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“Dreaming Korea Animation” – A Day of Korean and Japanese Animation Screenings and Talks, July 27th 2019

It’s not often that Korean animation gets screened so the “Dreaming Korea Animation” animation event is a special one and it takes place really close to Ikebukuro Station!

Dreaming Korea Animation Festival Poster

“Dreaming Korea Animation” is a one-day event held on July 27th, 2019 at Cine Libre Ikebukuro and there will be a number of films and music videos screened across three programmes. There are guest animators in town to do talks with two from Japan and three from Korea so this makes the event a brilliant chance to see some of the creativity on offer from Korea.

Programme A – 12:20 – 13:50 Film Screening and Director Talk

Ahn Jae-Hoon is one of the directors of the Korean animation studio Meditation With a Pencil. They released their first feature length film Green Days in 2011. Their subsequent feature film projects were animated adaptations of Korean short literature titles, The Shower being their latest work. It receives its Japanese premiere at this event.

Continue reading ““Dreaming Korea Animation” – A Day of Korean and Japanese Animation Screenings and Talks, July 27th 2019”

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The Journalist, Bento Harassment, Sea of Revival, Hot Gimmick: Girl Meets Boy, Banzai! Koko wa ai no michi, Let’s go! Anpanman: Sparkle! Princess Vanilla of the Land of Ice Cream, Gekijouban Patalliro!, Anata ga koko ni iro dake de munekata Sanshimai Monogatari, Yee-chan no shiroi tsue, Chontycha – at the end of summer, Delivery, Nashi-kun Tamako to kiba no yukue, Retro Love, Frame Arms Girl: Kyakkyau Fufu na Wonderland, Cencoroll Connect Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Detroit Metal City J-Pop

I hope you are all well!

Welcome to another weekend of badly translated trailers. I’m at the end of another 12-day work period so this weekend is going to be savoured. My spare time has been spent watching films and writing about them while listening to podcasts.

I started this week on a high with a post about the Kanazawa Film Festival and I ended it with the last of my Osaka Asian Film Festival coverage for this year – a review for Demolition Girl and an interview with that film’s director Genta Matsugami. I may do a round-up post and a comment on the awards ceremony but the New York Asian Film Festival has started and I have material to release for that, specifically reviews for Samurai Marathon and The Fable which have already been published. That written, I have a couple of posts about different festivals to release next week… Also, I got some Japanese beer from a friend in work so that helped me survive an evening of the heatwave that has struck Britain…

What is released this weekend?   

Continue reading “The Journalist, Bento Harassment, Sea of Revival, Hot Gimmick: Girl Meets Boy, Banzai! Koko wa ai no michi, Let’s go! Anpanman: Sparkle! Princess Vanilla of the Land of Ice Cream, Gekijouban Patalliro!, Anata ga koko ni iro dake de munekata Sanshimai Monogatari, Yee-chan no shiroi tsue, Chontycha – at the end of summer, Delivery, Nashi-kun Tamako to kiba no yukue, Retro Love, Frame Arms Girl: Kyakkyau Fufu na Wonderland, Cencoroll Connect Japanese Film Trailers”

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Interview with Genta Matsugami, Director of “Demolition Girl” at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

GentaMatsugamiOAFF19

Born in Hiroshima in 1981, Genta Matsugami is a film director who operates the creative production-house16 bit.inc. He graduated from Osaka University of Arts in 2005 and his graduation work won a prize in the Pia Film Festival Award of that year. Demolition Girl is his debut feature. It has already distinguished itself on the festival circuit, first at its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in Utah in January, where lead actress Aya Kitai won an honourable mention for her performance, and then at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in March where it scooped the JAPAN CUTS award. This means it will receive a screening at the JAPAN CUTS festival in New York in July. It has easy to see how the film has impressed audiences as it presents a refreshingly honest and concise depiction of working-class life in Japan.

The story of Demolition Girl focuses on a high school student named Coco (Kitai), who seems trapped in her small-town existence because of her poor background and a family who drag her down. Despite being working-class, she aspires to go to university in Tokyo, seeing this as a way out of poverty. University is tough to enter and expensive so she needs to work hard whether by studying or dabbling in the fetish industry by making illicit “crush videos”. The audience will root for her as they see the obstacles she faces and her determination not to give up and audience engagement is hooked by a persuasive performance from Kitai in her acting debut (she had previously won the MissiD 2017 Fantasista Sakurada Prize).

Continue reading “Interview with Genta Matsugami, Director of “Demolition Girl” at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019″

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Demolition Girl JK エレジー Dir: Genta Matsugami (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Demolition Girl  Demolition Girl JK Elegy Film Poster

JK エレジー JK Ereji-

Release Date: 2019

Duration: 88 mins.

Director: Genta Matsugami

Writer: Yoshitaka Kasui, Genta Matsugami (Screenplay),

Starring: Aya Kitai, Hiroki Ino, Yota Kawase, Haruka Imo, Yura Komuro,

Website IMDB

A man’s get up and go is what defines him, according to the writer Yukio Mishima. If that’s the case then Cocoa, the main protagonist of Genta Matsugami’s debut film, has a lot going for her. Super-smart and determined, she seems like a student who can be anything she wants but she faces a tough challenge in escaping the poverty of her background in a film that mixes class analysis with a coming-of-age story.

Cocoa Umeda lives in a small rural city. It feels like a slow and tranquil place where the biggest events are the seasonal festivals but for Cocoa and her friends things are getting intense as they approach their final exams and high school graduation. Cocoa could go on to higher education because she has potential but her options are limited by her financial situation.

Continue reading “Demolition Girl JK エレジー Dir: Genta Matsugami (2018) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

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A Preview of the Kanazawa Film Festival 2019 in Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Art (July 12-15)

The Kanazawa Film Festival 2019 will take place this year from July 12th (Friday) to the 15th (Monday) at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. 26 films from 132 submissions have been selected and will be screened over three days and all are in the running for the Grand Prix and Audience Award among other accolades.Kanazawa Film Festival 2019 Poster

This is a very badly translated series of film synopses of really obscure indie films but I find that there may be some value later. Sometimes, when doing trailer posts, I find myself linking to the Kanazawa Film Festival post from 2017 because directors may have had their works screened there and since I want to explore indie films, posts like this work out pretty good because it fulfils my general goal with this blog. Right, I hope you and I get some use out of this information and from the images, all of which have been taken from the film festival’s website.

Here is a run-down of the films that will be screened:

Continue reading “A Preview of the Kanazawa Film Festival 2019 in Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Art (July 12-15)”

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The Fable, Ride Your Wave, Meiji Tokyo Renka, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, Philosopher King Lee Teng-Hui’s Dialogue, Tribe Called Discord: Documentary of GEZAN, Twilight, Aru machi no takai entotsu, Ai ga soi de koi, One Letter First Introduction The Strongest Kung Fu Boy vs Hell’s Murder Karate, Okinawan Blue, Kasuriko, Gekieiga Okinawa, Cinema Kabuki Bando Tamasaburo Sagi Musume, JUNG YONG HWA: FILM CONCERT 2015-2018 “Feel the Voice”, Women’s Baseball Three out! Play Ball Whistle, Cinema Kabuki hidakagawa iriai zakura Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!A Double Life Film Image

I hope you are all well.

I posted about the New York Asian Film Festival 2019’s selection of Japanese films, the interview I conducted with Takashi Nishihara and Manami Usamaru from the film Sisterhood and an interview I conducted with Akiyoshi Koba, director of Nunchaku and Soul. This weekend’s trailer post has been bananas in terms of the number of films released.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Fable, Ride Your Wave, Meiji Tokyo Renka, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, Philosopher King Lee Teng-Hui’s Dialogue, Tribe Called Discord: Documentary of GEZAN, Twilight, Aru machi no takai entotsu, Ai ga soi de koi, One Letter First Introduction The Strongest Kung Fu Boy vs Hell’s Murder Karate, Okinawan Blue, Kasuriko, Gekieiga Okinawa, Cinema Kabuki Bando Tamasaburo Sagi Musume, JUNG YONG HWA: FILM CONCERT 2015-2018 “Feel the Voice”, Women’s Baseball Three out! Play Ball Whistle, Cinema Kabuki hidakagawa iriai zakura Japanese Film Trailers”

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Interview with “Sisterhood” Director Takashi Nishihara and Star Manami Usamaru [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]

Takashi-Nishihara-and-ManamiUsamaru-OAFF19

I conducted a number of interviews at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 and they were published over at VCinema. This one was published on June 06th and it is with the director and star of the film Sisterhood.

With inequality on the rise worldwide and identity politics a hot topic issue, filmmakers everywhere have their work cut out trying to keep up with the changes in their respective societies and there is a desire on the part of this writer to see films that tackle these issues from Japanese creatives. More social realist dramas and politics, to be blunt, especially in an era where the rise of individualism and poverty unbalances traditional notions of collectivism. Takashi Nishihara is a name that has cropped up quite often in this regard. Born in 1983 in Toyama, he is a graduate from the Department of Arts and Film at Waseda University in Tokyo. His filmography flits between documentary and drama but he usually focuses on those who find themselves made outsiders by the status quo of society and does so with a social realist bent.

Continue reading “Interview with “Sisterhood” Director Takashi Nishihara and Star Manami Usamaru [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]”

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Interview with Akiyoshi Koba [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]

I interviewed a number of people at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and these interviews are being published over at V-Cinema. This one was the first to go online on April 23rd.

Akiyoshi Koba is a graduate of Taisho University’s Japanese Language and Literature course. He now works as a part-time lecturer at Nagaoka Zokei University and indie filmmaker. His oeuvre is a series of titles that my be low on budget but are big in heart and invention. Koba strives to find what is special in small-town locations, collaborates with actors who feel like they are drawn from everyday life but have some unique feature, and uses set dressing and costuming that exudes a DIY aesthetic. Works like Slippers and Summer Moon (2015), Psychics Z (2016), and Tsumugi’s Radio (2017) typically mix comedy and sci-fi as well as drama. They have a charming simplicity and a love for their characters.

His latest title, Nunchaku and Soul (2019) is a continuation of this lo-fi storytelling and it is his best work to date. It features a mismatched pair of middle-aged guys, a nerd named Numata (Masahiro Kuroki) and a soul man named Soma (Atsushi Takahashi), who are determined to change their lives for the better by entering a dance competition. The differences in character and their reasons for entering are mined for low-key drama and lots of belly laughs. It also features a funky soundtrack. Nunchaku and Soul was recently screened at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 in the Indie Forum section. Despite its humble origins, it proved to be a hit with most of the audience who were treated to post-screening nunchaku demonstrations by lead actor Masahiro Kuroki and dancing given by director and cast.

Continue reading “Interview with Akiyoshi Koba [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]”

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A Preview of the New York Asian Film Festival 2019

The New York Asian Film Festival 2019 launches at the end of the month and there are 11 films from Japan to get excited about.

New York Asian Film Festival 2019 Film Festival PosterThe films that come from Japan range from an exciting-looking jidai-geki based on real history to adaptations of manga based in contemporary times. A lot of films are currently on the festival circuit but there are a couple that have yet to be released anywhere, even Japan. The styles and stories are all varied and seem to give a good idea of what mainstream Japanese cinema is creating.

It’s exciting to see that two of SABU’s latest films, jam and MR LONG, are on the programme as both films have idols but put them through their acting paces in action-packed and dramatic tales. Fly Me to the Saitama is said to be a heck of a lot of fun as it mixes great comedy and theatricality with a satire of Japanese society. There is a noir with The Gun which took a top prize at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Then there is The Fable which looks absolutely bananas – an adaptation of a hitman manga which is worth reading!

There are also guests coming from Japan such as Nana Komatsu who is the joint recipient of the Screen International Rising Star Asia Award so do make sure to make them feel welcome.

Also programmed are a selection of films from across the rest of Asia and these include some great titles like Maggie (South Korea) – winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Prix at the Osaka Asian Film Festival – and its director Yi Ok-Seop will be in New York. Still Human (Hong Kong) also plays at the fest and lead actress Crisel Consunji is attending. Also, legendary action choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

What are the Japanese films programmed?

Continue reading “A Preview of the New York Asian Film Festival 2019”

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We Are Little Zombies, To the Ends of the Earth, Don’t Cry, Mr. Ogre, For Whom the Alchemist Exists, Shiba Park, Junichi, Love Drives You Crazy, Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Kingdom Movie, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Prisma Phantasm, Handling Method for Grumpy Woman, Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl the Movie, Girlz und Panzer das Finale Part 2, Aitachi no Gakko, Toureppu “Kaiju no Kodomo” wo sagashite, Dance! Horror Restaurant, Moeyo! Shippai Joshi Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

The-Gangster-The-Cop-The-Devil-Detective-Jung

I hope you are all well.

This weekend’s trailer post is an epic one as lots of titles are released on Friday and Saturday. My week in blog posts started with a review of the Korean film The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil (2019) and then a review of Whole (2019) which I wrote back in March and then a preview of the films that have been programmed for Japan Cuts 2019 – a great selection!

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “We Are Little Zombies, To the Ends of the Earth, Don’t Cry, Mr. Ogre, For Whom the Alchemist Exists, Shiba Park, Junichi, Love Drives You Crazy, Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Kingdom Movie, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Prisma Phantasm, Handling Method for Grumpy Woman, Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl the Movie, Girlz und Panzer das Finale Part 2, Aitachi no Gakko, Toureppu “Kaiju no Kodomo” wo sagashite, Dance! Horror Restaurant, Moeyo! Shippai Joshi Japanese Film Trailers”