While the Women are Sleeping, Artist of Fasting, Chinyuki, The Shell Collector, I’m Not Just Going to Do What Kurosaki-kun Says, Detective Opera Milky Holmes the Movie and other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear audience!

Kikujiro Takeshi Kitano Masao Yusuke Sekiguchi
Kikujiro Takeshi Kitano Masao Yusuke Sekiguchi

I have been busy this week and about to get busier with preparations for Japan. I may not post next week and there will be a point this year when I may not be posting at all but I’ll try to keep going because there are lots of great Japanese films to write about.

I watched Kikujiro (1999), Appleseed (1988), Darkside Blues (1994) and Vampire Hunter D (1985). I wrote a review for Kikujiro and previewed the Japanese films at next month’s Osaka Asian Film Festival.

What’s released this weekend?

 

While the Women are Sleeping   

While the Women are Sleeping Film Poster
While the Women are Sleeping Film Poster

女が眠る時「onna ga nemuru toki 

Running Time: 103 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Wayne Wang

Writer: Michael Ray, Shinho Lee, Mami Sunada (Screenplay) Javier Marias (Original Story)

Starring:  Beat Takeshi, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Sayuri Oyamada, Lily Franky, Shiori Kutsuna, Makiko Watanabe, Hirofumi Arai,

Website IMDB

This recently played at the Berlin Film Festival and reviews paint it as an intriguing psycho-sexual thriller. Here’s the blurb I wrote:

This is another film with a stellar cast – Hidetoshi Nishijima (License to Live), Takeshi Kitano (Hana-bi), Lily Franky (Like Father, Like Son), Makiko Watanabe (Love Exposure) – and it has an interesting story which I think you can read on the New Yorker magazine website. The trailer looks great and the story involves obsession, lust, love, danger and all those good things that make thrillers. Ghosts, too, apparently!

Synopsis: Kenji (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and Aya (Sayuri Oyamada) are spending a week at a hotel over the summer and they encounter a strange couple amongst the other guests. There is the considerably older man, Doctor Sahara (Beat Takeshi), and a there is a younger woman, Miki (Shiori Katsuna). Sahara records Miki every night with his video camera and while the women are asleep, he discusses Miki’s life and death with Kenji who is sucked into Sahara’s weird fantasies and concerned about Miki’s safety. Is it all a game or something deadlier?

 

Artist of Fasting   

Artist of Fasting Film Poster
Artist of Fasting Film Poster

断食芸人Dnjiki geinin

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Running Time: 104 mins.

Director: Masao Adachi

Writer: Masao Adachi (Screenplay), Franz Kafka (Original Short Story)

Starring: Hiroshi Yamamoto, Daizo Sakurai, Tomorowo Taguchi, Sakurako Kaoru, Juri Ihata, Takatsugu Iwama, Sankichi Kawamoto,

Website  IMDB

This film also played at a film festival… two festivals to be precise. It was at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and it will play at the Osaka Asian Film Festival.

Synopsis: A nameless man sits down in a busy shopping street and says nothing. People are intrigued and interpret his silence in different ways and soon a crowd begins to gather. This crowd includes people handing him cash and food which yakuza steal, monks who see some religious aspect to his actions and pray by his side, the Street Performers’ Association who want him to join them and suicidal youths feel soothed in his presence; the press wants to know if he’s a victim of Abenomics. Eventually, the man is caged and given an army guard…

 

Chinyuki   

Chinyuki Film Poster
Chinyuki Film Poster

珍遊記「Chinyuuki 

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Yudai Yamaguchi

Writer: Ohkawara, Shu Matsubara (Screenplay) Gataro Man (Original Manga)

Starring:  Kenichi Matsuyama, Pierre Taki, Kana Kurashina, Junpei Mizobata, Takashi Sasano,

Website IMDB

I have reviewed a few splatter films directed by Yudai Yamaguchi. Top of the pile is Tamami: The Baby’s Curse and then there’s Deadball and Meatball Machine which aren’t as great. He’s back with a more mainstream film based on the manga series “Chinyuki – Taro to Yukaina Nakama tachi” which was written and illustrated by Gataro and published from 1990 to 1992 in Weekly Shonen Jump. The manga series is a parody of 16th century Chinese novel “Journey to the West” which is why we see Kenichi Matsuyama (Shindo) looking like the Monkey King… only nude.  This film looks like a case of dumb but fun…

 

Synopsis: Genzo is a monk on his way to India but his journey will see him meet all sorts of people and creatures starting with an old couple who have an adopted son, Taro Yamada (Kenichi Matsuyama) who is a wild card since he’s a troublemaker with magical powers…

 

The Shell Collector   

The Shell Collector Film Poste
The Shell Collector Film Poste

シェルコレクター「Sheru Korekuta 

Running Time: 89 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Yoshifumi Tsubota

Writer: Yoshifumi Tsubota (Screenplay) Anthony Doerr (Original Short Story)

Starring:  Lily Franky, Ai Hashimoto, Sosuke Ikematsu, Shinobu Terajima,

Website IMDB

This is a solid looking drama with an impressive-looking cast. Lily Franky takes the lead and shares the screen with Ai Hashimoto (The Kirishima Thing), Sosuke Ikematsu (How Selfish I Am!) and Shinobu Terajima.

