Tokyo Gore Police 東京残酷警察 (2008)

Police Announcer in Tokyo Gore Police

Director Yoshihiro Nishimura has a background in special effects and make up and Tokyo Gore Police shows off his love for these elements.

In near-future Japan the Tokyo Police force have been privatised and have to meet a new threat bringing violence to the streets: Engineers. These are genetically altered humans who can withstand excessive violence and sprout weapons from wounds. Leading the Engineers is the mysterious Keyman (Itsuji Itao). Leading the police fight back is ace Engineer hunter Ruka (Eihi Shiina), daughter of a murdered policeman who was against the privatisation of the police. Little does Ruka know the connection between herself, her father and Keyman but it will rock the foundations of Tokyo and its new police force.

The Privatised Police in Tokyo Gore Police Tokyo Gore Police is a wonderfully trashy film but very undisciplined. The world created is an extreme future where everything including compensated dating, suicide and extreme violence are privatised and made commercial as demonstrated by the numerous satirical ads throughout the film like this amusing wrist-cutting one.

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The Woman in Black

Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) in The Woman in Black Hammer Horror’s latest film is a major success and a brilliant genre film that provides enough chills to satisfy genre fans.

Recently widowed lawyer Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) reluctantly leaves his young son in London when his law firm demands that he head to a remote village in the north of England where the decaying Eel Marsh House resides and deal with the will of the recently deceased Mrs. Drablow. When he gets there he encounters hostile and superstitious locals living in fear of some threat that seems to be connected to a mysterious woman in black. Soon he suffers terrifying visions and begins to uncover a dark story connected to the house and its former residents.

A Cluttered Room in The Woman in Black After a string of films set in modern times like “Let Me In”, Hammer Horror has returned to its roots with an old fashioned tale involving gothic houses, superstitious rustic locals and supernatural threats.

The film is based on a highly successful book by the writer Susan Hill (my mother is a major fan so she must be good). It has been quite influential as it has spawned a television series and a long-running stage play in London’s West End. Jane Goldman, who adapted Kick Ass and Star Dust, works her magic here by changing elements of the book and making it more cinematic according to my mother.

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Adrift in Tokyo 転々 (2007)

Adrift in Tokyo HeaderMiki Satoshi brings his brand of quirky and touching comedy to Adrift in Tokyo, a film which is based on a novel by Naoki Prize winner Yoshinaga Fujita. It won Best Script and Best Film at the 2007 Fantasia Film Festival and it is easy to see why because what starts out as a simple gentle comedy gains great depth.

Fumiya (Jo Odagiri) has been a university student for 8 years and owes money to loan sharks. One named Fukuhara (Tomokazu Miura) comes to collect. Fumiya cannot pay so Fukuhara makes a proposition: He will cancel the debt as long as Fumiya agrees to walk with him across Tokyo to the police station in Kasumigaseki, where he intends to turn himself in for a crime he deeply regrets.  Fumiya accepts the deal and starts a journey which will lead them to various unusual encounters, most of all with themselves.

Adrift in Tokyo is one of those films where the title says it all. Fumiya and Fukuhara are adrift in a road movie without the road, the two travelling along the streets of Tokyo discovering things about themselves, the city and others.

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Love Police, Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, Grand Master, Patema Inverted Beginning of the Day Trailers

This week I continue my Akira Kurosawa season by watching No Regrets For Our Youth starring Setsuko Hara, a regular in Ozu’s films, and I believe the focus of Satoshi Kon’s anime movie Millenium Actress. Only two Japanese films get a theatrical release today which means that I’m bulking the post out with an extended trailer for Wong Kar Wai’s forthcoming film, The Grand Master.

What about the Japanese box office from last weekend? Unfortunately there are only two Japanese films in the top five. Phoenix Wright has dropped from 5 to 7, Arakawa is at 12 and Berserk is nowhere.

01. In Time
02. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
03. Always: Sunset on Third Street 3
04. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
05. The Wings of the Kirin

Here are the trailers for the filmss getting a theatrical release today.

Love Police

Release Date: 25th February 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yoshihiro Sakata

Writer: N/A

Starring: Takashi Yoshimura, Yosuke Oochi, Sei Ashina, Satoshi Matsuda, Brother Tom,

Akio (Takashi Yoshimura) and Toru (Yosuke Oochi) are NEETs. A burden on their families and society with no money and girlfriends they decide to give themselves something and become the Love Police. What does the job entail? Getting revenge for girls who have been cruelly dumped by their clients.

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Remember Fukushima Charity Event

On March 11th, 2011 a devastating earthquake hit North Eastern Japan and triggered a melt down at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Now, a year after the disaster, parts of Japan are still trying to recover. Third Window Films will have a charity screening of Mitsuko Delivers at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) to raise awareness of the on-going situation in Japan with 100% of the profits from the ticket and DVD sales going to charity. Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased from the ICA. For more information please visit the event’s page at the ICA website.

Mitsuko DeliversRemember Fukushima Charity Preiew Mitsuko Delivers

March 11th, 2012 at 7pm, Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Director: Yûya Ishii. Cast: Riisa Naka, Aoi Nakamura, Ryo Ishibashi, Yukijirô Hotaru, Miyoko Inagawa

Japan 2011. 109 mins. Japanese with English subtitles

Electrifying Japanese talent Yûya Ishii’s (A Man With Style, Sawako Decides) breathless new comedy tells the story of a thirtysomething woman (Riisa Naka, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars) who’s at a delicate juncture in life; alone, flat broke and to top it all nine-months pregnant. Her folks think she’s in California living the high life with her baby’s GI father. In fact she’s in Tokyo, searching for a purpose, and eventually finding one in the ramshackle working-class alley where she grew up. The place reeks of destitution and bone idleness, but Mitsuko’s infectious get-up-and-go attitude soon compels the locals to roll up their sleeves and restore the alley to its former glory. Mitsuko Delivers is original, fanciful and adventurous – quintessentially Japanese.

Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival

Yubari Film Festival BannerThe Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF) kicks off today in its glamorous snowy, ski-resort in Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaidō. YIFFF is a great place to get a look at the latest in Japanese indie films with many world premieres from directors both new and old. The diversity and originality of films is heartening considering every trailer post I have written has had at least one movie adaptation of a manga/anime/book etc. It’s the first year I have paid attention to it and so with the aid of Google translate, Twitch for the more obscure titles and some trailer round-ups I wrote months ago here are some of the films on offer that have caught my eye.

Official Selection

There are many world premieres here but the only one that jumps out at me is Warped Forest.

The Warped Forest

Directed by Shunichiro Miki and starring Rinko Kikuchi, Fumi Nikaido, Boba, Kanji Tuda, Yoshiyuki Morishita

A collection of weird characters in a weird world are put on display. This is a world where there is a giant shop-girl unable to fit into the store she works in, nymphs harass a heart-broken woman with suggestive fruit and bedroom’s have weird green pods in them.

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Liebster Blog Award

I had a nice surprise at the end of last week when I received a Liebster blog award from Andina over at Inspired Ground. It is the first blog award I have received and it comes at a time when I have big plans for my blog. Anyway my thanks go out to Andina.

Liebster+Blog+LOGO

“The rules are that the winners have to pay forward to other people whose sites are worth the recognition. If they accept the award, they should: thank the person who nominated them; nominate five other favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers, and copy/paste the Liebster Blog Icon into their post.”

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Japanese Films at the Berlin Film Festival 2012 – Results

Berlinale 2012 finished yesterday and the Italian film Cesare Must Die walked away with the Golden Bear award (Best Motion Picture). The list of films walking away with silver bear awards (given to individual achievements in Directing, Acting and Short Film) saw an eclectic mix of films from stretching from Northern Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa. What happened to Japanese films in and out of competition?

Well…

Atsushi Wada's Great RabbitAtsushi Wada earned a Silver Bear award for the Best Short Film (Jury Prize) with “The Great Rabbit” anime short (seven minutes). It is described as “a magical animation that is also a profound conundrum.”

In another part of the festival programme, more specifically the Generation 14plus which is aimed at children fourteen and above) Isamu Hirabayashi’s “663114” anime short received a Special Mention honour from the Youth Jury. His film uses a cicada to explore parallels between Hiroshima’s atomic bombing and the recent disaster at Fukushima while asking questions about the future of the planet.

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East Winds Film Festival Returns!

East Winds Third Window Film Festival returns for a second year which is excellent news for fans of Far East films!

East Wind Third Window Film Festival Logo

The event takes place at Coventry University (in the heart of the campus in the Ellen Terry building) and lasts from the 2nd to the 4th of March. The best thing about this event, apart from seeing the films on a big screen, is the fact that there are guests in the form of directors and actors. This year’s line-up includes Satoshi Miki (Adrift in Tokyo, Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers, Instant Swamp) and his regular actress Fuse Eri. Also appearing is Herman Yau who will be in attendance for a double-bill of his films and up and coming film-maker Tom Lin.

The selection looks excellent with many European premieres and some titles that are genuinely great like Adrift in Tokyo, Instant Swamp and some titles I’m aching to see like Woman Knight of Mirror Lake and Yellow Sea (directed by Na Hong-jin who gave us the brutal and tense thriller The Chaser). There’s also Yuya Ishii’s Mitsuko Delivers, his follow up to the hilarious Sawako Decides.

Enough from me, here’s the programme direct from the website:

 

Friday 2nd March 2012

 

18:00 – Drinks Reception and Buffet

18:45 – Opening Speeches

19:00 – Adrift in Tokyo (101min)

Rei Ayanami in Adrift in Tokyo

21:00 – Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (115min) EUROPEAN PREMIERE

Woman Knight of Mirror Lake

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Japanese Box Office and POV ~Norowareta Film~, Afro Tanaka, Utahime, Are Any of You Alive? Trailers

Another week packed full of films. I’ve started watching Akira Kurosawa classics – Yojimbo and Seven Samurai so far with I Live in Fear next on the schedule. I also saw The Woman in Black in a packed cinema yesterday and loved every minute of it despite the squealing of the Harry Potter-brigade. Speaking of cinemas… what does the Japanese box office look like this week?

01. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
02. Always: Sunset on Third Street 3
03. The Wings of the Kirin
04. Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home
05. Ace Attorney

Well Phoenix Wright didn’t break into the top three but it’s still a respectable entry unlike Berserk, Arakawa and The Woodsman and the Rain which are all outside the top ten (ouch!). Released this week are a pretty awesome set of films. And Afro Tanaka.

Fish on Land

Release date:  18th of February, 2012

Running time: 108 mins.

Director: Yusuke Iseya

Writer: Tomoki Tsujichi (novel)

Starring: Mirai Moriyama, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Nae Yuki, Hirofumi Arai, Kenichi Takito, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Masahiko Tsugawa

Based on Tomoki Tsujiuchi’s best-selling novel the film looks like a class act. It is directed by Yusuke Iseya who starred in the awesome 13 Assassins, the awesome Kore-eda film After Life and the amusing Sukiyaki Western Django.

Mirai Moriyama plays a university student on the cusp of graduation, With a job already waiting for him he decides to take a bicycle trip on his last summer vacation. During this trip he comes across a drive-in theatre called House 475 which is run by Seiji (Hidetoshi Nishijma. He decides to help out at the drive-in and through working with Seiji begins to change his view on life.

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