Wonderwall, A Life Turned Upside Down: My Dad’s an Alcoholic, Mita Dances, The Dancing Homeless, Watashi wa bundan o yurusanai, Sacrifice, Mask Ward, Fukushima 50, Stardust Over the Town, Gekijouban Oishii Kyuushoku Final Battle, Matsuri no ato wa matsuri no mae Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Nobuhiko Obayashi

It has been a while. I hope you are all okay!

Yesterday we lost the legend that is Nobuhiko Obayashi. He died at the age of 82, almost four years when he was given just four months to live after being diagnosed with cancer. Even though I wrote reviews for just two films (Hausu  back in 2011 and Hanagatami in 2018), it feels like I wrote about him every year because his films were constantly in circulation. I was even inspired to visit Onomichi in 2018 and photograph some locations he filmed in. Anyway, he was feted around the world and worked to the very end, as evidenced by the large amount of films by him or connected to him at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

It feels like the Japanese movie industry is in a gentle decline as adaptations, compilations, TV movies and mediocrities dominate due to production committees who hoover up profits while the artists making content are underpaid and have their creativity stifled. With Obayashi’s passing, the industry has lost some of its magic. He was imaginative and had a creative streak and boyish enthusiasm that made his films charming. We’ll not see an artist like him again so we should treasure the works he created, many of which will continue to be screened.

RIP Nobuhiko Obayashi

Anyway, I was in Japan for a month and I returned to the UK almost a fortnight ago after working at the Osaka Asian Film Festival. I’ve been publishing reviews and interviews I did while there and since returning to the UK, I’ve been in self-quarantine to make sure I don’t have Coronavirus so I’m kind of in the perfect position to keep writing even though the world is in the grip of a medical disaster (prompted by unfettered capitalism and poor governance mostly instituted by governments run by right-wingers).

Anyway, due to being busy, I missed all of March from the trailer posts. Due to Coronavirus, films are being pulled from Japanese cinemas, I can play catch-up.

What is released this weekend and what was released on the first weekend of March?

What was released on April 10th

Wonderwall    Wonderwall Film Poster

ワンダーウォール 劇場版  Wanda- Wo-ru Gekijouban

Release Date: March 06th, 2020 April 10th, 2020

Duration: 68 mins.

Directors: Yuuki Maeda

Writers: Aya Watanabe (Script), 

Starring: Ren Sudo, Amane Okayama, Riko Narumi, Kazunori Mimura, Haya Nakazaki, Ryuya Wakaba, Momiji Yamamura,

Website IMDB

Kyoto is a city famous for history, culture and a university that has an active student body. A TV drama was made about students seeking to protect the atmosphere at thee uni starring Riko Narumi (Shindo) and Ren Sudo (Saigo no Shinpan). This is the movie version.

Synopsis: Konoeryo is a university dormitory in Kyoto which has a long history attached to it. So long, that it’s probably time to tear it down and build something neew. However, some students want to keep the building intact and so a conflict occurs but the emergence of a beautiful woman could solve the issue…  How? I don’t know, I haven’t watched the drama.

What was released on March 06th and 07th?

A Life Turned Upside Down: My Dad’s an Alcoholic  A Life Turned Upside Down My Dad’s an Alcoholic Film Poster

酔うと化け物になる父がつらい  You to bakemono ni naru chichi ga tsurai

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 95 mins.

Directors: Kenji Katagiri

Writers: Kenji Katagiri, Ayumu Kyuma (Script), Mariko Kikuchi (Original Book)

Starring: Honoka Matsumoto, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Rie Tomosaka, Shohei Uno, Joe Odagiri, Tamae Ando, Kenta Hamano, Yui Imaizumi,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Adapted from a comic essay by Mariko Kikuchi who turned her hellish life into a story about a girl named Saki (Hoka Matsumoto) whose father (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is an alcoholic and whose mother is a follower of a new religion. Saki hate’s her father’s behaviour when he is drunk and loutish. The support of her sister and best friend, and the ability to turn her life into a comic gets Saki through the collapse of her family.

 

Matsuri no ato wa matsuri no mae    Matsuri no ato wa matsuri no mae Film Poster

祭りの後は祭りの前  Matsuri no ato wa matsuri no mae

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 90 mins.

Directors: Renpei Tsukamoto

Writers: Renpei Tsukamoto (Script), 

Starring: Raiga Terasaka, Kanade Nonoda, Takanori Shimizu, Takuya Uragami, Toy Yokoyama, Rikuto Kanda, Jukiya Takasaki, Shizuka Nakamura, Shunya Itabashi,

Website

Synopsis: This is the first movie starring the Matsuri Nine boys who are pop idols in their high school. News emerges that there will be a meteorite about to hit the Earth just as one of their members has an accident before a live concert but a magic lamp could be a game-changer…

Gekijouban Oishii Kyuushoku Final Battle    Gekijouban Oishii Kyuushoku Final Battle Film Poster

劇場版 おいしい給食 Final Battle  Gekijouban Oishii Kyuushoku Final Battle

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 102 mins.

Directors: Shinya Ayabe

Writers: Shinya Ayabe, Yuuji Nagamori (Script),

Starring: Hayato Ichihara, Rena Takeda, Taishi Sato, Hana Toyoshima, Maiko Ito,

Website

Synopsis: A movie version of the TV show set in the 1980s where a teacher (Hayato Ichihara) who loves the school lunch can’t tolerate a student who brings lunch from home. 

 

Stardust Over the Town  Stardust Over the Town Film Poster

星屑の町  Hoshikuzu no Machi

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 102 mins.

Directors: Taiichi Sugiyama

Writers: Ryuji Mizutani (Script), 

Starring: Non, Takayasu Komiya, Saburo Taihei, Denden (Yoshihiro Ogata), Takayasu Komiya, Lasalle Ishii,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: “Osamu Yamada and Hello Nights” are a long-running band of crooners who sing hits from the 60s and 70s. They haven’t been a hit themselves and so  they have been barely surviving, making tours in provincial areas. One day the band is invited to perform in the small town where their leader Osamu was born. Some of his family aren’t too happy at his return and the boys are in need of someone to spice up their act which is what barmaid Ai (Non) could do, but that might be a problem because, while she can sing, one member of Hello Nights may be her father…

Sacrifice    Sacrifice Film Poster

サクリファイス  Sakurifaisu

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 76 mins.

Director: TakTsuboi

Writer: Taku Tsuboi (Screenplay)

Starring: Yuzu Aoki, Michiko Gomi, Miki Handa, Kosuke Fujita, Yasuyuki Sakurai, Hatsune Yazaki, Hana Shimomura, Chieko Misaka,

Website

This is Taku Tsuboi’s directorial debut. He has a background in working with Makoto Shinozaki (Sharing) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Journey to the Shore). It played at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

Synopsis: Told primarily in flashbacks, the film follows Midori, a college student who once belonged to a cult named Shio no kai. She predicted the Great East Japan Earthquake while she was a member but has shaken off her past and is now a college student. When disturbing incidents such as cat killings occur near the college she attends, it draws others in, including other former cultists. One other college student, Toko, suspects that the cat killer is her schoolmate Okita.

Fukushima 50    Fukushima 50 Film Poster

フクシマ フィフティー  Fukushima 50

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 122 mins.

Directors: Setsuro Wakamatsu

Writers: Youichi Maekawa (Script), Ryusho Kadota (Original Book)

Starring: Koichi Sato, Ken Watanabe, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Narumi Yasuda,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Based on reality, when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake strikes the Tohoku region of Japan on March 11, 2011, it triggers a giant tsunami which hits the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The workers struggle to control the situation with the manager Masao Yoshida (Ken Watanabe) doing his best to communicate between the 50 workers on the ground, thee company, the Japanese government and thee military. Can they prevent a devastating nuclear disaster?

Mask Ward    Mask Ward Film Poster

仮面病棟  Kamen Byoto

Release Date: March 06th, 2020

Duration: 114 mins.

Directors: Hisashi Kimura

Writers: Hisashi Kimura (Script), Mikito Chinen (Script/Original Novel)

Starring: Mei Nagano, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Rio Uchida, Aki Asakura, Noriko Eguchi, Ryohei Otani, Masanobu Takashima, Tomomi Maruyama,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Shugo Hayami (Kentaro Sakaguchi) and Hitomi Kawasaki (Mei Nagano) are working the night shift at a hospital which was formerly a psychiatric institute. When a masked man takes over the facility, Hitmoi is shot. The intruder tells Shugo to treat her as they are now some of the 64 people he has taken hostage in the hospital. The two doctors decide to try to escape but encounter strange cases.

 

Watashi wa bundan o yurusanai    Watashi wa bundan o yurusanai Film Poster

わたしは分断を許さない  Watashi wa bundan o yurusanai

Release Date: March 07th, 2020

Duration: 105 mins.

Directors: Jun Hori

Writers: Kenji Kitamura (Script), 

Starring: N/A

Website

Synopsis: Jun Hori is a journalist who takes on various issues around the world in this film such as the Hong Kong protests, a family split apart by the conflict in Syria, the Fukushima meltdown and opposition to the US base in Henoko. 

 

The Dancing Homeless    The Dancing Homeless Film Poster

ダンシングホームレス  Danshingy Ho-muresu

Release Date: March 07th, 2020

Duration: 99 mins.

Directors: Wataru Miura

Writers: N/A

Starring: Yuuki Aoki, Masato Yokouchi, Haruo Ito, Atsushi Nishi, Yoshiharu Watanabe, Shoichiro Hirakawa,

Website

Synopsis: A documentary that captures the activities of the dance troupe “Sokerissa!” (which comes from the Japanese, “sore ike!” “Step forward!”) who are led by the choreographer Yuki Aoki who works with the homeless living on Tokyo’s streets. The group are accepting of others, regardless of how they came to be on the street, and they see dancing as a point of contact with the rest of society. While the dancers may have lost material things and families, they still own their bodies with which they take part in pure physical expression. You can find out more about the group’s activity here and the documenary.

Mita Dances    Odotte Mita Film Poster

踊ってミタ  Odotte Mita

Release Date: March 07th, 2020

Duration: 105 mins.

Directors: Toshimisu Iizuka

Writers: Toshimisu Iizuka (Script), Mikito Chinen (Script/Original Novel)

Starring: Amane Okayama. Konatsu Kato, Rena Takeda, Yuuichi Nakamura, Riri, Mayu Yokota, Yua Shiraishi,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Mita (Amane Okayama) is a young man who had hoped to escape his boring town and become a successful videographer in Tokyo but his dreams didn’t materialise and he is forced to return. He’s now working for the town council in the tourism department and is tasked with attracting tourists. He is given just two weeks. Mita decides to make a video of his town but with no tourist attractions or areas of interest, it’s a tough task. He does have one great resource: the people of the town whom he ropes in to dance. A former idol could be a secret weapon that brings everything together. Director Toshimitsu Iizuka reunites with Poetry Angel cast members Amane Okayama and Rena Takeda to tell this story.

2 thoughts on “Wonderwall, A Life Turned Upside Down: My Dad’s an Alcoholic, Mita Dances, The Dancing Homeless, Watashi wa bundan o yurusanai, Sacrifice, Mask Ward, Fukushima 50, Stardust Over the Town, Gekijouban Oishii Kyuushoku Final Battle, Matsuri no ato wa matsuri no mae Japanese Film Trailers

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