Synopsis: A blind man (Lily Franky) works studying as a conchology scholar. He is now a world-renowned expert and lives a peaceful existence studying the shells on a remote island in Okinawa. All of that changes when a painter named Izumi (Shinobu Terajima), appears in front of the blind scholar and tells him she suffers from a rare disease. The scholar knows how to cure the woman’s disease by using poisons from certain shells and so when word of his medical skills spread people gather on the island to meet him…

 

I’m Not Just Going to Do What Kurosaki-kun Says   

I’m Not Just Going to Do What Kurosaki-kun Says Film Poster
I’m Not Just Going to Do What Kurosaki-kun Says Film Poster

黒崎くんの言いなりになんてならない「Kurosaki-kun no Iinari ni Nante Naranai 

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Sho Tsukikawa

Writer: Yuko Matsuda (Screenplay) Makino (Original Manga)

Starring: Nana Komatsu, Kento Nakajima, Yudai Chiba, Sara Takatsuki, Yuta Kishi, Yui Kitamura, Amane Okayama, Rimo Hasegawa,

Website IMDB

Nana Komatsu came out of nowhere to stun audiences in The World of Kanako and since then she has appeared in lots of films. A lot of them are adaptations of manga. This one has a suspect story about her character Yu becoming obedient to someone. Don’t give up your freedom!

Synopsis: Yu Akahane (Nana Komatsu) moves to a school dormitory room following her father’s transfer from work and she is excited because she will live in the same dorm as Takumi Shirakawa (Yudai Chiba) aka “White Prince.” Alas, Haruto Kurosaki (Kento Nakajima) aka “Black Devil” kisses her first and this steaks Yu’s heart.

 

Pinay’s Addicted!   

Pinchu! Film Poster
Pinchu! Film Poster

ピン中!「Pinchu! 

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Yudai Kanazawa

Writer: Yudai Kanazawa, Yasunori Matsuhisa (Screenplay)

Starring: Shingo Yanagisawa, Lorena Koto, Takayuki Godai, Wakaba Makino, Yoshiaki Hattori, Ai Watari,

Website IMDB

One of the biggest exports from the Philippines is its people. Five years ago there was no Filipino community where I love and now there is a fairly large one and they have taken over a church in my area. It’s great to see. Japan has long had a community and this film explores that from the slant of men having a good time at a Filipino bar with some girls. This probably isn’t a serious discussion of the issue unlike IMBISIBOL which played at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Synopsis: The Philippines pub Fiesta is a popular place for men to hang out. Azumi (Takayuki Godai) is a prime example since he has been a patron there for 30 years and married Jane (Lorena Kotou) who works at the pub. This is little more than a hostess club so they are open to an inspection by the Immigration Bureau which may cause chaos for patrons and hostesses…

 

Mother’s Lover   

Haha no Koibito Film Poster
Haha no Koibito Film Poster

母の恋人「Haha no koibito 

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Takahiro Ueno

Writer: Shuji Kataoka (Screenplay)

Starring: Yuko Mizushima, Nanami Hidaka, Sasaki Kokone, Masanori Sugawara, Momona,

Website  

Synopsis: More stories of middle-aged women bedding young guys.

 

Detective Opera Milky Holmes the Movie: Milky Holmes’ Counterattack  

Detective Opera Milky Holmes the Movie Milky Holmes' Counterattack Film Poster
Detective Opera Milky Holmes the Movie Milky Holmes’ Counterattack Film Poster

劇場版 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ ~逆襲のミルキィホームズ~「Gekijouban Tantei Opera Miruki ho-uzu – gyakushuu no miruki Ho-muzu-

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Hiroaki Sakurai

Writer: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Screenplay),

Animation Production: J.C. Staff

Starring: Suzuko Mimori (Sherlock Shellingford), Mikoi Sasaki (Hercule Barton), Izumi Kitta (Cordelia Glauca), Sora Tokui (Nero Yuzurisaki), Satomi Akesaka (Arsene/Henriette Mystere), Yoshino Nanjou (Kokoro Akechi),

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: The members of Milky Holmes are on a study tour… Well, they should be studying but they are soaking in the hot springs among snow monkeys but when the Thief Empire attacks and uses their Toys (special powers) the girls have to fight back. Things get intense with the arrival of the Genius 4! In the midst of battle, a violent lightning bolt strikes from the sky. Struck by the lightning, the four Milky Holmes girls lose their abilities.

