Films Released in 2014 I will Hopefully See in 2015

The Pinkie Here Comes 2015

I post trailers of Japanese films released in Japan every weekend and some stay with me even months after their release has come and gone. Like last year I want to start the year by looking back at the trailers that make me wish these were films I had seen in 2014 and hope I can see in 2015.

Just to jump back to the last list of films from 2013, out of the 14 Seeds of Anxiety Yoko and Daiichi at the Restaurant Moncherifilms listed, I saw two – Patema Inverted and Fuan no Tane. Patema Inverted exceeded my expectations when I saw it at a cinema and I now have the Ultimate Edition home DVD/Bu-ray release that came from backing the Kickstarter campaign so I get the OST, art book and a variety of other extras. I’ll get a review of the film out before the end of January 2015! Fuan no Tane was a fun little horror film that did justice to the manga. You can read what I thought of it in my review.

The other films I listed? Well, the chances of me watching some of them were slim since they were the indiest of indies and without major studio backing, film labels with lots of money or film festivals selecting them, they would have been unlikely to get a cinema or home release in the UK. Raindance and Terracotta would have been the best places to see them but they weren’t screened.

I am kinda disappointed that I did not get to see Uzumasa Jacopetti, JacopettiGFP Bunny, A Fairy Tale, and Shin Shin Shin so I’m going to start investigating ways of getting these films. My usual import routes don’t stock them… Other indie films I’m interested in cost around £20 so it’s not impossible, just expensive. It’s at times like this when I wish Japanese film and anime companies would embrace digital distribution because I know I’d make many purchases to build up my library (and regrets over spending so much).

This list of films contains entries I have cherry-picked from my trailer posts that caught my eye over the year. I doubt I’ll see many of these but who knows…

Here’s the list and music you can listen to while reading/ignoring the blurb:

 

 

Parasyte Part 1      

Parasyte Film Poster
Parasyte Film Poster

Japanese: 寄生獣 Part 1

Romaji: Kiseiju Part 1

Release Date: November 29th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 109 mins.

Director: Takashi Yamazaki

Writer: Ryota Kosawa (Screenplay), Hitoshi Iwaaki (Original Manga)

Starring: Shota Sometani, Ai Hashimoto, Eri Fukatsu, Nao Omori, Pierre Taki, Hirofumi Arai, Kazuki Kitamura, Tadanobu Asano, Jun Kunimura, Kimiko Yo, Masahiro Higashide,

The anime adaptation of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s sci-fi horror manga Parasyte has been consistently excellent with every episode so I am very curious about how the live-action film holds up. The reviews I have read have been really positive about the film. It has a great cast with Shota Sometani (Himizu), Tadanobu Asano (Vital), and Ai Hashimoto and Masahiro Higashide (The Kirishima Thing) featuring. The trailer reveals the film has a decent budget and it’s sticking to the source manga and not skimping on the horror but I do wonder if the creators will be able to fit the entire thing into two films…

Chances of seeing it? I don’t see this one getting picked up by any UK distributor or screened at a festival. The silence around such a good title is rather deafening.

Mysterious worm-like aliens tumble from the sky and penetrate people through their ears, nose and mouth and head to the brain to live-off and control it. Shinichi Izumi (Shota Sometani) was an ordinary high school student who was suddenly attacked by a parasite but he fought it off. For the most part. The thing still exists inside him but it lives in his right hand. Shinichi learns to co-exist with the parasite and because of this he discovers the presence of the others. He’s being monitored by another parasite that inhabits the body of his teacher Ryoko Tamiya (Eri Fukatsu). With only his love Satomi Murano (Ai Hashimoto) in danger to rely on, what can Shinichi do?

Website

 

Pale Moon / Paper Moon   

Paper Moon Film Poster
Paper Moon Film Poster

Japanese Title: 紙の

Romaji: Kami no Tsuki

Release Date: November 15th,  2014

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida

Writer: Hayafune Utaeko (Screenplay), Mitsuyo Kakuta (Original Novel)

Starring: Rie Miyazawa, Sosuke Ikematsu, Yuko Oshima, Seiichi Tanabe, Yoshimasa Kindo, Satomi Kobayashi, Renji Ishibashi,

This is film is based on a novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta which has been adapted into a dorama with the same cast. I am interested in the film mostly because of the rather lurid plot and the fact that the film won the audience award at the recent Tokyo International Film Festival. It stars Rie Miyazawa and I sung her praises for her performance in The Twilight Samurai and I want to see more of her acting performances and this one looks to be strong especially since it’s in a story about a character coming apart at the seams after committing a serious crime due to her boredom and lust…

Chances of seeing it? I wonder if this will turn up at Raindance or Terracotta…

Rika Umezawa (Miyazawa) lives a dull life. Despite being a highly rated employee with her clients at a bank, a seemingly loveless marriage with her husband leaves her feeling a profound sense of emptiness and this leads her to embark on an affair with a young man named Kota (Ikematsu), a university student. Spending money on him is a costly endeavour what with hotel suites and fancy restaurants and so she begins to embezzle money from her clients and neglect her husband as she becomes addicted to her illicit affair…

Website

 

Bon Lin   

Bon Lin Film Poster
Bon Lin Film Poster

Japanese: ぼんとリンちゃ

Romaji: Bon to Lin chan

Release Date: September 20th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Keiichi Kobayashi

Writer: Keiichi Kobayashi (Screenplay),

Starring: Ema Sakura, Mahiro Takasugi, Hakushu Togetsuan, Rino Higa, Kaho Tsukioka, Takayuki Suzuki,

I like the look of this one. Naturalistic acting and dialogue and a trawl around the otaku side of Tokyo. The trailer shows beautiful colours and imagery and the plot has an intriguing story.

Chances of seeing it? This comes from the writer/director of About a Pink Sky (2012) and he had that  film screened at Raindance so there’s every chance this indie could be at next year’s event.

Natsuko Yotsuya (Sakura) is a teenage girl who is also known as Bon and she has a friend named Miyu. Bon is from a small town but Miyu lives in Tokyo with her boyfriend. When Natsuko finds out that Miyu is being abused by her partner, she heads to the big city to bring her homes. Tagging along is her childhood friend Rintaro Tomoda (Takasugi) who is also known as Lin. They meet a series of Otaku who help guide them through the streets of Tokyo to find Miyu.

Website

 

Rurouni Kenshin The Legend Ends   

Rurouni Kenshin The Legend Ends Film Poster
Rurouni Kenshin The Legend Ends Film Poster

Japanese: るろうに剣心 伝説の最期

Romaji: Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen

Release Date: September 13th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 135 mins.

Director: Keishi Otomo

Writer: Kiyomi Fujii, Keishi Otomo, (Screenplay), Nobuhiro Watsuki (Original Manga)

Starring: Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, Yu Aoi, Munetaka Aoki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yusuke Iseya, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kaito Oyagi, Tao Tsuchiya, Maryjun Takahashi, Kazufuki Miyazawa,

OOOOOHHHH MYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOD! I have to see this now. I saw Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno TWICE in a cinema and loved it but it ended on a massive cliffhanger which was like OH MY GOD. The film tops the first entry in the Rurouni Kenshin film trilogy by being even more visually dazzling and having insanely frenetic and huge battles and the acting was pitch-perfect! I have to know what happens next! KAORU! What happened to her? Who picked up Rurouni Kenshin at the end of the second film?

Chances of seeing it?  I’m seeing this. It’s getting a UK release in cinemas and on DVD/Blu-ray like the last two Ruroken films, I just know it. I’m waiting on info from the PR company. As with the last film and the first one, I’ll take my mother and sister to see it.

The Kyoto arc of the original manga comes to an explosive end as Kenshin must face off against another elite assassin, Shishio Makoto, a man who wants to overthrow the newly formed government.

