Genkina hito Says Goodbye to 2017 and Hello to 2018 – New Year’s Resolutions – Follow Your Dreams Remix

Welcome to my last post of 2017.

I hope everyone is well and has had a good year.

Around this time last year, I was at the first of many shrines I would travel to in Taito-ku welcoming in 2017. It was an amazing experience made possible by a good friend and the start of a pretty good year for me. I was able to continue travelling across Japan and enjoyed doing unique things due to the kindness of others.

I had a blast at the Osaka Asian Film Festival where I got to watch lots of films and I really enjoyed meeting the team and working with them. I continued working on a film by helping out with sound-recording and photography on a couple of shoots, something which is set to continue into the new year in a more behind-the-scenes role. I took part in a major festival in Tokyo thanks to a friend (a seriously sophisticated and beautiful JoJo’s fan) and found that carrying a shrine is as hard as it looks. Also, visiting Kyoto was pure magic and it was made better since it was spent in great company.The Night is Short, Walk on Girl Image

Continue reading “Genkina hito Says Goodbye to 2017 and Hello to 2018 – New Year’s Resolutions – Follow Your Dreams Remix”

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Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card, The Dragon Dentist Special Edition, Umi no ubuya Ogatsu houinkagura, Zen for Nothing Japanese Film Trailers

 

Happy weekend, people.

The Night is Short Walk On Girl Drinks

I hope everyone is having a great holiday period.

I got a lot of cool gifts connected to exercise and, Yakuza Kiwami and some video game clothes so I was pretty pleased but, more importantly, I received a lot of friendship in the form of messages and cards and I had a good time with my family with lots of food and drink consumed. To my friends and family, thank you for so much. To the people who visit my site, thank you as well.

This week, I posted a review for the fabulous film about a fantastic artist, A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light (2016) and the comedy Emi-Abi (2016). What a way to see out the year.

What’s released in Japan this weekend? Well, two anime and some documentaries midweek so there are two of the first titles to be released in cinemas in Japan!

Continue reading “Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card, The Dragon Dentist Special Edition, Umi no ubuya Ogatsu houinkagura, Zen for Nothing Japanese Film Trailers”

Emi-Abi エミアビのはじまりとはじまり Dir: Kensaku Watanabe (2016)

Emi-abi    

Emi-Abi Film Poster
Emi-Abi Film Poster

エミアビのはじまりとはじまり 「Emiabi no Hajimari to Hajimari」 

Running Time: 88 mins.

Director: Kensaku Watanabe

Writer: Kensaku Watanabe (Screenplay)

Starring:  Ryu Morioka, Tomoya Maeno, Haru Kuroki, Hirofumi Arai, Mari Yamachi,

Website IMDB

Emi-Abi is a film marked by death but it is incredibly life-affirming. Written and directed by Kensaku Watanabe (he adapted the novel The Great Passage  into a script for the big screen), it tells the tale of artistic endeavour in the face of disaster and comes up trumps with a happy ending in a film that perfectly balances tragedy and comedy.

The story begins at the end of the manzai act Emi-Abi. The duo has lost its funny-man Unno (Tomoya Maeno) in an accident. All that remains is the handsome straight man Jitsudo (Ryu Morioka) and his dutiful manager Natsumi (Haru Kuroki) who has a comedy streak funnier than her remaining charge. With Unno’s funeral in the past and an uncertain future as a mere pretty-boy performer in a pretty crowded field, Jitsudo is on his way to his comedy sempai Kurosawa’s (Hirofumi Arai) home to pay respects and to get advice.

Continue reading “Emi-Abi エミアビのはじまりとはじまり Dir: Kensaku Watanabe (2016)”

A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light あえかなる部屋 内藤礼と、光たち Dir: Yuko Nakamura (2016)

A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light   

A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light Film Poster
A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light Film Poster

あえかなる部屋 内藤礼と、光たち「ae ka naru Heya Naitō Rei to, kotachi

Running Time: 87 mins.

