Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018 Round-Up

It’s the month of May!

I hope everybody is feeling top of the line!

After the chaos of April which turned out to be a bit of a Sion Sono month, I’m reaching back into March and my film work in Japan.

Thanks to the kindness of the organisers I worked at the Osaka Asian Film Festival as a writer/journalist again and I dove deep into finding out more about the Japanese indie film scene. To do this, I watched many films and interviewed directors, actors, and editors. It was a great experience meeting so many gifted people. Inspiring, uplifting, and fun!

I beat my last attempt and hit a new year’s resolution!

The event was super fun. It opened and closed with big ceremonies that went down well with the audiences that attended and some film history was made as actors and directors from the Hong Kong film industry made some interesting political comments during their Q&As about how HK filmmakers were being influenced by Mainland China.

In terms of the Japanese indie scene, the quality of the films was truly astounding as they were nearly all produced to a degree of high quality in terms of audio and visual quality with form being used in so many different ways to tell new and challenging stories and superb acting. Some were intellectually dense (or maybe I’m just too dense to figure out what the narrative was about) but most were a pleasure to try to understand with characters that were a pleasure to investigate with so many different layers to them and even new ways of looking at Japan. The programmers at the Osaka Asian Film Festival picked a selection of great titles and there were lots of guests.

This leads me to the journalistic side of things. The organisers helped arrange six interviews with directors, two of which were group interviews and I had an enjoyable time doing them. For the adventurous and determined writer, there were spaces available to interview people and I wish I had taken advantage of them more by planning better. Maybe next time. I’m in the process of getting the last of the interviews transcribed at the moment and I hope they illuminate the talent at work in Japan right now!

This is post will act as a central hub for people to see some of the work that I produced during March and April. Many of the reviews and interviews have already been published on V-Cinema but some are unique to this site. I couldn’t have done it without help from the people at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and the many talented and kind film-makers who took time out of their schedules to talk to me. Thank you, everyone!

Here’s the content!

Preview Piece
Preview (V-Cinema)

Short Films
Nagisa
CYCLE-CYCLE
Here and Here
Girl Returned
Filled with Steam (V-Cinema)
Ordinary Everyday (V-Cinema)
Night Working

Feature Films
The Sower (V-Cinema Review)
The Path Leading to Love (V-Cinema Review)
Bad Poetry Tokyo (V-Cinema Review)
Columbus (V-Cinema Review)
TOURISM (V-Cinema Review)
Passage of Life (V-Cinema Review)
Kushina, what will you be (V-Cinema Review)

Interviews
Takeuchi Yosuke (V-Cinema)
Hayami Moet (V-Cinema)
Miyazaki Daisuke (V-Cinema)
Tanaka Rina (Director), Kato Ryota (Writer), Fixy Lee (Editor), Takeshita Kaori, Sato Takehito (Actors) (V-Cinema)
Takayama Kohei (V-Cinema)
Bad Poetry Tokyo (V-Cinema)

Japan was brilliant once again. The fine weather and fine people and fine food made the experience of staying in places like Tokyo, Onomichi and Osaka, Kyoto and Kawagoe, Nara and Okayama truly wonderful as I did research and hunted down film locations and hung out with great people.

May and June are going to be busy months for me in my regular job so these reviews and interviews are going to be a great help as I work at making an exhibition a success and attend events down in London. As important as those things are, it’s the film work that really makes me happy. I hope you stick around and read the articles and find out more about these excellent films and the talented film-makers who made them!

There’s still plenty of work to do on the film front so stick with me.

Do what you love and help those who you love and will help you love, learn, and care more. That way you become better and do more good.

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