Website

 

The Pinkie         

The Pinkie Film Poster
The Pinkie Film Poster

Japanese: さまよう 小

Romaji: Samayou Koyubi

Release Date: September 14th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 63 mins.

Director: Lisa Takeba

Writer: Lisa Takeba (Screenplay),

Starring: Ryota Ozawa, Miwako Wagatsuma, Haruka Suenaga, Kanji Tsuda

When writing about film festivals you get to know a lot of the titles that are on tour around the world and, of course, you pick up one or two that you really want to see and it hurts when you don’t. The Pinkie is one of those films. I first encountered it when writing the Rotterdam International Film Festival post and then it was released in Japan in September. It looks like a lot of fun, an insane mash-up of mediums and genres with comedy and romance at the centre.  It comes from Lisa Takeba who has a background in advertising and writing videogames for Nintendo and others so she’s got a lot of experience with different styles to work with! It stars Miwako Wagatsuma who is an actress I have been tracking since 2012 because she is taking on interesting roles as can be seen from her filmography which includes Guilty of RomanceThe End of PubertySentimental Yasuko, Kuro and Shin Shin Shin.

Chances of seeing it? I don’t see any UK distributor or festival screening this which means import route. I need to see it, some how, some way…

Since they were both five, Ryosuke has been stalked by Momoko – the ugliest girl in the village. Momoko’s love for Ryosuke is so boundless that she has her face surgically altered to suit his taste – but still, he wants nothing to do with her. Ryosuke is more interested in the girlfriend of a yakuza boss. But when the boss finds out about their affair, he has Ryosuke’s little finger hacked off. Magically, the finger falls into Momoko’s hands, and she uses it to clone Ryosuke, so she can finally have him (or almost him) for herself – and that’s the first five minutes.

Website

 

Murder Workshop      

Murder Workshop Film Poster
Murder Workshop Film Poster

Japanese: 殺人ワークショッ

Romaji: Satsujin Wa-kushoppu

Release Date: September 13th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 75 mins.

Director: Koji Shiraishi

Writer: Koji Shiraishi (Screenplay),

Starring: Shohei Uno, Akiko Kiuchi, Mie Nishimura, Asami Ito, Hidetoshi Tokudome,

Murder Workshop comes from ENBU Seminar, an indie collective who use the workshop format to release short and feature films. I like that the filmmakers behind Murder Workshop are satirising the very workshop system that created the film. The system I talk about operates like this:

Budding actors are paired up with experienced directors and other professionals for on the job training. The actors have to pay for their moment on the screen but learn on the job.

This latest workshop film is directed by horror vet Koji Shiraishi (who I am slowly coming around to despite having “found-footage film fatigue” and it stars a solid character actor named Shohei Uno who has grown on me with his performances in a number of horror films I have seen. The only workshop film I have viewed is Be My Baby (2013) but another one has caught my eye and it’s mentioned later on in the list.

Chances of seeing it? Nil, unless I import it. There really is little to sell it to an audience in the West. It’s low-budget and has a cast of unknowns. Even Koji Shiraishi, somebody known by fans of J-horror, isn’t a name to sell a film at this point…

Here’s the music video for the film’s theme:

Akiko is abused by her lover. When she receives an email offering training to kill a person, she signs up for the course. When she gets to the workshop, she finds herself surrounded by people ready to be taught to kill and all lead by their mysterious and brutal teacher (Uno)!!!

Website

 

Over Your Dead Body   

Over Your Dead Body Film Poster
Over Your Dead Body Film Poster

Japanese: 喰女 -クイメ

Romaji: Kuime

Release Date: August 23rd, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 94 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Kikumi Yamagishi (Screenplay), Tsuruya Nanboku IV (Original Kabuki Play)

Starring: Ebizo Ichikawa, Kou Shibasaki, Hideaki Ito Miho Nakanishi, Maiko, Toshie Negishi, Koichi Sato, Hiroshi Katsuno, Toshiaki Karasawa, Kenichi Hagiwara, Kei Sato,

Takashi Miike makes his meta-horror version of the very popular kabuki play Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan, by Tsuruya Nanboku IV and it stars kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa and Kou Shibasaki, the star of Miike’s J-horror film One Missed Call (2004). The reviews I have read have been full of praise and the trailer makes it look like an atmospheric horror film to die for. If Miike has made another horror film like Audition, one where atmosphere and story trump gore and grue, I’ll watch it! More Miike is a good thing, especially if he’s back dealing out horror films!

Chances of seeing it? Third Window Films have picked up two of Miike’s latest films so could this be another one? Miike’s name still carries weight in the West where many 20/30-somethings remember Audition, Ichi the Killer and a new generation have experienced 13 Assassins and For Love’s Sake. He has a mixture of commercial and critical success. This is horror and horror is easier to sell than some other genres. Will anyone pick this up for distribution?

Kosuke Hasegawa (Ichikawa) and his lover Miyuki Goto (Shibasaki) are both cast in a new stage version of the play “Yotsuya Kaidan” which is a ghost story about a man under a family curse that ensures that any relationship with a woman will end in betrayal, supernatural vengeance, and murder. They are both in the lead roles, Kosuke playing the philandering Iemon and Miyuki playing the tragic Oiwa. It seems that fact mirrors fiction as Kosuke is a faithless lover who cheats on Miyuki with other actresses in the same play. Perhaps it is this which makes it hard for Miyuki to separate herself from the character she is portraying as she slowly becomes filled with love, anger and hate. As the two get more involved with the play, reality and fiction become one…

Website

 

Sturm Und Drang        

Shutorumu Und Doranggu Film Poster
Shutorumu Und Doranggu Film Poster

Japanese Title: シュトルム・ウント・ドランク

Romaji: Shutorumu Unto Doranggu

Release Date: August 16th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 138 mins.

Director: Isao Yamada

Writer: Isao Yamada, Shinzo Takano (Screenplay)

Starring: Emiko Nakamura, Satoru Jitsunashi, Takashi Akiyama, Takeshi Hirokawa, Mutsuo Yoshioka, Ginpachi Ginza, Yumeji Kobayashi, Morio Agata, Fumiko Arai,

This one is a wild card. Sturm und Drang comes from Isao Yamada, director of Grass Labyrinth (1983) and it is all about a group of artists and anarchists in Taisho era Japan (1910’s – 20’s) who form a terrorist group named “Guillotine Inc.” and plot revolution against the government. Then the Kanto earthquake of 1923 strikes… That was a particularly nasty time in Japan’s history and the characters in the film are up against a brutal government but amidst the bleakness there seems to be comedy and delightful artistic moments that fit in with the character’s occupations.

Chances of seeing it? Nil, unless I import it. I doubt many people who visit this blog are that interested. They’re probably wondering why I haven’t added something like, As the Gods Will

Website

 

Forma                

Forma FIlm Poster
Forma FIlm Poster

Japanese: 小さい おう

Romaji: Chiisai Ouchi

Release Date: August 16th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 145 mins.

Director: Ayumi Sakamoto

Writer: Ryo Nishihara (Screenplay), Ayumi Sakamoto (Original Story)

Starring: Emiko Matsuoka, Ken Mitsuishi, Ryo Nishihara, Seiji Nozoe, Nagisa Umeno

FORMA is an award-winning film directed by Ayumi Sakamoto. It finally gets a release in Japan after screenings at numerous film festivals such as Berlin where it won prizes and it’s screening there was when I  first posted about it and got the following burb from:

Director Ayumi Sakamoto has been in the film industry for a spell having worked as an actress and in the camera and electrical department of a number of films like Vital and other Shinya Tsukamoto films where she learned directing and cinematography skills. Shot in a muted palette of greys, blacks and beiges in perfect tandem with the colourless lives of its protagonists, Ayumi Sakamoto’s striking debut has a keen grasp of friendship’s grey areas and linguistic cadences. A slow-burning thriller whose long, rigorously composed shots demand closer scrutiny: never disregard the unspoken and the unseen.

I like the dark storyline driving this one but what gets me is the fact that the director is one to watch and from what I’ve read, she employs lots of technically brilliant flourishes and gets the best out of her actors to make this dark and compelling drama come to life.

Chances of seeing it?  Close to zero unless I import it. I’ll keep checking the film’s Twitter feed but I think it won’t reach the UK on the festival circuit and so a home release is the best way to see it and I don’t see any UK company dealing this out.

One day, Ayako Kaneshiro is reunited with her former classmate Yukari Hosaka. She invites Yukari to join her company, and she accepts. However, Ayako begins to treat Yukari coldly and act strangely around her. Yukari feels increasingly pressured, but Ayako has her reasons. The pent-up hatred within her deepens the darkness in her heart. To confirm her own feelings, Ayako confronts Yukari. Their conflicting emotions intertwine… What lies at the end of this cycle of hatred?

Website

 

The Voice of Water  Mizu no Koe wo Kiku Film Poster

Japanese: 水の声を聞く

Romaji: Mizu no Koe wo Kiku

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Masashi Yamamoto

Writer: Masashi Yamamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Hyunri, Shuri, Natsuko Nakamura, Jun Murakami, Takashi Oda, Gen Sato, Akahiro Kamataki, Eiko Nishio,

Here’s the other workshop film I mentioned above. It comes from Cinema Impact, the guys who did Be My Baby (2013). I was intrigued by it when I wrote about it for a trailer post but after reading a review by Don Brown over at The Asahi Shimbun has convinced me this one is worth seeking out. It features a cast of new actors and a very good actor in the shape of Jun Murakami. It’s all about Korea town and the people who exist in it which could fascinating in and of itself when you think of the cultural issues involved but there’s the story of a cult and a girl at the centre who wants to escape here as well which adds more intrigue.

Chances of seeing it? You know the drill. Import or nothing. This could be at the next Terracotta Far East Film Festival and I think it looks like a more palatable offering than Be My Baby, which was screened this year.

This one takes place in Korea Town in Tokyo where yakuza roam and is all about a Korean-Japanese woman named Minjon (Hyunri) who comes from a long line of shamans who speacialise in hearing messages from the water. She listens to people who are mostly outcasts and gives them a response in Korean which they are unable to understand.  Believers keep seeking her out but she has misgivings about how she is exploited by businessmen who use her to found the God’s Water sect and wring money out of people. This group has built up around her and she is ready to leave it behind and do so through her Korean ancestry.

Website

 

Fireworks Ideas         Fireworks Ideas Film Poster

Japanese: 花火思想

Romaji: Hanabi Shishō

Running Time: 93 mins.

Release Date: January 25th, 2014

Director: Oki Moe

Writer: Ryusuke Asagaya (Screenplay),

Starring: Takuya Sakurai, Kenji Kubo, Eriko Tomioka, Hayato

Lots of indie films come out in Japan but this one caught my attention. A guy who is on the edge is on a road-trip with scary visions. It looks to be an artfully constructed cross between Donnie Darko and some road-trip movie. The strange and surreal elements draw me to it. I also love the poster. It’s so simple when compared to other film posters which are usually cluttered with kanji and faces of the actors.

Chances of seeing it? Need you ask? Import or nothing.

In this road movie we see the struggle to escape reality and achieve a dream that many people face. Our protagonist is Yusuke (Sakurai) and he is a part-time worker at a convenience store who has nightmares of a man with a horse head. He was once in a band but that was a long time ago and now his dreams have almost faded but as time passes he finds that the border between dream and reality becomes uncertain and so he goes on a journey as if guided by the guy with the horse head…

Website

 

Tokyo Doppelkonzert   

Tokyo Doppelkonzert Film Poster
Tokyo Doppelkonzert Film Poster

Japanese Title: 東京戯曲

Romaji: Tokyo Gikyoku

Release Date: March 22nd, 2014

Running Time: 83 mins.

Director: Hiranami Wataru

Writer: Hiranami Wataru (Screenplay),

Starring: Mio Dazai, Kenta Enya, Takuya Fuji, Takehiko Fujita, Ran Fukuda, Keiko Furuuchi

This one has stuck in my memory because the acting and direction shown in the trailer seemed like a mixture between artiness and pretentiousness and naturalism. I’m not quite sure what to make of it but I expect a character driven story which shows a less glam version of Japan and one populated by interesting people with different ideas and there looks to be comedy derived from these characters.

Chances of seeing it? I doubt I’ll see it unless I import it or decide I want to live in Japan and marry someone who works in the film industry and gets screeners… Is this my version of Heaven….?

The story follows a couple. Fumi, a writer who has separated from Kozue and as their relationship hits ups and downs, their connections with the people around them also change… Ah, the drama of relations between men and women…

Website

 

Hello Supernova  

Hello Supernova Film Poster
Hello Supernova Film Poster

Japanese Title:  ハロー、スーパーノヴァ

Romaji: Harō, Sūpānova

Release Date: February 22nd, 2013

Running Time: 88 mins.

Director: Yuichiro Konno

Writer: Yuichiro Konno (Screenplay)

Starring: Chisato Ushio, Mitsuharu Kobayashi, Azusa Uemura, Kaoru Ozawa

This title comes from Yuichiro Konno, a multimedia artist who has worked with photography, theatre and film. In this title a woman who has been stuck in her house for a long period of time ventures out an encounters all sorts of people in various situations. This film is another one that has stuck in my memory despite the myriad of TV/anime/book adaptations I usually dive into every weekend. It looks cheap but eventful with some interesting shots in the trailer. I like the randomness of the story. It looks different and interesting and when so many films are adaptations, being unique is a good thing.

Chances of seeing it? Import or nothing. Seeing films this small makes me wonder how they are viewable after seeing them in a cinema.

Website

 

The Tale of Iya                                          

The Tale of Iya Film Poster
The Tale of Iya Film Poster

Japanese Title: 祖谷物語 おくのひと

Romaji: Iya Monogatari – Oku no Hito

Running Time: 169 mins.

Release Date: February 15th, 2014

Director: Tetsuchiro Tsuta

Writer: Tetsuchiro Tsuta, Masayuki Ueda (Screenplay),

Starring: Rina Takeda, Shima Ohnishi, Sachi Ishimaru, Hitoshi Murakami, Min Tanaka, Reika Miwa, Takahiro Ono, Naomi Kawase, Christopher Pellegrii, Keiko Taoka, Shigeru Kimura

This is another film that I missed and it hurts. Watch the trailer. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Magical as well, right? Do you want to know why I attend film festivals? To see the little gems that don’t get a home cinema release and to experience films on the big screen, especially beautiful ones. I will forever regret not seeing this at the Pan-Asian Film Festival earlier this year because the trailer is beautiful, mysterious, majestic, and the story sounds so intriguing and the reviews I read were all full of a mind-boggling level of praise.

Chances of seeing it? WHY DIDN’T I GO AND SEE IT WHEN IT WAS IN LONDON???? I’ll need to import this one. Or marry.

It is winter. A man (Min Tanaka) finds a baby girl in the snow by a freezing lake in the mountains of Tokushima and takes her in. He gives her the name Haruna and they live far away from other people. The baby grows into a caring woman (Rina Takeda) who looks after the man.

It is summer. A stranger from Tokyo arrived at “Iya”, where the riches of nature still abound. His name is Kudo, and he wants to start a new life in the country to refresh his tired soul. Unfortunately the reality was not as easy as he thought because there is a confliction between a local construction company and a group of nature conservationists.

