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Human Comedy in Tokyo 東京人間喜劇 Dir: Koji Fukada (2008)

Human Comedy in Tokyo    Human Comedy Tokyo Film Poster

東京人間喜劇 Tokyo Ningen Kigeki

Running Time: 139 mins.

Release Date: October 11th, 2008

Director:  Koji Fukada

Writer:  Koji Fukada (Screenplay),

Starring: Michitaro Mizushima, Misako Watanabe, Shoichi Ozawa, Shinsuke Ashida, Mari Shiraki, Akira Hisamatsu, Tatsuo Matsushita, Reiko Arai, Kotoe Hatsui,

IMDB

Having watched Fukada’s later works, Harmonium (2016), Sayonara (2015) and Au revoir l’ete (2013) (in that order), I was a fool to expect his feature-film debut Human Comedy Tokyo (2008) to actually be a comedy. What it has to say about human relations makes it one of the bleakest films I have seen in a while as we find that the title is super ironic because he depicts people in Tokyo as super isolated. Continue reading “Human Comedy in Tokyo 東京人間喜劇 Dir: Koji Fukada (2008)”

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Au revoir l’ete ほとりの朔子 Dir: Koji Fukada (2014)

Au revoir l’ete          

Au revoir lete Film poster
Au revoir lete Film poster

ほとりの朔子 「Hotori no Sakuko」

Running Time: 125 mins.

Release Date: January 18th, 2014

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer: Koji Fukada (Screenplay)

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Mayu Tsuruta, Kanji Furutachi, Taiga, Ena Koshino, Makiko Watanabe, Kiki Sugino

Website

Koji Fukada is a film-maker inspired by the cultures of France and Indonesia as best evidenced by him transplanting elements to his native Japan in his many works. His like of French New Wave cinema is made obvious by this film, Au Revoir l’ete, which means goodbye summer and plays like an Eric Rohmer film where relationships are unpicked in a nonchalant manner as we get to a deeper understanding of some human relationships. It’s the perfect title for a film that describes the quiet misadventures of a teenage girl who waves goodbye to her naivete and matures a little more while in the company of some childish adults.

It is late August and an eighteen-year-old Tokyoite Sakuko (Fumi Nikaido) is a ronin student who is preparing to take her university entrance exam after flunking her previous one. Studying is the perfect excuse for her to tag along with her aunt Mikie (Mayu Tsuruta) who is house-sitting for her sister, Sakuko’s mother, in a sleepy coastal town.

Au revoir l'ete Film Image 3

Continue reading “Au revoir l’ete ほとりの朔子 Dir: Koji Fukada (2014)”

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Ano Hi no Orugan, The Island of Cats, Omaera Zenin Mendokusai!, Rin, Samurai Marathon 1855, Tonde Saitama, When Mother Died, I Thought That I Wanted to Eat Remains, Boku no kanojo wa mahoutsukai, Junction 29, Michikusa, Mirai no Atashi, Made in Japan, Sora no Hitomi to Katatsumuri, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Giko no kakusei, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Nero no fukushu Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you are well!!

This is another truncated film trailer post and there are so many titles getting released over this weekend and the next! As far as film review go, I started a mini-season dedicated to Koji Fukada with reviews of Sayonara and Hospitalite.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Ano Hi no Orugan, The Island of Cats, Omaera Zenin Mendokusai!, Rin, Samurai Marathon 1855, Tonde Saitama, When Mother Died, I Thought That I Wanted to Eat Remains, Boku no kanojo wa mahoutsukai, Junction 29, Michikusa, Mirai no Atashi, Made in Japan, Sora no Hitomi to Katatsumuri, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Giko no kakusei, Chimamire sukeban chenso red: Kohen – Nero no fukushu Japanese Film Trailers”

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Sayonara さよなら Dir: Koji Fukada (2015)

Sayonara      

Sayonara Film Poster
Sayonara Film Poster

さよなら「Sayonara

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Koji Fukada

Writer:  Koji Fukada, Oriza Hirata (Screenplay),

Starring: Bryerly Long, Hirofumi Arai, Geminoid F, Makiko Murata, Yuko Kibiki, Nijiro Murakami,

Website   IMDB

Koji Fukada’s (Hospitalité, Au revoir l’été) 2015 movie Sayonara is billed as the first ever film with an android as one of the stars. As intriguing as seeing an artificial life-form act seems to be, the final result is a pretty lifeless affair in both acting and story terms but it does have some emotional impact.

It is based on a collaboration between Japanese playwright Oriza Hirata (a familiar collaborator with Fukada) and a leading robotics scientist named Hiroshi Ishiguro who works at Osaka University and has been developing different models of the Geminoid androids since 2005. Their team-up resulted in a 15-minute stage-play that travelled Japan with people being able to see the actor Bryerly Long conversing with the latest in android technology. With the two actors on stage and sat down it was a largely static affair in a story where a human woman comes to terms with her impending death through talking and the recitation of poetry. The film largely adopts the stage-play from what I have read and, despite looking good, suffers from relaying the content straight in an end-of-the-world tale that takes two hours but feels longer.

Continue reading “Sayonara さよなら Dir: Koji Fukada (2015)”

hospitalité 歓待1.1 Dir: Koji Fukada (2011)

hospitalité   Hospitalite Film Poster

歓待1.1 Kantai 1.1

Running Time: 153 mins.

