Japanese Films at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2019

The Glasgow Film Festival (February 20th – March 03rd) will launch for its 15th edition in just under a month’s time and there are three Japanese films on offer and one Japan-China co-production. Two of the titles come from Third Window Films and two have not been licensed for the UK as far as I am aware so this might be your best chance to see them.

Here is what is on offer:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Glasgow International Film Festival 2019”

Radiance 光 Dir: Naomi Kawase (2017)

RadianceHikari Film Poster

 Hikari

Running Time: 129 mins.

Release Date: May 27th , 2017

Director: Naomi Kawase

Writer: Naomi Kawase (Screenplay),

Starring: Masatoshi Nagase, Ayame Misaki, Tatsuya Fuji, Chihiro Ohtsuka, Kazuko Shirakawa, Saori Koide, Nobumitsu Onishi, Mantaro Koichi,

Website IMDB

Naomi Kawase is one of the “4 Ks”, directors who dominate contemporary Japanese cinema (the others are Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Kitano and Kore-eda) and she is a film-maker whose ability to capture sensual experiences makes for transcendent films. This is something which masks the slightness of some of her stories but at the same time it lends them more power. With Radiance she looks at the transcendent nature of film itself and she does so through the realm of using words.

Misako Ozaki (Ayame Misaki) is a woman who is involved in a project providing audio description for films for the visually impaired. She watches films and writes down the best way to describe scenes and characters and then presents them to a panel of people who critique her work so she can tweak it for a wider release. Masaya Nakamori (Masatoshi Nagase) is one of those people on the panel. He is a genius photographer and he has the harshest criticisms. The two initially don’t get on because Masaya has a cold attitude but when Misako sees a photograph of a sunset shot by him, she is inspired to look into Masaya’s life and discovers that he is losing his sight and their relationship changes as she gets to know him.Radiance Film Image 2

Continue reading “Radiance 光 Dir: Naomi Kawase (2017)”

Aiuta: My Promise To Nakuhito, School-Live!, Restaurant in the Sky, 12 Suicidal Teens, Day and Night, The Nikaido’s Fall, Imagination Alone is Beautiful GO TO THE FUTURE, Parallel World Theater, Kamen Rider Build NEW WORLD: Kamen Rider Cross-Z, Le Chocolat de H, Kakitai, ga tomaranai, Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case. 1 Crime and Punishment Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Wild Zero Guns Out

I hope you are all well!

The weather has gotten cold and I have been staying in a bit more and watching films. I’ve continued my exercise routines and trying to get my English language studies back in flow. Really, this is business as usual.

This week I posted a review for Pink and Gray (2016) and a preview for the Japanese films playing at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam.

What is released this week?

Continue reading “Aiuta: My Promise To Nakuhito, School-Live!, Restaurant in the Sky, 12 Suicidal Teens, Day and Night, The Nikaido’s Fall, Imagination Alone is Beautiful GO TO THE FUTURE, Parallel World Theater, Kamen Rider Build NEW WORLD: Kamen Rider Cross-Z, Le Chocolat de H, Kakitai, ga tomaranai, Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Toshitemo, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case. 1 Crime and Punishment Japanese Film Trailers”

Pink and Gray ピンクとグレー Dir: Isao Yukisada (2015)

Pink and Gray   

Pink and Gray Film Poster
Pink and Gray Film Poster

ピンクとグレー Pinku to gure-

Release Date: January 09th, 2015

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Isao Yukisada

Writer: Ryuta Horai, Isao Yukisada (Screenplay), Shigeaki Kato (Original Novel)

Starring: Yuto Nakajima, Masaki Suda, Kaho, Yuya Yagira, Yukino Kishii, Makita Sports, Jingi Irie,

Website    IMDB

The first casualty of fame is typically friendship as changing personalities, lifestyles and goals tear apart relationships. It is a familiar subject in film and audiences will be able to spot jealousy and arrogance rearing their heads and causing ructions between characters before hoping that all problems will be solved and friendship healed by the end. Shigeaki Kato, a young idol with the boyband NEWS (signed to the label/idol factory Johnny’s Entertainment) wrote this type of story in his 2012 novel of the same name but it features a twist that gives it a little freshness and director Isao Yukisada (Crying Out Love in the Centre of the Earth, Go, Aroused by Gymnopedies).

