So the pink film label OP PICTURES have booked out a cinema in Tokyo and are screening their latest works under the title OP PICTURES+FEST 2018. There is a lot to cover and not enough time. I had to split up last week’s trailer post into two because of the amount of content and I have raced through things here. The same bunch of directors and actors have worked on these titles and they will all be screened until mid-September. These aren’t my cup of tea.
This year’s Raindance Film Festivaltakes place from September 26thtoOctober 07thand it takes place at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square. There are a selection of Japanese films that are sure to capture the interest of anybody including Room Laundering which caught the attention of many film fans when it played at Fantasia Film Fest in Canada. We also see Aya Igashi who was at Cannes in 2017 and an award-winning film from this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival.
I write “still” because, if you read yesterday’s trailer post, you’ll know this is a two-parter because there was a lot released over this weekend. Yesterday was anime and dramas, today is politics, porn, and horror. More porn is getting released over the next week but I’ll round them up with next week’s trailer post. Uuuhhhh, right. I’m going to watch three films over the weekend and take a trip to the sea. I’m counting down the days to a London trip next week and also a sushi party with work colleagues. I’m also looking into a new writing style.
This is the first of a two-part trailer post because there’s a lot of films getting released over the next three days due to a horror festival and a soft-core porn label showcasing some works. Titles from those two will be shown tomorrow. Today will be anime and live-action dramas.
My week was spent binge-watching Nobuo Nakagawa films and then Camera Japan released its programme and Nakagawa features prominently. I had a day off yesterday after working for 11 days straight and tried to watch a three hour thirty minute drama from the 60s, but ended up only watching 40-odd minutes because I got caught up doing press work Kotatsu, a British festival, and enjoying the sunshine for a spell. I posted about the Japanese films at the L’Etrange Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, this week.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 06th to the 16th and it has a good selection of films that have cropped up in other festivals and one brand-new title so putting this post together was easier than in previous years.
I occasionally write about the odd film screening outside of festivals when something I grew up with will get played and there are two titles which will be screened in New York in September and October that are dynamite.
This song is so well-known in Japan that I could sing it in a bar and get a chorus going. This film is also super-popular inside and outside of Japan. Nobuhiro Yamashita, his familiar writing partner Kosuke Mukai along with Wakako Miyashita craft a charming drama with an infectious song at its core. I’ll review it one day.
Synopsis:A high school is about to stage its festival and am all-girl band who hope to perform finds itself falling apart when members depart. Those that are left scramble to fill in the empty slots and a Korean exchange student named Son (Doona Bae) finds herself being asked to provide lead vocals. Their mission is to master the 1987 hit song “Linda Linda” by Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts and their performance is truly something to enjoy.
The L’Etrange Festival runs from September 05 to 16 in Paris and it continues in its mission to show rare and unusual films that might be passed over by other festivals and it also shows classic films that fit that criteria. I saw a previous edition of the festival which had a special focus on Kiyoshi Kurosawa and, just for a little while, I wanted to be French. This year’s festival has a feast of 60’s and 70’s Nikkatsu movies, like whole series of films not normally shown on screen together at the same place, as well as contemporary films that have cropped up on the festival circuit this year ranging from geki-animation to live-action.
What Japanese films are programmed at L’Etrange this year?
I’m pushed for time. I have to write. I have to practice Japanese. I have to work every day. I’m happy. I need to improve in all areas and so I’m going back to Japanese language classes in September. I’m going to study before then. Also, I’ve got a lot of films to watch as part of Donation Theater since the site went live with the films for people who donated. Friends and the families of friends in western Japan are safe but for those who had to be evacuated or lost their old lives, Donation Theater is providing assistance. Why not donate something and help out?
Director Kazuya Shiraishi follows his Roman Porno, Dawn of the Felines with this blistering film.
Hiroshima is a prefecture with lots of natural beauty but filmmakers do like to find drama in the dark underbelly of the place, perhaps most famously with Kinji Fukasaku’s 1970s crime film series Battles without Honour and Humanity which was based on the experiences of a post-war yakuza boss from Hiroshima. Kazuya Shiraishi takes audiences into the same world with The Blood of Wolves, a film which feels like a throwback to an earlier time due to its raw violence, emotions, and the character archetypes in play. Shiraishi is no stranger to the crime genre thanks to his previous films The Devil’s Path (2013) and Twisted Justice (2016) but this is his best crime film yet and it is all down to a magnetic performance from lead actor Koji Yakusho and his character’s no-holds barred attitude to policing.
Adult magazines are big business worldwide, including in Japan where it is still possible to walk into some convenience stores and see them on open display although in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, this is getting cleaned up. Masanori Tominaga’s biopic Dynamite Graffiti tells the history of raunchy magazine mogul Akira Suei, starting from childhood to the peak of his infamy in the 1980s when his publications had a circulation of over 300,000 copies a month and he publicly challenged censors with his magazine’s content.
Tominaga aims big and scores some smiles with behind-the-scenes looks at the smut trade but the scale of his script’s ambitions in trying to capture changing times delivers a cast of characters who are little more than cyphers while Suei remains a joker.