Cenote, Daughters, The Hardness of Avocado, Tomodachi Yameta., Jazz Kissa Basie: Swifty’s Ballad, Violet Evergarden: The Movie and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone.

Miyamoto Movie Image

I hope everyone is fine and dandy.

I’ve been trying to get my life in order by writing schedules down for myself with achievable goals. Normally, I just have a bunch of things I want to do and get around to them eventually but I have to push myself harder. That also means practising Japanese again.

In terms of films, I posted reviews for Battle Royale and an indie short called Idol. I also posted a round-up of the films playing at the Tokyo Students Film Festival. They all look exciting and I want to see them!!! The previous week, I reviewed the Korean film Beasts Clawing at Straws.

What is released this weekend?

Cenote    Cenote Film Poster

セノーテSeno-te

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Duration: 75 mins.

Director: Kaori Oda

Writer: Kaori Oda (Script) 

Starring: voices of: Araceli del Rosario Chulim Tun, Juan de la Rosa Mibmay

Website

Documentarian Kaori Oda studied under Béla Tarr in Sarajevo and while in Bosnia she filmed the lives of coal miners (Aragane) and also her own journey as a filmmaker and human in (Towards a Common Tenderness).

Synopsis: Kaori Oda travels to the Northern Yucatan in Mexico where she ventures around natural sinkholes called ‘cenotes’ and explores the past, where Mayans used them for water sources as well as sacrifices and saw the cenotes as a connection to the afterlife, and she sees how these memories inform the present of those living around the cenotes. She pushes her style further here in what look like beautiful sequences.

Daughters    Daughters Film Poster

Daughters(ドーターズ)Do-ta-zu

Release Date: September 18th, 2020

Duration: 105 mins.

Director: Hajime Tsuda

Writer: Hajime Tsuda (Script), 

Starring: Ayaka Miyoshi, Junko Abe, Nene Ohtsuka, Tomoka Kurotani, Shingo Tsurumi,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Koharu (Ayaka Miyoshi) and Ayano (Junko Abe) are flat-mates and friends in Tokyo’s Nakameguro ward. These two 27-year-olds work dream jobs, one as an event manager and the other in fashion marketing. Their lives are fulfilling. However, when Ayano confesses she is pregnant and she doesn’t know who the father is, it’s a shock for Koharu. When she states she will raise the child, it changes their friendship. 

Sirotsumekusa    Sirotsumekusa Film Poster

白爪草Sirotsumekusa

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Duration: 105 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: Cyber Girl Siro / Dennou Shoujo Siro

Website

You may not know what a VTuber is. Well, it’s a Virtual YouTuber and the most famous is probably Kizuna Ai, but there are many, many others. One of them is Siro, a cyber girl who takes on two roles in this movie.

Synopsis: Siro plays Ao Shiratsubaki, a girl who works at the flower shop “Hanagumi” whose life is quiet until she receives a message from her twin sister, Beni Shiratsubaki (also Siro), who is in prison and wants to meet her. Ao decides to meet Beni, despite her past crime. Ao waits for Beni to visit in a room surrounded by flowers, but she feels uneasy and begins to think about returning home to escape from Beni. However, at that time, a chime that announces the visitor sounds…

 

The Hardness of Avocado    The Hardness of Avocado Film Poster

アボカドの固さAbokado no kata-sa

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Duration: 100 mins.

Director: Masaya Jo

Writer: Masaya Jo, Shintaro Yamaguchi, Mizuki Maehara (Script), 

Starring: Mizuki Maehara, Akie Namiki, Yoko Hasegawa, Zuru Onodera, Akie Namiki,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Maehara is a wannabe actor who is suddenly dumped by his girlfriend who had been together with him for five years. He wants to save their relationship but can he pull himself together and get his life back on track? 

Tomodachi Yameta.    Tomodachi Yameta Film Poster

友達やめた。Tomodachi Yameta.

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Duration: 84 mins.

Director: Ayako Imamura

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Website

Synopsis: A documentary directed by Ayako Imamura, who has worked on internationally screened documentary films such as Start Line. She is deaf by birth and through this film, she thinks about her relationship with her friend Maa-chan who has Asperger’s syndrome and finds it hard to deal with people. Ayako can sympathise due to her own situation. Through watching the interaction between two people with disabilities, we can see the various definitions of human relationships that everyone has experienced, and face the essential problem of how to coexist with people with different backgrounds.

Okaeri Tadaima    Okaeri Tadaima Film Poster

おかえり ただいまOkaeri Tadaima

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Duration: 112 mins.

Director: Junichi Saito

Writer: Junichi Saito (Script), 

Starring: Yuki Saito, Aimi Satsukawa, Miyoko Asada, Mayumi Ozora, Kenta Suge,

Website

Director Junichi Saito has covered true-crime stories before and he looks at the Nagoya Yami Site Murder Case in a film that mixes documentary and drama. 

Synopsis: At midnight on August 24, 2007, a woman on her way home was abducted and killed, and her body was abandoned in the mountains. Three men who met online were arrested for the crime and the victim’s mother campaigned for the death penalty. At the trial, only one was sentenced to death while the other two got life in prison. However, there were more twists in this case to come…

Jazz Kissa Basie: Swifty’s Ballad    Jazz Kissa Basie Swifty's Ballad Film Poster

ジャズ喫茶ベイシー Swiftyの譚詩(BalladJazu Kissa Beishi-: Swifty no Ballad

Release Date: September 18th, 2020

Duration: 104 mins.

Director: Tetsuya Hoshino

Writer: N/A

Starring: Shoji Sugawara, