Japanese Films at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

The team behind the Osaka Asian Film Festival has released the entire programme of films that will play at this year’s edition and it’s a mighty cinematic feast spread across a Competition and programmes dedicated to Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, and other territories from elsewhere across Asia as well as Special Screenings, an Indie Forum, and films supported by the Housen Foundation.  

These films cover a huge range of stories from dramas involving people finding karate giving meaning to their lives, to a melancholy animated title about dogs to Taiwan. There are lots of fantastic Japanese short films and box-office hits and an appearance from Hong Kong’s king of comedy, Chapman To. He is the recipient of the Osaka Asia Star Award and will be at the festival to talk about his career. A new talent on the American indie-scene, Kogonoda, will get his film screened at the festival and there are up-and-coming female directors from Asia. More pertinently, there is a whole slew of fantastic Japanese indie films that have some of the best drama and settings. Most if not all of these films have English subs which makes this festival the best place in Japan to see films.

The entire programme and all details, times, and dates are online at the festival’s site and tickets are already on sale. Here is a preview covering the Japanese films:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

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Let’s Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Farewell Morning, Does the Flower Bloom, Legend of the Demon Cat, Leon, Shukatsu 2,   Infini-T Force: Gatchaman Saraba Tomo yo,  Going the Distance, Devil,   Ikidzuka,    Ishin reppuu tengu hangan, Witch Which, Saraba Daiyamondo, Tokyo Capsule, Monchan, Bakemono to Onna, Curry and Rice, Tamayura, Yakyuu buin engeki no butai ni tatsu!, Shimanto inochi no shimai, Negai to yuragi Japanese Film Trailers 

Happy weekend, people!

I am still pushed for time and it’s going to be a regular thing for a while because I am going to embark on some travels. That means the trailer posts are going to suffer a lack of information and some bad translations. My apologies. I will fix these at a later date. I do go back through old festival posts and replace trailers that have disappeared/update things so I will try and get around to doing it to these trailer posts.

This week, I have posted about “Destruction Babies” (2016) and the tragic passing of the great actor, Ren Osugi.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Let’s Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Farewell Morning, Does the Flower Bloom, Legend of the Demon Cat, Leon, Shukatsu 2,   Infini-T Force: Gatchaman Saraba Tomo yo,  Going the Distance, Devil,   Ikidzuka,    Ishin reppuu tengu hangan, Witch Which, Saraba Daiyamondo, Tokyo Capsule, Monchan, Bakemono to Onna, Curry and Rice, Tamayura, Yakyuu buin engeki no butai ni tatsu!, Shimanto inochi no shimai, Negai to yuragi Japanese Film Trailers “

Ren Osugi (September 27, 1951 – February 21, 2018)

Veteran actor Ren Osugi passed away earlier today from heart failure. He was only 66. It’s not often that I write about someone’s passing but I can’t let Osugi’s go by without a few words.

I’ve grown up watching Japanese films and one person in particular kept cropping up and that was Ren Osugi. He has worked on projects directed by Takeshi Kitano, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, SABU, Shinya Tsukamoto, Sion Sono, Takashi Miike, and other major directors my generation have been influenced by. Usually it was a small part such as a detective in some horror movie or a gangster in a Kitano film but he had such skill and versatility as an actor that he appeared in many more films and doramas and he could hold a film down and bring depth to his characters, no matter what their place in the plot was.

Continue reading “Ren Osugi (September 27, 1951 – February 21, 2018)”

Destruction Babies ディストラクション・ベイビーズ Dir: Tetsuya Mariko (2016)

Destruction Babies   

destruction-babies-film-poster
destruction-babies-film-poster

ディストラクション・ベイビーズ 「Deisutorakushon Beibi-zu

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director:  Tetsuya Mariko

Writer: Tetsuya Mariko, Kohei Kiyasu (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuya Yagira, Masaki Suda, Nana Komatsu, Nijiro Murakami, Sosuke Ikematsu, Denden,

Website IMDB

Writer-director Tetsuya Mariko’s fourth feature film is a realistic take on the idea of anger begetting more anger with nothing to break the cycle as a teen named Taira terrifies Shikoku with a wave of violence that draws a variety of innocents and other outsiders into a twisted game.

Continue reading “Destruction Babies ディストラクション・ベイビーズ Dir: Tetsuya Mariko (2016)”

Our Blue Moment, River’s Edge, Cherry Boys, Sunny / 32, Kamen Rider Para-DX with Poppy, Kurueru sekai no tame no rekuiemu, Gure- no ko panda chiisana gure-to no seicho- nikki, Clairvoyance (Cicada), Raika, Raizu Dharuriser – The Movie, 9, N.Y. Maxman, Panda kopanda, Panda kopanda Rainy Day Circus Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I hope you are all well. I’m still spending a lot of my free time writing about lots of different things but I had more time to do the trailer post this week which is ironic because last weekend had the better batch of films that I wanted to pay more attention to. This weekend does have some appealing titles like Sunny 32 and that’s mostly because of the cast. I played catch-up by posting about the Japanese Films at the Glasgow Film Festival and posting a review for the wonderful ensemble comedy Room for Let. Also released was a lot of information for this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival and the line-up of films is pretty fine!

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Our Blue Moment, River’s Edge, Cherry Boys, Sunny / 32, Kamen Rider Para-DX with Poppy, Kurueru sekai no tame no rekuiemu, Gure- no ko panda chiisana gure-to no seicho- nikki, Clairvoyance (Cicada), Raika, Raizu Dharuriser – The Movie, 9, N.Y. Maxman, Panda kopanda, Panda kopanda Rainy Day Circus Japanese Film Trailers”

Room For Let    貸間あり Dir: Yuzo Kawashima (1959)

Room For Let   貸間あり Film Poster

貸間あり Kashima Ari

Running Time: 112 mins.

Release Date: June 02nd, 1959

Director: Yuzo Kawashima

Writer: Giichi Fujimoto, Yuzo Kawashima (Screenplay), Masuji Ibuse (Original Novel),

Starring: Frankie Sakai, Nobuko Otowa, Ikio Sawamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Takeshi Kato, Chikage Awashima, Chieko Naniwa, Shoichi Ozawa,

IMDB

This comedy gem was programmed by Britain’s Japan Foundation for their 2018 Touring Film Programme to celebrate the centenary of Yuzo Kawashima (1918 – 1963), a master Yuzo Kawashimaof satire who was little-known outside of Japan until around the 2010s when festivals like Berlin started programming restored prints of his films. The Japan Society in New York also recently screened a number of his films so his profile is rising. Closer to the UK it is hard to get many of his titles but we have one film at least, “Bakumatsu Taiyoden” (1957), which was released via Eureka’s Masters of Cinema label and it proved to be a funny ensemble comedy set during the Bakumatsu period when the shogunate was coming to an end. This historical setting is, according to experts, an outlier for what Kawashima was known for which was telling tales tragedy and comedy in the lives of ordinary people in post-war Japan, a nation in flux as people returned from colonies and front-lines, emerged from rubble-strewn streets and charred houses, to find a more liberal set of ideas taking root in the home islands with traditional social structures being modernised, cities being rebuilt, and everybody on the make. Indeed, it seems Room For Let is more representative of his output and some suggest it even goes as far as to act as a link between the formalised Golden Age of cinema and the New Wave as the chaotic sense of change and oddball personalities are captured on screen with class and plenty of ribald humour. Seeing it as part of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 with a friend was great but having the privilege of seeing a rare 35mm print was fantastic as we were taken back in time to 1950s Osaka!

Continue reading “Room For Let    貸間あり Dir: Yuzo Kawashima (1959)”

Japanese Films at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2018

The Glasgow Film Festival (February 21st – March 04th) will launch at the end of this month and it kicks off with Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion animation set in a dystopian Japan and featuring the voices of lots of American actors. There’s also the documentary Haiku on a Plum Tree a documentary where the director tracks down what happened to her grandparent’s who were living in Japan during World War 2 and were interned in a prisoner of war camp when they refused to pledge allegiance to Mussolini. There plenty of films from Japan and it’s a pretty diverse slate in terms of subject-matter and medium.

Here is what is on offer:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2018”

Red Comet Club, Fumiko’s Feet, Kenen, Sea Opening, Spiritual Bolsheviki, Tonight, At The Movies / Tonight, At Romance Theatre, ON THE ROAD 2015-2016 Tabisuru Songu Raita- “Journey of a Songwriter”, Kanazawa Shutter Girl, Ero bon! Oyaji to musuko no seishun nikki, Macross Δ Movie: Gekijou no Walküre, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – The Rebellion Path, Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars, Gekijouban Tokimeki Restaurant: Miracle 6 Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

I hope everyone is well! This is going to be a super fast post light on details because I have been pushed for time this weekend! I completed editing a game’s story and have been busy at work on another project. I posted about the Berlin Film Festival, the theatrical and home release of Love and Other Cults and the closing film of this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Red Comet Club, Fumiko’s Feet, Kenen, Sea Opening, Spiritual Bolsheviki, Tonight, At The Movies / Tonight, At Romance Theatre, ON THE ROAD 2015-2016 Tabisuru Songu Raita- “Journey of a Songwriter”, Kanazawa Shutter Girl, Ero bon! Oyaji to musuko no seishun nikki, Macross Δ Movie: Gekijou no Walküre, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – The Rebellion Path, Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars, Gekijouban Tokimeki Restaurant: Miracle 6 Japanese Film Trailers”

Akihiro Toda’s “THE NAME (名前)” to Close Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

The team behind the Osaka Asian Film Festival has given a glimpse of the entire programme of films that will play at this year’s edition and full details of the film which will close this year’s festival, the Word Premiere of Akihiro Toda’s “THE NAME (名前)” which will play at the ABC Hall on Sunday, March 18th.

Here are details on the film:

The Name    The Name Film Poster

名前 Namae

Running Time: 114 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Akihiro Toda

Writer: Yusuke Moriguchi (Screenplay), Shusuke Michio (Original Story)

Starring: Kanji Tsuda, Ren Komai, Miho Kanazawa, Mako Komaki, Akari Kakimoto, Noriko Kijima, Yohta Kawase, Mayuko Nishiyama, Mariko Tsutsui,

IMDB

The Name Film Image

Synopsis: Moriya city in Ibaraki is a quiet place with residents who lead simple lives. Everyone, apart from a lonely angst-ridden bachelor named Masao Nakamura. Since losing his business and becoming penniless, he has adopted multiple identities to get by: Yoshikawa, a big businessman, Suzuki, the happy family man, Okubo, the doting husband who quit Tokyo to look after a sick wife. When his ruse about the sick wife is about to be exposed as a lie at work, a schoolgirl named Emiko Hayama steps in from out of nowhere and pretends to be his daughter.

Emiko is another person who loves to lie. Instead of facing a lonely home run by a single-mother, the girl hangs out with Masao and the pair strike up a friendship. It fills a gap in their lives but their lies hinder them from overcoming inner-turmoil. At some point a fake dad and a fake daughter will have to face their suffering in order to move on. Continue reading “Akihiro Toda’s “THE NAME (名前)” to Close Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018

The 68th Berlin International Film Festival, running from February 15th to the 25th, has a pretty good line-up of films but I’m super interested in the Japanese contingent. Thanks to the great media communication, the last few weeks have been building up lots of anticipation. I’ve been covering this festival for a while now and this year is as strong as many others.

Here are the Japanese films that have been programmed, just click on the titles to be taken to the festival listing.

Berlinale 2018 Logo

The Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art has programmed the Forum as part of the Berlinale, selecting 44 films, 35 of which world premieres. The International Forum of New CinemaForum is a bit like the wild west in the sense that the filmmakers selected come from different backgrounds and practice different forms of cinema from drama to avant garde, experimental works closer to art pieces to to observational documentaries, with subjects like political reportage and drama being given equal importance. There are a huge variety of films and topics few formal limitations when it comes to the selection of films, resulting in even greater freedom.

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018”