, sakaba to, ongaku to (Love and a Bar and Music), Seven Girls Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Lu Over the Wall Film Image

I hope you are well!

This trailer post is a rush job because I have been working this weekend at an anime film festival. The 2018 Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival seemed to go well. Everyone was happy. Everyone had fun. I spoke to the two Japanese animators, Tsuneo Goda and Hirokazu Minegishi, almost entirely in Japanese. We all watched great films. In truth, the work went on for most of the year. I posted info about two film festivals this week, Japannual in Austria and the London East Asian Film Festival.

What are the films on display this weekend?

Continue reading “Samurai’s Promise, Gekijouban Linked Horizon Live Tour “Shingeki no Kiseki” Souin Shuuketsu Gaisen Kouen, DTC Yukemuri Junjo Hen from HiGH & LOW, Fooly Cooly Progressive, Girls Und Panzer 63rd National High School Sensha-dō Tournament Compilation, Natsume Yujin-cho the Movie: Ephemeral Bond, Please Be My Slave Chapter 2 Please Call Me Master., At the Children’s Restaurant, Tarinae, Tower of the Sun, Ai to, sakaba to, ongaku to (Love and a Bar and Music), Seven Girls Japanese Film Trailers”

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Japanese Films at the London East Asian Film Festival 2018

London East Asian Film Festival Banner 2018

Film fans who love Japanese cinema are spoiled for choice over the next month as Raindance will launch today and we have the BFI London Film Festival with a smattering of Japanese titles and then we have the London East Asian Film Festival.

The organisers announced their programme last week and there will be a lot of films to see from October 25th to November 04th and they have assembled an impressive line-up of titles from over 12 countries including Singapore, South Korea, and more. There are familiar titles from the international festival circuit plus a surprise collaboration with the Nara International Film Festival providing some indies. On a side note, I’ve seen a couple of the non-Japanese films and have even reviewed The Thieves (2012). There is a lot to watch!

Here is the festival’s trailer:

Here are the details:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the London East Asian Film Festival 2018”

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Highlights of Japannual Japanese Film Festival Vienna 2018 (October 01st – 07th)

Japannual Banner

This is the year when I try and give a little boost to smaller film festivals and the Japannual Japanese Film Festival in Vienna deserves one. The Austrian-Japanese Society is trying to bring some great films to the nation’s capital.

This could turn into a laborious cut-and-paste job from previous festival’s I’ve covered because I have information on all but four films but I’ll spare you by giving the highlights.

The program has a mix of classic titles restored to new and shiny life, to contemporary films still being talked about in film groups. Some of these have been on the festival circuit for a while there are others that pop up rarely. There are indies that need a push and anime that are too good to miss. I’m going to highlight independent cinema and hard to see classics as well as an anime that is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Continue reading “Highlights of Japannual Japanese Film Festival Vienna 2018 (October 01st – 07th)”

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Eating Women, Okko’s Inn, Café Funiculi Funicula, My Dad is a Heel Wrestler, Think Again, Junpei, Double Drive: Ryuu no Kizuna, Takaramono no daki kata, Seido no Kirisuto, Konya Shinjuku de Kanojo wa Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Okko's Inn Key Image

I hope everyone is feeling great.

Overtime at work is going to calm down for a bit and I’ve just finished a big otome game project so I can breathe a little easier. I managed to watch over 130 films over the last month or so but mostly for fun. I am still doing all sorts of things such as the on-going social media/writing for the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival which starts next weekend. I’ll be able to meet two animators who are jetting in from Tokyo to the UK so that will be cool. I posted a review for The Hungry Lion (2017) and I’m going to get back to reviewing live-action films soon and watching let’s plays of survival horror games as October approaches.

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Eating Women, Okko’s Inn, Café Funiculi Funicula, My Dad is a Heel Wrestler, Think Again, Junpei, Double Drive: Ryuu no Kizuna, Takaramono no daki kata, Seido no Kirisuto, Konya Shinjuku de Kanojo wa Japanese Film Trailers”

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A Preview of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2018

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2018

Mirai Film Image

Cardiff                                                                                         Aberystwyth

Chapter 28th – 30th September      Aberystwyth Arts Centre 20th – 21st October

So I work as a writer for the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and it’s going to launch soon. More than 10 feature films have been programmed to present the wide variety of stories and styles in Japanese animation. This year, we welcome two guests from Japan who will treat audiences to special events.

The festival gets off to a start on September 28 at 14:00 at Chapter Arts, Cardiff, with a screening of the Masaaki Yuasa’s latest film Lu Over the Wall.

Continue reading “A Preview of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2018”

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The Hungry Lion 飢えたライオン Dir: Takaomi Ogata (2017)

The Hungry Lion    The Hungry Lion Film Poster   

飢えたライオン Ueta Raion

Running Time: 78 mins.

Release Date: N/A

Director:  Takaomi Ogata

Writer: Takaomi Ogata, Fujio Ikeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Urara Matsubayashi, Atomu Mizuishi, Mariko Tsutsui,

This was at the Tokyo International Film Festival last year and Rotterdam and the New York Asian Film Festival this year.

The Hungry Lion is the fourth feature from Fukuoka-born indie filmmaker Takaomi Ogata. Each of his films address pressing social issues faced by modern Japan. Never Ending Blue (2011) shows a teenage girl enduring child abuse and self-abuse and was potent enough to win the Runner-up Grand Prix at the 2010 Okinawa Motion Picture Festival. Body Temperature (2011) featured the story of an intensely lonely man too focussed on a life-sized doll to make a connection with other humans. Sunk Into the Womb (2013) features a Nobody Knows type of story about a single-mother who abandons her children. The Hungry Lion has the harrowing story of an innocent person having their reputation murdered by liars, gossip-mongers, and the media.

Continue reading “The Hungry Lion 飢えたライオン Dir: Takaomi Ogata (2017)”

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North North West, The Hungry Lion, Hibiki, 3D Kanojo Real Girl, Aura Aurora, Itoshi no Airi-n, NETSTAR Saisei Kaisu no muko-gawa, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix, Urufuna Shissi, Lenses on Her Heart Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Of Love and Law Film Poster

I hope everyone is fine!

I took two days off work and had a special day on Friday and then a nice relaxing start to the weekend where I watched films on Donation Theater and visited people. I posted information about the Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2018 and a review of the wonderful documentary Of Love and Law which will play at next month’s BFI London Film Festival.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “North North West, The Hungry Lion, Hibiki, 3D Kanojo Real Girl, Aura Aurora, Itoshi no Airi-n, NETSTAR Saisei Kaisu no muko-gawa, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix, Urufuna Shissi, Lenses on Her Heart Japanese Film Trailers”

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Of Love and Law 愛と法 (2017) Dir: Hikaru Toda

Of Love & Law     Of Love and Law Film Poster

愛と法 「Ai to hou」    

Running Time: 94 mins.

Release Date: September 2018

Director:  Hikaru Toda

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kazuyuki Minami, Masafumi Yoshida, Yae Minami, Kazumi Tsujitani, Rokudenashiko, Hiroko Tsujitani, Masae Ido, Natsuo Yamamoto,

Website     IMDB    JFDB

Documentarian and visual anthropologist Hikaru Toda is based in London and Osaka and has worked on many films to explore the differences between people and society. Love Hotel, a 2014 film she co-directed, was a look at the lives of the customers of a love hotel in Osaka. It eschewed going down the cheap route of titillating and alternative sex to look at the pressures, inner-desires, and memories that drive the people who escape to such a private place. The film also offered a look at the creeping draconian politics of Japan’s government which is shutting down love hotels whilst also taking away personal freedoms as it re-militarises the country. Two of the customers were gay lawyers Kazu and Fumi who lived out their love behind closed doors and reappear in this documentary out in the open.

Continue reading “Of Love and Law 愛と法 (2017) Dir: Hikaru Toda”

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Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2018

Vancouver International Film Festival 2013 Logo

The Vancouver International Film Festival 2018 runs from September 27th to October 12th and it has a selection of Japanese films seen at festivals such as Cannes and Udine but there is one new title which hasn’t been picked up by any festival that I have seen thus far. Just like last year, it has a film starring Ai Hashimoto and one directed by Daihachi Yoshida. It’s a good line-up so if you cannot attend Toronto or Fantasia, go see the films here.

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2018”

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The Miracle of Crybaby Shottan, Kasane, Fooly Cooly Alternative, The Departure, Itsumo Tsukiyo ni Kome no Meshi, Hatsukoi Sukecchi: Maitchingu Machiko Sensei, Endoka isan sensou, Crying Free Sex, Gekijouban Hontou ni atta kowai hanashi 2018, Eiga Okaasan to Issho Hajimete no Dai Bouken Japanese Film Trailers   

Happy weekend, people!

Ohikkoshi Film Image 2

I hope everyone is doing good!

This week has been spent doing overtime in work and overcoming exhaustion and illness at the same time. I had help from relaxing at home with lots of films, a yakuza film from 1958 and lots of shorts on Donation Theater. The campaign period is up and there’s just a week left to watch the remaining films so I’ve got my work cut out but I will do it! I also have work on an otome game and I have to get back into regular reviews again. I have started Japanese practice again, which is good. Prep for going back to the course at the end of the month. I have also done press work for the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival which launches at the same time. It’s all happening but I will make it!

I posted about the Japanese films at the BFI London Film Festival and a review of The Scythian Lamb.

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “The Miracle of Crybaby Shottan, Kasane, Fooly Cooly Alternative, The Departure, Itsumo Tsukiyo ni Kome no Meshi, Hatsukoi Sukecchi: Maitchingu Machiko Sensei, Endoka isan sensou, Crying Free Sex, Gekijouban Hontou ni atta kowai hanashi 2018, Eiga Okaasan to Issho Hajimete no Dai Bouken Japanese Film Trailers   “

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The Scythian Lamb 羊の木 Dir: Daihachi Yoshida (2018)

The Scythian Lamb   The Scythian Lamb Film Poster

羊の木 Hitsuji no ki

Running Time: 126 mins.

Release Date: February 03rd, 2018

Director: Daihachi Yoshida

Writer: Masato Kagawa (Screenplay), Tatsuhiko Yamagami, Mikio Igarashi (Original Manga),

Starring: Ryo Nishikido, Fumino Kimura, Kazuki Kitamura, Yuka, Mikako Ichikawa, Shingo Mizusawa, Min Tanaka, Ryuhei Matsuda, Tamae Ando,

Website IMDB

You can never truly know another person, the old existentialist saying goes. It’s not necessarily that people hide various aspects of their character and history, it’s also that people change all of the time. With that in mind, Daihachi Yoshida’s movies dwell in that gap between the fixed persona and the shadows his characters hide and we see the sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic actions that barely repressed desires and fears make people perform. The Kirishima Thing looked at the politics of high school life with longed-for and thwarted romances between members of various cliques while Pale Moon looked at the weight of expectation from society through the tale of a normal woman and her desire to escape into fantasy in order to feel desired. They all operate with varying tones of drama and comedy and it is much the same in The Scythian Lamb where tight-knit community is asked to accept a group of outsiders with troublesome pasts and hidden intentions.

Continue reading “The Scythian Lamb 羊の木 Dir: Daihachi Yoshida (2018)”

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Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2018

This year’s BFI London Film Festival is going to run from October 10th to the 21st and various cinemas across the city will be screenings films from around the world. There are three Japanese films listed and I have brought them together here. The only one I have seen is Of Love and Law and, in an era that is often marked by nationalism, division, and hate, it’s a refreshing and heartwarming film that reminds us there are good people trying to build bridges and protect others. There is also the anime film Mirai from Mamoru Hosoda which looks swell.

Click on the titles to get to the festival page:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2018”

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Amiko, Asako I & II, Sunny: Strong Mind Strong Love, Kimi no tori wa utaeru, Youtachi Happy Eigaban Himawari, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Laughing Under the Clouds Side Story: Cherry Blossoms, the Bridge to Heavenly Wishes, K SEVEN STORIES Episode3 「SIDE: GREEN Uwagaki Sekai」, Kaidan shin mimi bukuro G men boken-hen kouhen Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I hope you are all well!

I’ve had a busy week what with overtime at work, going down to London and then a get-together at a Japanese restaurant but it has been fun.

I’ve also been working through films on Donation Theater and other titles and it has been a varied selection of titles from CG anime about a kid jetting through space to save a planet populated by robots to live-action dramas about a young woman and a young musician finding confidence in themselves. There is so much to watch, it’s great. It’s fantastic seeing the film community stepping up to help others in their time of need. You can still donate to the site and help the people of western Japan recover from the floods.

I’ve watched more avant-garde films since the last trailer post and some great dramas. This week, I posted about a pink film festival as part of the trailer post, a news announcement of the Japan Society in New York screening Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s serial-killer thriller Cure and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s teen music drama Linda Linda Linda as well as a preview of the Japanese films at this year’s Raindance Film Festival.

What else is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Amiko, Asako I & II, Sunny: Strong Mind Strong Love, Kimi no tori wa utaeru, Youtachi Happy Eigaban Himawari, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Laughing Under the Clouds Side Story: Cherry Blossoms, the Bridge to Heavenly Wishes, K SEVEN STORIES Episode3 「SIDE: GREEN Uwagaki Sekai」, Kaidan shin mimi bukuro G men boken-hen kouhen Japanese Film Trailers”

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OP PICTURES+FEST 2018 Films

So the pink film label OP PICTURES have booked out a cinema in Tokyo and are screening their latest works under the title OP PICTURES+FEST 2018. There is a lot to cover and not enough time. I had to split up last week’s trailer post into two because of the amount of content and I have raced through things here. The same bunch of directors and actors have worked on these titles and they will all be screened until mid-September. These aren’t my cup of tea.

Sorry if I don’t take the films that seriously.

Continue reading “OP PICTURES+FEST 2018 Films”

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Japanese Films at the Raindance Film Festival 2018

This year’s Raindance Film Festival takes place from September 26th to October 07th and it takes place at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square. There are a selection of Japanese films that are sure to capture the interest of anybody including Room Laundering which caught the attention of many film fans when it played at Fantasia Film Fest in Canada. We also see Aya Igashi who was at Cannes in 2017 and an award-winning film from this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival.

Here’s the line-up:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Raindance Film Festival 2018”

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Only One Song, Hangman’s Knot, Family Wars, Kaidan shin mimi bukuro G men boken-hen zenpen, Shinrei Tsuazu, Magical Michiko, Zetsurin shanikusai, Kaidan noroi no akajuban, Koi no Buta, Reunion Beach, Moon Road Serenade, Magical Michiko, America, Kamakiri no yoru Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, reader!

Eros Plus Massacre Film Image 2

I hope everyone is still feeling awesome.

I write “still” because, if you read yesterday’s trailer post, you’ll know this is a two-parter because there was a lot released over this weekend. Yesterday was anime and dramas, today is politics, porn, and horror. More porn is getting released over the next week but I’ll round them up with next week’s trailer post. Uuuhhhh, right. I’m going to watch three films over the weekend and take a trip to the sea. I’m counting down the days to a London trip next week and also a sushi party with work colleagues. I’m also looking into a new writing style.

What else was released this weekend?

Continue reading “Only One Song, Hangman’s Knot, Family Wars, Kaidan shin mimi bukuro G men boken-hen zenpen, Shinrei Tsuazu, Magical Michiko, Zetsurin shanikusai, Kaidan noroi no akajuban, Koi no Buta, Reunion Beach, Moon Road Serenade, Magical Michiko, America, Kamakiri no yoru Japanese Film Trailers”

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Ponoc Short Films Theater: Volume 1 – Modest Heroes, Prince of Tennis BEST GAMES!!, Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head: Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu Movie, Non Non Biyori Vacation, Killing For the Prosecution, Double Drive: Ookami no Okite, Happy Mail, In Bloom, Takasaki Graffiti Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend +1 Day, dear readers!

I hope you are all well.

This is the first of a two-part trailer post because there’s a lot of films getting released over the next three days due to a horror festival and a soft-core porn label showcasing some works. Titles from those two will be shown tomorrow. Today will be anime and live-action dramas.

My week was spent binge-watching Nobuo Nakagawa films and then Camera Japan released its programme and Nakagawa features prominently. I had a day off yesterday after working for 11 days straight and tried to watch a three hour thirty minute drama from the 60s, but ended up only watching 40-odd minutes because I got caught up doing press work Kotatsu, a British festival, and enjoying the sunshine for a spell. I posted about the Japanese films at the L’Etrange Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, this week.

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Ponoc Short Films Theater: Volume 1 – Modest Heroes, Prince of Tennis BEST GAMES!!, Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head: Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu Movie, Non Non Biyori Vacation, Killing For the Prosecution, Double Drive: Ookami no Okite, Happy Mail, In Bloom, Takasaki Graffiti Japanese Film Trailers”

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Japanese Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 06th to the 16th and it has a good selection of films that have cropped up in other festivals and one brand-new title so putting this post together was easier than in previous years.

Here are the films:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018”

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Cure” and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s “Linda Linda Linda” are Japan Society New York’s Monthly Classics Screenings

I occasionally write about the odd film screening outside of festivals when something I grew up with will get played and there are two titles which will be screened in New York in September and October that are dynamite.

September 07th, 19:00

Linda Linda Linda   Linda Linda Linda Film Poster

リンダ リンダ リンダ Rinda Rinda Rinda

Running Time: 91 mins.

Release Date: July 23rd, 2005

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita

Writer: Nobuhiro Yamashita, Kosuke Mukai, Wakako Miyashita (Screenplay),

Starring: Doona Bae, Aki Maeda, Yu Kashii, Shiori Sekine, Takayo Mimura, Ken’ichi Matsuyama, Masaki Miura, Yuko Yamazaki,

IMDB

This song is so well-known in Japan that I could sing it in a bar and get a chorus going. This film is also super-popular inside and outside of Japan. Nobuhiro Yamashita, his familiar writing partner Kosuke Mukai along with Wakako Miyashita craft a charming drama with an infectious song at its core. I’ll review it one day.

Synopsis: A high school is about to stage its festival and am all-girl band who hope to perform finds itself falling apart when members depart. Those that are left scramble to fill in the empty slots and a Korean exchange student named Son (Doona Bae) finds herself being asked to provide lead vocals. Their mission is to master the 1987 hit song “Linda Linda” by Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts and their performance is truly something to enjoy.

Continue reading “Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Cure” and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s “Linda Linda Linda” are Japan Society New York’s Monthly Classics Screenings”

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Japanese Films at L’Etrange Festival 2018

The L’Etrange Festival runs from September 05 to 16 in Paris and it continues in its L'Etrange Festival Postermission to show rare and unusual films that might be passed over by other festivals and it also shows classic films that fit that criteria. I saw a previous edition of the festival which had a special focus on Kiyoshi Kurosawa and, just for a little while, I wanted to be French. This year’s festival has a feast of 60’s and 70’s Nikkatsu movies, like whole series of films not normally shown on screen together at the same place, as well as contemporary films that have cropped up on the festival circuit this year ranging from geki-animation to live-action.

What Japanese films are programmed at L’Etrange this year?

Continue reading “Japanese Films at L’Etrange Festival 2018”

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Penguin Highway, Aragne: Sign of Vermillion, Gintama 2, Angel in the Closet, Kare no nichijō, The Shape of Happiness, The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky, Miraculous Chat Lady, Chotto no ame nara ga man, Far East Babies Japanese Film Trailers    

Happy weekend, people!

Shiawase no katachi Film Image

I hope you are all well!

I’m pushed for time. I have to write. I have to practice Japanese. I have to work every day. I’m happy. I need to improve in all areas and so I’m going back to Japanese language classes in September. I’m going to study before then. Also, I’ve got a lot of films to watch as part of Donation Theater since the site went live with the films for people who donated. Friends and the families of friends in western Japan are safe but for those who had to be evacuated or lost their old lives, Donation Theater is providing assistance. Why not donate something and help out?

There are a lot of films I’m watching outside of Donation Theater but that is a long-term thing. I posted reviews for Dynamite Graffiti and The Blood of Wolves this week. 

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Penguin Highway, Aragne: Sign of Vermillion, Gintama 2, Angel in the Closet, Kare no nichijō, The Shape of Happiness, The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky, Miraculous Chat Lady, Chotto no ame nara ga man, Far East Babies Japanese Film Trailers    “

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The Blood of Wolves 孤狼の血 Dir: Kazuya Shiraishi (2018)

The Blood of Wolves      The Blood of Wolves Film Poster

孤狼の血 Korou no chi

Running Time: 126 mins.

Release Date: May 12th, 2018

Director: Kazuya Shiraishi

Writer: Junya Ikegami (Screenplay), Yuko Yuzuki (Original Novel)

Starring: Koji Yakusho, Tori Matsuzaka, Yoko Maki, Tomoya Nakamura, Pierre Taki, Shido Nakamura, Yosuke Eguchi, Renji Ishibashi,

Website IMDB

Director Kazuya Shiraishi follows his Roman Porno, Dawn of the Felines with this blistering film.

Hiroshima is a prefecture with lots of natural beauty but filmmakers do like to find drama in the dark underbelly of the place, perhaps most famously with Kinji Fukasaku’s 1970s crime film series Battles without Honour and Humanity which was based on the experiences of a post-war yakuza boss from Hiroshima. Kazuya Shiraishi takes audiences into the same world with The Blood of Wolves, a film which feels like a throwback to an earlier time due to its raw violence, emotions, and the character archetypes in play. Shiraishi is no stranger to the crime genre thanks to his previous films The Devil’s Path (2013) and Twisted Justice (2016) but this is his best crime film yet and it is all down to a magnetic performance from lead actor Koji Yakusho and his character’s no-holds barred attitude to policing.

The Blood of Wolves Film Image 6

Continue reading “The Blood of Wolves 孤狼の血 Dir: Kazuya Shiraishi (2018)”

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Dynamite Graffiti 素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル Dir: Masanori Tominaga (2018)

Dynamite Graffiti   Dynamite Graffiti Film Poster

素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル Suteki na Dainamaito Sukyandaru

Running Time: 138 mins.

Release Date: March 17th, 2018

Director: Masanori Tominaga

Writer: Masanori Tominaga (Screenplay), Akira Suei (Autobiographical Essay)

Starring: Tasuku Emoto, Atsuko Maeda, Toko Miura, Machiko Ono, Kazunobu Mineta, Yutaka Matsushige, 

Website IMDB

Adult magazines are big business worldwide, including in Japan where it is still possible to walk into some convenience stores and see them on open display although in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, this is getting cleaned up. Masanori Tominaga’s biopic Dynamite Graffiti tells the history of raunchy magazine mogul Akira Suei, starting from childhood to the peak of his infamy in the 1980s when his publications had a circulation of over 300,000 copies a month and he publicly challenged censors with his magazine’s content.

Tominaga aims big and scores some smiles with behind-the-scenes looks at the smut trade but the scale of his script’s ambitions in trying to capture changing times delivers a cast of characters who are little more than cyphers while Suei remains a joker.

Continue reading “Dynamite Graffiti 素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル Dir: Masanori Tominaga (2018)”

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Haman, Shuumatsu no Kemonotachi, Call of Zon, Yoru no tanken Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers!

Jimami Tofu Film Image 4

I hope you are all doing fine.

I’m at the end of my 12 day work week (it starts again next Monday) and the sunny weather has also taken a break and it’s now raining in the UK. Everybody heaves a huge sigh of relief because climate change has led to health problems, droughts and bad harvests, increased damage to food supplies and dangers from invasive species from tropical countries and what not. Most of all, it allows me to justify watching lots of films. I’ve watched around nine since the last weekend. I wrote about the Venice International Film Festival and posted an old review of the film Jimami Tofu (2017).

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “Haman, Shuumatsu no Kemonotachi, Call of Zon, Yoru no tanken Japanese Film Trailers”

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Jimami Tofu ジーマーミ豆腐 (2017) Directors: Jason Chan, Christian Lee

Jimami Tofu  Jimami Tofu Film Poster

ジーマーミ豆腐 Ji-ma-mi Toufu

Running Time: 121 mins.

Release Date: March 28th, 2018

Director:  Jason Chan, Christian Lee

Writer: Jason Chan, Christian Lee (Screenplay),

Starring: Jason Chan, Rino Nakasone, Mari Yamamoto, Christian Lee, Masane Tsukayama, Masoyoshi Kishimoto,

IMDB

Jimami is the Okinawan dialect word for peanut and jimami tofu is a simple but much-loved speciality of the islands. This is one of the ingredients that Singaporean directors Jason Chan and Christian Lee use to cook up a tale of history, lost love, and fusion cooking with varying results.

Continue reading “Jimami Tofu ジーマーミ豆腐 (2017) Directors: Jason Chan, Christian Lee”

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Japanese Films at the Venice International Film Festival 2018

The Venice International Film Festival is here for its 75th edition and it will run from August 29th to September 08th. There are about five apanese films at this year’s festival (so far), the highlight being Shinya Tsukamoto’s return to feature-film making as a director. His last film was First on the Plain which was at the 2014 edition of the festival. He’s in the competition section with his latest offering. On a purely personal note, I met the chap and got his autograph.

Here’s what’s on offer:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Venice International Film Festival 2018”

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Sensei Kunshu, Ao-Natsu Kimi ni Koi Shita 30-nichi, My Hero Academia THE MOVIE: The Two Heroes, Doushiyoumonai Koi no Uta, The Exorcist Nurse, Poem of Seasons Woven Together / Flavors of Youth, K SEVEN STORIES Episode2 「SIDE: BLUE Tenrou no Gotoku」, Kamen Rider Build: Be The One, Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger vs. Keisatsu Sentai Patranger en Film, Zenra Resistance, Garandou, Fureto tsumori de, Tokyo Noir, Crazy Road of Love Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I hope you are all well.

I’ve started doing regular PR work for a festival which is on the horizon and I’m making my way through as many films as I can and I also re-watched some Ghibli films which are getting aired on television in the UK. That written, I’ve been in work every day this week (it’s a 12 day work week) and hanging out at places and eating Japanese food when I get the chance as I try and take advantage of the nice weather. This week was chicken katsu curry, next week will be a sushi party of sorts.

In terms of posts on this blog, there was one for the Japanese Film Festival Los Angeles which starts in a couple of weeks time and there was one for Donation Theater, a way of donating money to a charity while also getting the chance of watching indie films. It’s all set up to help the people of western Japan recover after the rainfall. I hope you will help out.