The film opens with scenes from a ballet and a suicide. As the ballet climaxes we see a popular actor named Rengo Shiraki (Yuto Nakajima) hang himself. His best friend Daiki Kawata (Masaki Suda) enters the scene in the aftermath. Daiki is left facing a beautiful corpse and six wills that have been left on a nearby coffee table. An accompanying note written by Rengo apologises and informs Daiki that he must choose one will but before we know what the wills contain we are taken back in time to their first meeting.

Continue reading “Pink and Gray ピンクとグレー Dir: Isao Yukisada (2015)”

Japanese Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019

The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 starts on January 23rd and ends on February 03rd. There are many Japanese titles, nearly all of them being indies and all but two in the Bright Future strand which is dedicated to supporting new artists such as Natsuka Kusano and Koki Tanaka. There is also the Voices strand which is a place for more established directors like Shinya Tsukamoto. The indies towards the end of this post look fascinating.

Here are the films!

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019”

Made in Abyss Movie 2: Wandering Twilight, Chiwawa, His Lost Name, Masquerade Hotel, Mentai Piriri, Touken Ranbu: The Movie, Divine Justice, Yuri!!! on ICE TV Series Kyo gekijō jōei, Gekijonan DARWIN Ga Kita! Africa Shindensetsu, Kazokuwari, Documentary Film Taro Okamoto’s Okinawa – What He Found, A Step Forward, The Fox Dancing in the Dusk, SAVE THE DAY SILENT POETS SPECIAL DUB BAND LIVE SHOW the MOVIE Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone.

i am a hero film image yo oizumi masami nagasawa and kasumi arimura

I hope you are all well.

Proofing for that otome game script I was working on has now been completed. I did it in the space of twelve days or so. I’m going through it again to tighten things up. I have a month and a bit left before the deadline.

Not much done in terms of movie-watching but I did get a review done for a big title from last year.

I posted reviews for two Shinsuke Sato films, the first being I Am a Hero (2016) and the second Inuyashiki (2018). I really enjoyed these two films and highly recommend them. Please watch them if you get the chance because they are fun and have thrilling fights, super special effects and awesome acting.

I need to be a hero soon so I’ll be studying Japanese intensely.

What films are released this weekend?

Continue reading “Made in Abyss Movie 2: Wandering Twilight, Chiwawa, His Lost Name, Masquerade Hotel, Mentai Piriri, Touken Ranbu: The Movie, Divine Justice, Yuri!!! on ICE TV Series Kyo gekijō jōei, Gekijonan DARWIN Ga Kita! Africa Shindensetsu, Kazokuwari, Documentary Film Taro Okamoto’s Okinawa – What He Found, A Step Forward, The Fox Dancing in the Dusk, SAVE THE DAY SILENT POETS SPECIAL DUB BAND LIVE SHOW the MOVIE Japanese Film Trailers”

Inuyashiki いぬやしき Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2018)

Inuyashiki         Inuyashiki Film Poster

いぬやしき Inuyashiki

Running Time: 127 mins.

Release Date: April 20th, 2018

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Writer: Hiroshi Hashimoto (Screenplay), Hiroya Oku (Original Manga)

Starring: Noritake Kinashi, Takeru Satoh, Kanata Hongo, Fumi Nikaido, Yuki Saito, Yusuke Iseya, Mari Hamada, Ayaka Miyoshi, Nayuta Fukuzaki,

Website IMDB

Ever since his debut The Princess Blade (2001), director Shinsuke Sato has helmed action-packed films with a particular focus on live-action adaptations of manga. Titles in his filmography include Death Note: Light Up the New World, Library Wars, and I Am a Hero. He also sat in the directors chair for the two adaptations of Hiroya Oku’s manga Gantz which were released in the early 00s. Most are slick and solid and his style is improving all the time with Inuyashiki, which is based on another of Oku’s works, being his best yet. This is like a coherent, sanitised, high-budget take on Tetsuo The Iron Man.

Continue reading “Inuyashiki いぬやしき Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2018)”

I Am a Hero アイアムアヒーロー Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2016)

I Am a Hero   

I am a Hero FIlm Poster
I am a Hero FIlm Poster

アイアムアヒーロー「Ai amu a hi-ro-

Release Date: April 23rd, 2016

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Writer: Akiko Nogi (Screenplay), Kengo Hanazawa (Original Manga)

Starring: Yo Oizumi, Masami Nagasawa, Kasumi Arimura, Miho Suzuki, Yu Tokui, Yoshinari Okada, Nana Katase,

Website    IMDB

I Am a Hero is the best zombie film to have come out in a long, long time or at least since 28 Days Later (2002) when Danny Boyle sent fast-running infected across the streets of London. Much like the aforementioned title, I Am a Hero has zed-heads that tear across the screen and they are very scary to behold and much like the classic titles of the zombie genre such as George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) it features some social commentary. Also, unlike tongue-in-cheek J-horror zom-comedies like Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (2008) and Big Tits Zombie (2010), I Am a Hero is serious and rooted in our world and gleefully slaps it sideways in a gory horror film that does justice to its source.

Continue reading “I Am a Hero アイアムアヒーロー Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2016)”

Hikari no Uta, Listen to Light, Konomichi, Kinkyuu Kenshou! The Movie Nessie vs Nostradamus vs Uri Geller, The Saddest Audition in the World, Gekijouban Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel II. lost butterfly, Kimi kara me ga hanasenai Eyes on You, Cinema Kabuki Hototogisu Kojou Rakugetsu, Cinema Kabuki Yang Qin Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Kuon Mayo Walking Along a Street

Hope you are all well.

I am currently nearing the end of a big proofreading job and it’s a month and a half ahead of the deadline and that was by doing it before work, on my commute to work, in work and after work. I intend to move on to really intensive Japanese practice so that will be after I wake up in the morning, during the day, and during the evening. I also intend to keep the reviews going by watching a couple of titles a week and exercise. Cannot forget about exercise. I’m packing as much in as possible.

In terms of reviews, I posted about Train to Busan and Seoul Station a week after my review of One Cut of the Dead. I will keep it up with the zombie movies with what I consider to be the best I have seen in a long, long time. Speaking as someone who watched Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead on VHS and then DVD multiple times, I was pleased to see how this particular movie shaped up. Okay. That’s enough disjointed hype.

What films are released this weekend?

Continue reading “Hikari no Uta, Listen to Light, Konomichi, Kinkyuu Kenshou! The Movie Nessie vs Nostradamus vs Uri Geller, The Saddest Audition in the World, Gekijouban Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel II. lost butterfly, Kimi kara me ga hanasenai Eyes on You, Cinema Kabuki Hototogisu Kojou Rakugetsu, Cinema Kabuki Yang Qin Japanese Film Trailers”

Seoul Station 서울역 Dir: Yeon Sang-Ho (2016)

Seoul Station   

서울역 Seoulyeok

Running Time: 92 mins.

Release Date: August 18th, 2016

Director:  Yeon Sang-Ho

Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho (Screenplay),

Starring: Shim Eun-Kyung, Ryoo Seung-Ryong, Lee Joon, Jang Hyuk-Hin, Lee Sang-Hee, Hwang Suk-Jung, Kim Nam-Jin,

IMDB

Seoul Station is the animated prequel to Train to Busan (TtB). Both made in 2016, the animation was released a couple of months before its more famous live-action sibling according to IMDB. It features similar themes to TtB in its criticism of an unjust society but it does not have a drop of sentimentality. This is a bleak look at life at the bottom in Seoul as the city stands on the cusp of a zombie apocalypse.

Continue reading “Seoul Station 서울역 Dir: Yeon Sang-Ho (2016)”