Happy weekend, everyone.
I hope you are all well.
Summer has been flowing nicely and it is now stormy and rainy. I’m at the end of a 12 day work week so I can relax a little. I’ve posted news on the Japanese films playing at the Venice Film Festival this year and a review for the action film The Fable.
What is released this weekend?
JK エレジー 「JK Ereji-」
Release Date: August 09th, 2019
Duration: 88 mins.
Director: Genta Matsugami
Writer: Yoshitaka Kasui, Genta Matsugami (Screenplay),
Winner of the JAPAN CUTS Award at this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival, Demolition Girl is a great slice of socially-conscious film-making as it shows the lives of working-class people in Japan and the options open to them in terms of social mobility. It has a great lead performance from Aya Kitai who is a natural screen presence. Here’s my review and an interview I did with the director Genta Matsugami.
Synopsis: Cocoa Umeda lives in a small rural city of Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture. 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. With a gambler for a father and a lazy brother sponging off her, Cocoa is resigned to spending the rest of her existence in her hometown but when she discovers her mother left her money to go to university, she begins to dream of an escape.
つむぎのラジオ、 「Tsumugi no Rajio」
Release Date: August 10th, 2019
Duration: 84 mins.
Director: Akiyoshi Koba
Writer: Akiyoshi Koba (Script),
Starring: Yo Hasegawa, Narumi Yonezawa, Yusuke Nakayama, Kazuma Fujiwara, Shinichiro Oosawa, Rinko Komiya,
Akiyoshi Koba is an indie film director who I met and interviewed at the Osaka Asian Film Festival after watching and enjoying his latest film Nunchaku and Soul. I have seen some of his earlier films including this one which was made in 2017 and is likeable and laidback drama about mental illness and regrets which has charming characters.
Synopsis: Koyori (Narumi Yonezawa) is on a beach alone during the day. Her boyfriend (Yusuke Nakayama), who was just behind her 10 seconds ago, has gone missing. She’s angry and it has something to do with her childhood friend Tsumugi (Yo Hasegawa) who showed up after many year’s absence. Their meeting seemed random what Koyori doesn’t know is that Tsumugi is pulling the strings of her life and it is all down to a heavy sense of guilt over an incident from when they were kids. The truth comes out as the radio broadcast that Tsumugi hears in her head gets worse…
劇場版 ONE PIECE STAMPEDE 「Gekijouban ONE PIECE STAMPEDE」
Release Date: August 09th, 2019
Duration: 100 mins.
Director: Takashi Otsuka
Writer: Takashi Otsuka, Atsuhiro Tomioka (Screenplay), Eiichiro Oda (Original Creator)
Starring: Mayumi Tanaka (Monkey D. Luffy), Kazuya Nakai (Roronoa Zoro), Akemi Okamura (Nami), Kappei Yamaguchi (Usopp), Kotono Mitsuishi (Boa Hancock), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Nico Robin), Ikue Otani (Tony Tony Chopper),
Animation Production: Toei Animation Studio
Synopsis: The mysterious Buena Festa has set up The Pirates Festival and has invited the Straw Hat Crew to the festivities where so many pirates are in a festive spirit and the action at the fest promises to be big.