One day, Kudo meets the old man and Haruna and finds out that they lead lives completely different from his own. The old man is a farmer who climbs up the mountain to go to the little shrine to offer Omiki (sake) to the mountain god and Haruna goes to high school an hour away from home, and after that, helps Grandpa to plow his field. Feeling his heart gradually healing, Kudo thought that he finally found what he was looking for in their calm life but a destructive winter occurs…

Website

 

100 Yen Love   

100 Yen Love Film Poster
100 Yen Love Film Poster

Japanese: 百円の恋

Romaji: Hyaku-en no Koi

Running Time: 113 mins.

Release Date: December 20th, 2014

Director: Masaharu Take

Writer: Masaharu Take (Screenplay),

Starring: Sakura Ando, Hirofumi Arai, Miyoko Inagawa, Saori, Shohei Uno Tadashi Sakata, Yuki Okita,

Two films featuring Sakura Ando (Love Exposure) were released last year. 0.5 mm, directed by her sister Momoko, looks good but this one has hooked my attention. It’s a character driven story and it’s Ando’s all about performance which reviewers have praised.

Chances of seeing it? It’s Raindance or nothing!

Kazuko (Ando) is a hikikomori who lives at her parents’ home but that situation changes when her younger sister divorces and moves back with her child. Kazuko and her sister’s relationship is pretty rocky and the two fight which makes Kazuko move out and find a place of her own. While working at a 100 Yen shop she keeps encountering a middle-aged boxer (Arai) who practices at a local boxing gym. She is attracted to him and the two start a relationship which will fuel the continuing change in her life.

Website

 

Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research  

Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research Film Poster
Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research Film Poster

Japanese: 神奈川芸術大学映像学科研究室

Romaji: Kanagawa Geijutsu Daigaku Eizo Gakka Kenkyushitsu

Running Time: 70 mins.

Release Date: January 25th, 2014

Director: Yuichiro Sakashita

Writer: Yuichiro Sakashita (Screenplay),

Starring: Kaori Iida, Chihiro Kasahara, Tomoya Maeno, Kazuhiko Takasu,

Wordy title, unattractive text heavy poster and yet I am intrigued by this film. The trailer had me laughing at some of the deadpan humour. The last film I saw that was about students at uni trying to make a movie was Who’s Camus Anyway? which I found enormously entertaining. The trailer makes me think that this is the world that the film nerds from The Kirishima Thing would enter if they continued to pursue a movie career at university. Funnily enough, the cast here features Tomoya Maeno (one of the film nerds). There is also a solid lead in the shape of Kaoru Iida (And the Mud Ship Sails Away, Miss Zombie) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, one of my favourite directors!!!

Okuda works in the Film Department of Kanagawa University of Fine Arts. When he witnesses students stealing school equipment he is ordered by film professors to hide the truth and make a false report. He is torn between reporting the students and not rocking the boat and causing trouble. Then another incident occurs on campus and the situation seems to spiral out of control…

Website

Here’s one last trailer which I caught in December. Hold Your Breath Like a Lover. It is a release from a grad at the Tokyo University of the Arts and  it was at this year’s Locarno FIlm Festival, the only Japanese feature to play. It hasn’t been released in Japanese cinemas like these other films but I wanted to include it in this list because I want to see it in 2015.

The Pinkie Here Comes 2015

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7 thoughts on “Films Released in 2014 I will Hopefully See in 2015

    1. Will they ever make it to Netflix? I don’t use the service and the only reason I’m aware of it is when I write news stories about anime appearing on it…

      I’m hoping that some of these appear at the Raindance Film Festival but we’ll just have to wait and see…

      Pale Moon was reviewed by a great movie blogger akb48fan over at Sadako’s Movie Shack.

      1. Aaahhh, such an enticing selection! If only two or three from that list showed up at Terracotta/home release, I’d be over the moon. 100 Yen Love, 0.5mm and Bon Lin for Raindance?

        Thanks for posting!

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