What’s released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “Sensei Kunshu, Ao-Natsu Kimi ni Koi Shita 30-nichi, My Hero Academia THE MOVIE: The Two Heroes, Doushiyoumonai Koi no Uta, The Exorcist Nurse, Poem of Seasons Woven Together / Flavors of Youth, K SEVEN STORIES Episode2 「SIDE: BLUE Tenrou no Gotoku」, Kamen Rider Build: Be The One, Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger vs. Keisatsu Sentai Patranger en Film, Zenra Resistance, Garandou, Fureto tsumori de, Tokyo Noir, Crazy Road of Love Japanese Film Trailers”

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Donation Theater: Help Western Japan Recover From the Flooding Through Film

Japan has a rainy season and typhoon season every year but this year’s has been pretty bad with record rainfall in July leading to widespread flooding and landslides in various areas of western Japan such as Okayama, Ehime, Hiroshima, and elsewhere. At least 140 are dead and others are missing. Millions of people have been have been ordered to evacuate and too many have lost their homes and access to utilities like electricity and water. With the weather calming down, the heat has returned so dangers are still present. People are now digging through mud and rubble to recover their communities and some are living in evacuation centres as the recovery efforts are underway with more than 70,000 rescue workers and lots of volunteers helping the relief effort.

You may be wondering what you can do. There is something.

http://donation-theater.eiga-infra.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/main-1024×386.png

Last month film Twitter started retweeting a link to something called Donation Theater, a fund-raising campaign handled by the CINEMA INFRASTRUCTURE ASSOCIATION OF JAPAN to support the victims of the “western Japan heavy rain disaster”. Essentially, you can use a Paypal account or bank transfer to donate some money to help people and then watch films, some of which have been made by people who come from these areas.

Continue reading “Donation Theater: Help Western Japan Recover From the Flooding Through Film”

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Japanese Film Festival Los Angeles (August 18 – 19)

Japan Film Festival in Los Angeles will run on August 18 to 19 at the Japanese American National Museum and then at Orange County’s Newport Beach Higashi Honganji.

It’s an event that has been running since 2003 and it’s stated aim is to strengthen understanding of Japanese culture through screening films for Japanese and American people to watch together. It’s laudable and it highlights the power of cinema: to take us into the lives of others. As such there are many different films programmed each year and in doing research for trailer posts, I’ve stumbled upon this festival and want to support it.

The films selected are really eclectic and run the gamut from largeish commercial feature to indie titles that hit the festival circuit. If you’re in the LA area, this could be the best chance to catch these films on the big screen.

Here are the details:

Continue reading “Japanese Film Festival Los Angeles (August 18 – 19)”

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Dynamite Graffiti 素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル Dir: Masanori Tominaga (2018)

Dynamite Graffiti   Dynamite Graffiti Film Poster

素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル Suteki na Dainamaito Sukyandaru

Running Time: 138 mins.

Release Date: March 17th, 2018

Director: Masanori Tominaga

Writer: Masanori Tominaga (Screenplay), Akira Suei (Autobiographical Essay)

Starring: Tasuku Emoto, Atsuko Maeda, Toko Miura, Machiko Ono, Kazunobu Mineta, Yutaka Matsushige, 

Website IMDB

Adult magazines are big business worldwide, including in Japan where it is still possible to walk into some convenience stores and see them on open display although in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, this is getting cleaned up. Masanori Tominaga’s biopic Dynamite Graffiti tells the history of raunchy magazine mogul Akira Suei, starting from childhood to the peak of his infamy in the 1980s when his publications had a circulation of over 300,000 copies a month and he publicly challenged censors with his magazine’s content.

Tominaga aims big and scores some smiles with behind-the-scenes looks at the smut trade but the scale of his script’s ambitions in trying to capture changing times delivers a cast of characters who are little more than cyphers while Suei remains a joker.

Continue reading “Dynamite Graffiti 素敵なダイナマイトスキャンダル Dir: Masanori Tominaga (2018)”

Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity – Free Japan Foundation Event

The Wandering Princess Film Image

The Japan Foundation have set up a series of free events celebrating the publication of the book Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity. There will be a film screening as well as a book launch. Both will be important for understanding an important figure in pre- and post-war Japanese cinema.

Continue reading “Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity – Free Japan Foundation Event”