Release Date: April 23rd, 2011

Director:  Koji Fukada

Writer: Koji Fukada (Screenplay)

Starring: Kenji Yamauchi, Kiki Sugino, Kanji Furutachi, Bryerly Long, Eriko Ono, Naoki Sugawara, Hiroko Matsuda,

IMDB

Japan is a society where manners and decorum are everything. This is good for the most part. Politeness is the oil that makes society run smoothly. It does have its problems because it can be a nice veneer used to cover up nefarious behaviour or act as a battering ram forcing people to act certain ways. In such an environment, all sorts of negative emotions like paranoia and mistrust can run rife under the surface of individuals and social groups. Hospitalite makes this environment its playground and takes things to absurd heights as it critiques how Japanese society can use outsiders as a scapegoat for problems inside the community.

Continue reading “hospitalité 歓待1.1 Dir: Koji Fukada (2011)”

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Another World, Fortuna’s Eye, Smiles Leading to Happiness, Tiger: My Life as a Cat, Dynamite Wolf, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case.2 First Guardian, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion, The Royal Tutor Film Version, FIGHTERS THE MOVIE Challenge with Dream, Bon Uta A Song From Home, Memories of a Dead End, Iron Girl Final Wars, Shota Sometani Films, Kiyosumi, Blank, Similar But Different, LAPSE, Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!Charisma Yabuki (Yakusho) at the Bus stop

I hope you are all well!

The next few weekend posts are going to be really brief and probably lacklustre because I am super busy. I have had my time packed with all sorts of things like proofing friend’s works, finishing a game script and trying to practice Japanese. Fortunately, I have a stack of reviews good to go for the next month and a bit so that takes the pressure off. This week’s review was for Destiny a Tale of Kamakura (2017) and there was news about Shinya Tsukamoto who will receive the Nippon Honor Award at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival in May.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Another World, Fortuna’s Eye, Smiles Leading to Happiness, Tiger: My Life as a Cat, Dynamite Wolf, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case.2 First Guardian, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion, The Royal Tutor Film Version, FIGHTERS THE MOVIE Challenge with Dream, Bon Uta A Song From Home, Memories of a Dead End, Iron Girl Final Wars, Shota Sometani Films, Kiyosumi, Blank, Similar But Different, LAPSE, Japanese Film Trailers”

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Shinya Tsukamoto will receive Nippon Honor Award at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival

Shinya TsukamotoShinya Tsukamoto will receive the NIPPON HONOR AWARD at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (May 28th – June 02nd). Shinya Tsukamoto tweeted this news earlier in the month and it has been confirmed by a press release sent out on Tuesday this week. This is the fifth time the award has been bestowed on someone and it goes to a person who has made outstanding contributions to Japanese cinema. I can’t think of a better person at the moment!

Fans of Japanese films who have followed this blog for a while will know I am a big fan of the actor and director, editor and cinematographer. He was one of the first directors I went and wrote a biography for and reviewed a whole bunch of his films (my favourite being Vital). In fact, I met him at the Raindance Independent Film Festival a few years back and had my picture taken with him just before a screening of Fires on the Plain!

Anyway, according to the press release:

Continue reading “Shinya Tsukamoto will receive Nippon Honor Award at the 19th Nippon Connection Film Festival”

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Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり Dir:  Takashi Yamazaki (2017)

Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura   DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari Film Poster

DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari

Running Time: 129 mins.

Release Date: December 09th, 2017

Director:  Takashi Yamazaki

Writer:  Takashi Yamazaki (Screenplay), Ryohei Saigan (Original Manga)

Starring: Masato Sakai, Mitsuki Takahata, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Sakura Ando, Min Tanaka, Tamao Nakamura, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Kunimura, Tomokazu Miura,

Website IMDB

Kamakura is one of the old capitals of Japan and the most magical place in the country according to Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura. In this CG-heavy adventure, a young woman discovers her new husband’s titular home town is where the borders between life, death, fairytale and reality are blurred as she and her beloved embark on a magical fantasy adventure.

Continue reading “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり Dir:  Takashi Yamazaki (2017)”

Born Bone Born, Back Street Girls: Gokudoruzu, 21st Century Girl, 40 Manbun no 1, 1 in 400000, Saga of Tanya the Evil, City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, Amanogawa, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Smile Playing Ping Pong

I hope everyone is feeling great!

Since the last time I wrote a trailer post I have spent my days either meeting thousands of people in my day job (I kid you not) or watching films from around Asia in the comfort of my home. I managed to finish off a big proof reading projects. In terms of writing on this blog, I posted a review of Blame !(2017), a preview of the Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2019, and a glance at the Closing Film at Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019.

Here are the new films released this weekend:

Continue reading “Born Bone Born, Back Street Girls: Gokudoruzu, 21st Century Girl, 40 Manbun no 1, 1 in 400000, Saga of Tanya the Evil, City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, Amanogawa, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Japanese Film Trailers”

Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues

The closing film of Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – 17th) has been announced and it is the Vietnamese family comedy Daddy Issues. This is the Japanese premiere of a film directed by Ken Ochiai whose Kyoto-based film Uzumasa Limelight (2014) should be familiar to fans of Japanese cinema – quite appropriate since OAFF 2019’s opening film Randen is set in Kyoto. Most recently, he has been working in the Vietnamese film industry and created a comedy hit with Saigon Bodyguards which was released in 2016 and beat Rogue One in the charts and became the 4th biggest movie of that year.

Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues”