Pumpkin Girl, honey, Psychic Agents, Neteru toki dake aishiteru., Deaf Person’s South America Report, Kalafina 10th Anniversary Film Yume ga Tsunagu Kagayaki no Harmony, ANIMA o ute!, Tokyo Outskearts Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I had a fantastic week visiting temples and shrines, museums, and restaurants with friends and, performing hanami with wonderful people. It was a fantastic experience that will stay with me. Now I’m back in the trenches writing reviews and transcribing interviews using my free time before I go back to my regular job next week. I posted two reviews this week: Girl Returned and CYCLE-CYCLE, both screened at the Osaka Asian Film Festival.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Pumpkin Girl, honey, Psychic Agents, Neteru toki dake aishiteru., Deaf Person’s South America Report, Kalafina 10th Anniversary Film Yume ga Tsunagu Kagayaki no Harmony, ANIMA o ute!, Tokyo Outskearts Japanese Film Trailers”

Advertisements

Girl Returned 帰ってきた少女 Dir: Satoru Hirohara (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

Girl Returned

帰ってきた少女 Kaette kita shoujo

Running Time: 44 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Satoru Hirohara

Writer: Satoru Hirohara (Screenplay),

Starring: Reina Kikuchi, Masahiro Ezaki, Toru Kizu, Sakiko Takao, Michie Kita,

Website

Girl Returned” is built around a nightmare scenario – a child has been kidnapped. 15-year-old Misaki Fujino (Reina Kikuchi) was snatched by an average-looking guy while jogging and held imprisoned in his apartment for two years. Following her rescue by the police, she is allowed back to her home but the experience has left her not knowing what to do. Finally free from her kidnapper, she is now trapped in the role of a victim. The media wait outside the house for a story, her parents are trapped inside with the fear she will disappear again, and Misaki… all she does is wait for the time to pass and the scandal to die down.

IF04_GirlReturned

Continue reading “Girl Returned 帰ってきた少女 Dir: Satoru Hirohara (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

CYCLE-CYCLE Dir: Junichi Kanai (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

CYCLE-CYCLE

Running Time: 18 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Junichi Kanai

Writer: Junichi Kanai (Screenplay),

Starring: Jinto Yoshida, Haruki Yamazaki, Daichi Shiozaki

Website IMDB

Jinto Yoshida, Haruki Yamazaki, and Daichi Shiozaki are three members of the idol group M!LK and they are starring in a short film billed as a “fresh, light, absurd teen movie which sharply cuts into Japan social problems.” What audiences will get is a well-shot mildly amusing road-trip movie with only the slightest glance at a social problem. However, for fans of the group, this is the perfect film that highlights the foibles and behaviour of the people they adore.

The story starts with two high school boys, Junpei and Satoshi, who have started a bicycle trip around Japan on a tandem after failing their college entrance exams. Headstrong Junpei claims he is on this trip because he is determined to look at his life from a fresh perspective but Satoshi is more interested in looking at his social media profile and hoping for a bump in followers with his journey. Soon they argue and split up. Junpei keeps going on his own trip by bicycle and picks up a hitch-hiker named Mitsuru to ride with him.

IF02_cyclecycle

Continue reading “CYCLE-CYCLE Dir: Junichi Kanai (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

Eriko Pretended, Laughing Under the Clouds, Girl’s Play, The Final Parting, Saimon and Tada Takashi, Goku Tomo, From Taiwan with Love, From Taiwan with Love, Spit & Honey Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Eriko, Pretended Film Image

I’m just about ready to get back into normal service again after spending much of last week working and much of this week travelling. The sun has been shining, I had dinner with a really cool person I admire and I visited good places. I am happy.

I have more OAFF 2018 reviews stacked up, the only reason I didn’t post them this week was because I was rushing around doing things or relaxing and exploring places and, I must admit, I need to do rewrites on some. That period is almost over as I am about to resume my normal life but the festival process is starting with Kotatsu and I am working on new projects in my day-job.

What is released this weekend in Japan (we’re on time this week, people!!!)?

Continue reading “Eriko Pretended, Laughing Under the Clouds, Girl’s Play, The Final Parting, Saimon and Tada Takashi, Goku Tomo, From Taiwan with Love, From Taiwan with Love, Spit & Honey Japanese Film Trailers”

Chihayafuru: Musubi, Dynamite Graffiti, Eiga Precure Super Stars!, Magic Town, Niwatori Star, Kamisama no wadachi check point of the life, Youth Discovery Film, Tomoyasu Murata Stop-Motion, Ai-chan: the Teen Detective from Yoshimoto Shinkigeki, across the border Cu-Bop Japanese Film Trailers

Happy mid-week, everyone!(?!?!?)

Here and Here Film Image

This post is late because I was doing a lot of press work at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and working late into the night on the final two days. I maintained by cool better than last year but a few mistakes slipped in because I tend to rush to complete work. Still, the team pulled through. There was that dull pressure that comes after exhaustion sets in on the final night but I found the experience gratifying. It’s almost all over now and I’m travelling. I’m currently staying with a cool friend for the night before moving on to a new location tomorrow. My reviews for films I have seen at the Osaka Asian Film Festival are starting to be published such as Here and Here and Nagisa on this blog and I’ve got interviews to transcribe and get checked before publishing. So, plenty of work to do!

I hope everyone is having fun.

What was released last weekend?

Continue reading “Chihayafuru: Musubi, Dynamite Graffiti, Eiga Precure Super Stars!, Magic Town, Niwatori Star, Kamisama no wadachi check point of the life, Youth Discovery Film, Tomoyasu Murata Stop-Motion, Ai-chan: the Teen Detective from Yoshimoto Shinkigeki, across the border Cu-Bop Japanese Film Trailers”

Here and Here 憧れ Dir: Yoshimasa Jimbo (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

Here and Here 

憧れ Akogare

Running Time: 20 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Yoshimasa Jimbo

Writer: Yoshimasa Jimbo (Screenplay),

Starring: Heo Rynn, Heo Min-kyung, Lee Yoon-sun, Lee Hae-soon,

Website IMDB

The South Korean city of Busan is most famous as a hotbed of cinema and politics and one of the many projects it hosts is a three-week film-making residency that allows directors to make a short film with a Korean cast and staff which will then be screened at the UNESCO sponsored Busan Inter-City Film Festival. Taking part in last year’s residency was Jimbo Yoshimasa whose high-quality work, “Here and Here” turns the camera on the city and its residents in a drama about a pregnant woman confronting her fears about giving birth.

Taking place over the course of one day, we follow Mina, a writer for B.Cent magazine. Despite being seven-months pregnant, she is roaming the city of Busan for an article about people’s first memories. She is collecting them through a series of interviews she records and plays back over the film. Old men and young girls, whoever catches her attention gets questioned and their answers provide something of a soundtrack. Behind her smiles, she is anxious about what giving birth feels like as is revealed through an underlying subtext of her fears that emerges during her interviews and phone conversations with someone from her personal life who is off-screen.

Continue reading “Here and Here 憧れ Dir: Yoshimasa Jimbo (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

NAGISA なぎさ Dir: Takeshi Kogahara (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

NAGISA

なぎさ Nagisa

Running Time: 18 mins.

Release Date: June 17th, 2017

Director: Takeshi Kogahara

Writer: Takeshi Kogahara (Screenplay),

Starring: Kenshin Endo, Himeka Asami, Shu Takaura, Namiko Ikeda, Ruri Ikeda, Minami Muroi,

IMDB
Cinematic explorations of first love are seemingly a dime a dozen but each can be special if given a twist and Nagisa” is special. This is a tale of innocent love at the height of summer as a schoolboy tries to get closer to the titular Nagisa and what makes it special is that Takeshi Kogahara uses various cinematic techniques to show how a human connection and a moment in time can imprint itself in a person’s memory and heart and influence a life. 

It all starts on the edge of the school pool, Fuminao, a sensitive and quiet boy, is sat next to his classmate Nagisa, a playful and teasing girl he has admired from afar.

Continue reading “NAGISA なぎさ Dir: Takeshi Kogahara (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

Sennan Asbestos Disaster, Eiga Shimajirō: Mahō no Shima no Daibōken, Karanukan, Kids on the Slope, Sakamichi no Apollon, Sakura Guardian of the North, Last Winter We Parted, Gekijôban Urutoraman Jîdo Tsunagu ze! Negai!! Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, People!

Before We Vanish Film Image

By the time you read this, things are already underway at the 2018 run of the Osaka Asian Film Festival where there are over 50 films from across the world getting screened around the city. I hope to bring you reviews of as many of these films as possible. What will happen is that they will get posted at V-Cinema and then I’ll post them here as they go up. There are some great titles that are sure to get screened around the world so there’s plenty to look forward to.

This week, I posted a review for “Before We Vanish” (2017) which was published on V-Cinema just over a month ago. I also posted a review of the Junichi Kanai film “Transferring” (2012).

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Sennan Asbestos Disaster, Eiga Shimajirō: Mahō no Shima no Daibōken, Karanukan, Kids on the Slope, Sakamichi no Apollon, Sakura Guardian of the North, Last Winter We Parted, Gekijôban Urutoraman Jîdo Tsunagu ze! Negai!! Japanese Film Trailers”

Transferring 転校生  Dir: Junichi Kanai (2012)

Transferring

校生  「Tenkousei」    

Running Time: 20 mins.

Release Date: 2012

Director: Junichi Kanai

Writer: Junichi Kanai (Screenplay),

Starring: Aoi Morikawa, Riko Masuda, Tomoki Fujiwara,

IMDB

Junichi Kanai’s short film, “Transferring” was the winner of the Sonje Award at the 2012 Pusan International Film Festival and Best Picture at the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival 2013. This is a touching and amusing comedy about two outsiders making a connection.

Continue reading “Transferring 転校生  Dir: Junichi Kanai (2012)”

Before We Vanish 散歩する侵略者 Dir:  Kiyoshi Kurosawa (2017)

Before We Vanish (English Title) / Strolling Invader (Literal Title)  Before We Vanish Film Poster

 散歩する侵略者 Sanpo suru Shinryakusha

Running Time: 129 mins.

Release Date: September 09th , 2017

Director:  Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Screenplay), Tomohiro Maekawa (Original Stageplay),

Starring: Ryuhei Matsuda, Masami Nagasawa, Mahiro Takasugi, Yuri Tsunematsu, Hiroki Hasegawa,

Website IMDB

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is often pigeon-holed as a horror director with ghosts lurking in the darkness but his latest title, Before We Vanish is his first alien invasion movie and features the threat in broad daylight. Based on a stageplay by Tomohiro Maekawa which was first performed in 2005, this film appeared at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and has had a dorama spin-off. A glib comparison might be Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as aliens travel to Earth and take human hosts but in this chat-pocalypse the tension is dialled down for a surprisingly effective examination of what it means to be human with surprising results that may or may not stop the end of humanity.

Somewhere in Shizuoka, freelance designer Narumi (Masami Nagasawa) and her salaryman husband Shinji Kase (Ryuhei Matsuda) are having problems of the marital sort. He is suspected of cheating and has recently disappeared so when Narumi is summoned to a hospital to pick him up she is furious. However, the man facing her in the doctor’s office seems like a totally different person, a blank slate with vague memories of his life and a problem knowing how to navigate social situations and even use his body properly. Things learned over time have been shorn away from him including the basic meaning behind various ideas such as possession, family, and love. He wants to learn these things and so he asks Narumi to be his guide. When she isn’t around, he likes to go for a walk and talk to random people and get their understanding of a situation or word. What happens next reveals his alien nature as he engages in a game of word association. He gently questions people until he actually sees the ideas visually forming in their head and, once that happens, he touches the person’s forehead and plucks the idea away, learning a new concept while erasing it from the speaker. Sinec he’s an alien, it is how he learns what makes humans work.

Before We Vanish Film Image

After so many relationship problems, Narumi is surprised by her kinder and gentler man who tries to understand her more. What she doesn’t know is that she has the easier alien to deal with.

Continue reading “Before We Vanish 散歩する侵略者 Dir:  Kiyoshi Kurosawa (2017)”