 

Joe, Tomorrow: 20 Years with Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, Legendary Boxing Champ   

Joe, Tomorrow 20 Years with Jōichiro Tatsuyoshi, Legendary Boxing Champ
Joe, Tomorrow 20 Years with Jōichiro Tatsuyoshi, Legendary Boxing Champ Fim Poster

ジョーのあした 辰吉丈一郎との20年「Joe no ashita tatsuyoshi jou ichirou to no 20-nen 

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Junji Sakamoto

Writer: N/A

Starring: Joichiro Tatsuyoshi

Website 

Synopsis: Boxing legend Joichiro Tatsuyoshi is the subject of this documentary which uses interviews with the man to track the evolution of his career and family life and the physical problems he developed from boxing – detached retinas and more. The film itself evolves as it shows Joichiro’s relationship with his youngest son who wants to enter the profession. The title is a reference to the classic boxing manga Ashita no Joe.

 

Hakamada Iwao yume no ma no yononaka   

Hakamada iwao yume no ma no yononaka Film Poster
Hakamada iwao yume no ma no yononaka Film Poster

袴田巖 夢の間の世の中「Hakamada Iwao yume no ma no yononaka 

Running Time: 119 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Kim Sung-woong

Writer: N/A

Starring: Iwao Hakamada, Hideko Hakamada

Website 

Synopsis: Sadly, former boxer Iwao Hakamada is more famous for serving 48 years on death row and in solitary confinement rather than in the ring after he was sentenced for the murder of a family of four in 1966. Hakamada was released in 2014 after a tireless campaign from his sister Hideko to reopen the case on the basis that DNA evidence showed he was not the killer and that the police framed him. His time inside has seen his mental state deteriorate, something prompted by the threat of the death sentence. There have been a couple of documentaries and dramas made of this case and this is the latest. Here’s an interview with the director on the Japan Times website.

 

Shadow Kids   

Shadow Kids Film Poster
Shadow Kids Film Poster

SHADOW KIDS シャドーキッズ「Shado- Kizzu 

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Shunji Muguruma

Writer: Shunji Muguruma, Jun Yoshida (Screenplay)

Starring: Kunihiko Ida, Takehide Kanda, Yuki Kanda, Nanami Mitani, Hisako Ohkata, Agatha Okada, Hikari Seta,

Website  IMDB

Synopsis: Takashi (Takehide Kanda) and his sister (Yuki Kanda) are bullied but the mysterious Shadow Kids save them. Takashi sees the dark side of Kabukicho while running with this gang of heroes.

 

101-Kai-me no beddo in   

101-Kai-me no beddo in Film Poste
101-Kai-me no beddo in Film Poste

101回目のベッド・イン「101-Kai-me no beddo in 

Running Time: 80 mins.

Release Date: February 27th, 2016

Director: Salmon Sakeyama

Writer: Kosuke Komatsu (Screenplay)

Starring: Mai Chusonji, Maki Nishimoto, Yun Hayama,

Website

Synopsis: Something about two middle-aged women going into the movie making business and hooking up with two youngsters. The group go looking for popular things to make films around.

 

Japanese Movie Box Office Results for this Week:

The Martian (2016/02/05)

Nobunaga Concerto (2016/01/23)

Point Break (2016/02/20)

Saraba Abunai Deka: Long Goodbye (2016/01/30)

Star Wars The Force Unleashed (2015/12/18)

Born in the EXILE Sandaime J Soul Brothers no Kiseki (2016/02/12)

Sherlock (2016/02/19)

Girlz und Panzer der Film  (2015/11/21)

Doukyuusei (2016/02/20)

Eiga Youkai Watch: Enma Daioh to Itsutsu no Monogatari da Nyan! (2016/12/19)

2 thoughts on “While the Women are Sleeping, Artist of Fasting, Chinyuki, The Shell Collector, I’m Not Just Going to Do What Kurosaki-kun Says, Detective Opera Milky Holmes the Movie and other Japanese Film Trailers

  1. humbledaisy1

    Don’t worry too much about Nana K. in I’m Not Just Going to Do What Kurosaki-kun Says. The two-episode special is available online and she still shines. Pretty much they end up doing what she says! Thanks for the review of Kikujiro – it started a Beat Takeshi spree at our house.

    1. That’s a relief. It was worrying going off the plot synopsis alone but since this is based on a manga the film must be a bit of wish fulfillment for ladies – get all the gorgeous guys to fawn over me! I suppose there is a deeper message than that.

      Beat Takeshi is cool. I planned a season of review for his films in 2012 but never got around to it. This will be the year since his titles are getting re-released on Blu-ray. Two of his best are coming out soon – A Scene at the Sea and Kids Return. What’s your favourite?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s