Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Like Father, Like Son, The King of Apology, Flying Goldfish & the Secret of the World, House of the Rising Sun, I’m Home, The Road Less Travelled and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Galilei Donna ImageThe Raindance Film Festival is less than a week away. Japanese film goodness will soon be mine… Actually, I watch lots of Japanese films most weeks. For example, I watched Shinji Aoyama’s Tokyo Koen which I liked quite a lot. I watch lots of films generally like Citizen Kane which was on BBC Four last week Sunday. Anime is always on my viewing list and the last episodes of Dog and Scissors, Gatchaman Crowds, Watamote, Sunday Without God and Attack on Titan have/played out this week. This week I posted about License to Live, the last film in my Kiyoshi Kurosawa Season, more of my Autumn 2013 Anime Selection, and a review for The Drudgery Train which stars Mirai Moriyama, Kengo Kora and Atsuko Maeda.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell?           Why Don't You Play In Hell Film Poster

Japanese Title: 地獄 で なぜ 悪い Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Romaji: Jigoku de Naze Warui Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Running Time: 126 mins

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

Starring: Jun Kunimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Fumi Nikaido, Tomochika, Hiroki Hasegawa, Kotou Lorena, Gen Hoshino, Tak Sakaguchi 

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? gets its Japanese release today. I’ve blogged about it so much and replayed the trailer so many times that to repeat myself further would be wrong and probably bore the few dedicated reads I have. For those who are new but wary of all my babble, let us just say this is the most dangerous and awesome film of the year and I get to see it at the BFI London Film Festival. YERSH!

Muto (Kunimura) and Ikegami (Tsutsumi) are rival gangsters who despise each other especially since Muto’s wife Shizue (Tomochika) butchered a boss in Ikegami’s gang. She gets sent to prison and jeopardises her daughter’s acting career. Ten years later and days before Shizue is due to be released, Muto is desperate to make his daughter a big-screen star and recruits Koji (Hoshino), a timid passer-by who is mistaken for being a film director.

When dealing with gangsters you don’t mess about so Koji gets a cinephile friend named Hirata (Hasegawa) who dreams of being a movie director and has a ragtag film crew named The Fuck Bombers. Hirata seizes his chance and loses his mind as he casts Mitsuko in a fictional gang war but it soon goes wrong when it turns real.




Like Father, Like Son                          Like Father Like Son Cannes Poster

Japanese Title: そして 父 に なる

Romaji: Soshite Chichi ni Naru

Running Time: 120 mins.

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Jun Fubuki, Keita Ninomiya, Lily Franky, Jun Kunimura, Kiki Kirin, Isao Natsuyagi

This is another film I’m going to see at the BFI London Film Festival. It has appeared at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival. Koreeda is a great filmmaker as a run of films like After LifeStill Walking, and Nobody Knows prove. The film stars Masaharu Fukuyama (Suspect X), Machiko Ono (EurekaThe Floating Castle), Yoko Maki (InfectionThe Grudge), Lily Franky (Afro Tanaka), Jun Fubuki (SéanceRebirth) Kirin Kiki (Kiseki) and Jun Kunimura (OutrageVital) and Isao Natsuyagi (The Land of HopeWarm Water Under a Red Bridge).

Successful architect Ryota (Fukuyama) and his wife Midori (Ono) have a happy family life with their six-year-old son Keita (Nonomiya) but a phone call from the hospital informing them of the fact that their child was mixed up with another at birth shatters their happiness. Their birth-son Ryusei has been raised by a poorer but more easy-going family run by Yudai (Franky) and Yukari (Maki) Saiki. Ryota and Midori must decide whether to hand over the son they have carefully raised for the last six years and take back their biological son or not.




The King of Apology                               The Apology King Film Poster

Japanese Title:  謝罪 の 王様

Romaji: Shazai no Ousama

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 128 mins.

Director: Nobuo Mizuta

Writer: Kankuro Kudo (Screenplay),

Starring: Sadao Abe, Mao Inoue, Masak Okada, Katsumi Takahashi, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Yutala Takenouchi, YosiYosi Arakawa, Gaku Hamada, Takehiko Ono, Mari Hamada, Suzu Hirose

That poster is awful… Initial fears that this wold be rubbish were allayed by the trailer which is full of exaggerated physical comedy. The cast list is also full of great performers who have provided great comedic and dramatic performances– Sadao Abe (Dreams for Sale, Kamikaze Girls), Mao Inoue (Kaidan, Rebirth), Machiko Ono (Eureka), Yasuko Matsuyuki (Drive, Monday, Detroit Metal City), YosiYosi Arakawa (Survive Style 5+, Fine, Totally Fine). All great actors who have been in films I have enjoyed. Then I got to Gaku Hamada (See You Tomorrow, Everyone) who I have developed an aversion to… Still, I’m watching Sake-Bomb tonight, my opinion could change. The writer is Kankuro Kudo and he has penned films like Go, Ping Pong and Drugstore Girl.


Ryoro Kurojima (Abe) runs a Tokyo apology centre where he teaches others to apologise. He can teach students how to apologise for minor misdemeanours all the way through to national crises.


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