Director: Yuko Nakamura

Writer: N/A (Screenplay),

Starring:  Rei Naito, Hina Yukawa, Ran Yaniguchi, Keiko Oyama, Kyoko Tanaka,

Website IMDB

Art is life and life is art. That sounds like hyperbole but Yuko Nakamura’s documentary, A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light, takes a look at a remarkable artist’s extraordinary installation work which uses light and delicate objects to make life-affirming works that give insight into the world and human existence. Again, sounds like hyperbole but this film is inspirational in the way its shot and reveals a lot about its subject even if she remains a mysterious figure.

Nakamura takes audiences to the genesis of this project, when she learned she would have to support her terminally ill mother. While contemplating how to look after her parent and feeling the serious weight of her connection, she took a trip to Teshima Art Museum, on an island in the Seto Inland Sea, and she encountered an integrated artwork named “Matrix” by architect Ryue Nishizawa and artist Rei Naito (more info). The visit was a profound moment that gave Nakamura an insight into life but how to explain it? How to understand it? How to understand the artist, Rei Naito? A film had to be made.

Continue reading “A Room of Her Own – Rei Naito and Light あえかなる部屋 内藤礼と、光たち Dir: Yuko Nakamura (2016)”

Tremble All You Want, Waiting for the Moon, Revenge Girl, Torinoko City, That Is Not a Child But a Minor Japanese Film Trailers       

Happy weekend!

I hope everyone is well! I have just got back from meeting a friend at a coffee shop and I’m excited about the prospect of having time off work to watch films and eat good food with family over the Christmas period. This week, I posted about the films Being Good (2015), which was directed by Mipo O, and The Long Excuse (2016), the latest from super-talented director Miwa Nishikawa. These two women are at the top of my best directors list.

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Tremble All You Want, Waiting for the Moon, Revenge Girl, Torinoko City, That Is Not a Child But a Minor Japanese Film Trailers       “

The Long Excuse 「永い言い訳 」 Dir:  Miwa Nishikawa 2016

The Long Excuse The Long Excuse Film Poster

永い言い訳 Nagai Iiwake

Running Time: 123 mins.

Director:  Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: Miwa Nishikawa (Screenplay/Original Novel),

Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Eri Fukatsu, Pistol Takehara, Maho Yamada, Tamaki Shiratori, Kenshin Fujita, Keiko Horiuchi, Haru Kuroki,

Website IMDB

Miwa Nishikawa loves writing about the worst traits of people. Nishkawa’s previous feature films, Wild Berries (2003), Sway (2006), Dear Doctor (2009), and Dreams for Sale (2012) have protagonists who are unctious liars, unappreciative egotists, unrepentant cheats, and utter scoundrels. In this film, based on a novel she wrote, Nishikawa asks the audience to follow a character whose emotional life is a cold-hearted absence borne by self-absorption, a man who has disappeared into himself and lost sight of what really matters in life, other people.

Continue reading “The Long Excuse 「永い言い訳 」 Dir:  Miwa Nishikawa 2016”

Being Good きみはいい子  Dir: Mipo O (2015)

You Are a Good Kid   / Being Good   

You're a Good Kid Film Poster
You’re a Good Kid Film Poster

きみはいい子  「Kimi wa iiko」

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 121 mins.

Director: Mipo O

Writer: Ryo Takada (Screenplay), Hatsue Nakawaki (Original Novel)

Starring:  Kengo Kora, Machiko Ono, Chizuru Ikewaki, Michie Kita, Mei Kurokawa, Kazuya Takahashi,

Website IMDB

One of the most important lessons I took away from being a teacher was the idea of being a guardian. An important part of our role is to care for the well-being of our students, to consider their personal circumstances, and emotional needs as well as educational ones. These responsibilities make the role slightly analogous with being a parent. It is a weighty responsibility but gratifying when you genuinely help someone. You don’t need to be a teacher or a parent to care for others. The simple act of caring can save lives. Being Good (2015) shows why.

Continue reading “Being Good きみはいい子  Dir: Mipo O (2015)”

Hanagatami, Mr. Long, Konu ka ame, The 8-Year Engagement, Borderline, Nippon’s Educational Challenge Part II, The · Compassion part 2 hope and action, Movie Shimonoseki, Movie Yokai Watch Shadow Side Demon King’s Resurrection Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

Hanagatami Image

I hope everyone is having another great weekend! We are just over a week away from Christmas so that means gathering together with the family and enjoying good food and drink, Christmas movies, and giving and receiving presents. You better be prepared!

With time off work, I’m looking forward to relaxing a lot more and indulging in watching films, hanging out with friends and family etc. Reviews will still be published as I aim to increase the amount of reviews over news items. Two films I watched and posted about this week were… Bitter Honey (2016) and Haruneko (2016).

What is released in Japanese cinemas this weekend?

Continue reading “Hanagatami, Mr. Long, Konu ka ame, The 8-Year Engagement, Borderline, Nippon’s Educational Challenge Part II, The · Compassion part 2 hope and action, Movie Shimonoseki, Movie Yokai Watch Shadow Side Demon King’s Resurrection Japanese Film Trailers”

Bitter Honey    蜜のあわれ  Dir: Gakuryu Ishii (2016)

Bitter Honey    

Mitsu no Aware Film Poster
Mitsu no Aware Film Poster

蜜のあわれ 「Mitsu no Aware

Running Time: 105 mins.

Director: Gakuryu Ishii

Writer: Takehiko Minato (Screenplay), Saisei Muro (Original Manga)

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Ren Osugi, Yoko Maki, Kengo Kora, Masatoshi Nagase, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Seiko Iwaido,

Website    IMDB

Director Gakuryu Ishii made his name with crazy indie films fizzing with punk energy, works like Burst City (1982) and Crazy Thunder Road (1980), but that is just one aspect of his career since he has an imagination capable of covering different genres from gloomy serial killers films like the brilliant Angel Dust (1994) and talky apocalypse movies like Isn’t Anyone Alive? (2012). I recommend watching them but of his other works, The Crazy Family and August in the Water are my personal favourites. Most of his films burst with voluptuous visuals and costumes, dense dialogue, and big name actors and over his long career he has maintained his flare for shooting scenes in energetic ways, something much needed here in a story that takes a while to get traction despite an exuberant performance from Fumi Nikaido as a goldfish turned human.

Based on a 1959 novel by the author Saisei Muro, Bitter Honey is set in 1950’s Tokyo. Although shot in a few outdoor locations like a yokocho, some streets, and temple grounds, most of the action takes place indoors, particularly the well-appointed house of an old male writer (Ren Osugi) who is busy making works of literature that will stand the test of time. Well, he would be if he wasn’t enthralled with a red goldfish who is able to transform into a beautiful voluptuous young woman (Fumi Nikaido).

Mitsu no Aware - Ren Osugi and Fumi Nikaido Continue reading “Bitter Honey    蜜のあわれ  Dir: Gakuryu Ishii (2016)”

Haruneko はるねこ Dir:  Sora Hokimoto (2016)

Haruneko    

haruneko-film-poster
haruneko-film-poster

はるねこHaruneko

Running Time: 85 mins.

Release Date: December 16th, 2016

Director:  Sora Hokimoto

Writer: Sora Hokimoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Yohta Kawase, Lily, Min Tanaka, Lion kawai, Minako Akatsuka, Ryuto Iwata, Keisuke Yamamoto, Yo Takahashi,

Website IMDB

Produced by experienced writer/producer Takenori Sento and producer/director Shinji Aoyama (Eureka), this curious mash-up of a film is the distinctive debut of Sora Hokimoto and the type of thing that will most-likely only be seen at festivals and that’s a shame because it is strikingly beautiful and haunts the memory.

Essentially a supernatural musical, the movie takes place deep in a forest where there is a cosy and well-furnished café nestled in a grove of trees by a river. It is run by The Manager (Yamamoto), an earnest young man who makes pour-over coffee. He lives with an elderly woman (Lily) and a boy called Haru (Iwata). The café is an idyllic place and a refuge for anyone who wants to die. These people vary, good and bad but they all want to escape something.

Continue reading “Haruneko はるねこ Dir:  Sora Hokimoto (2016)”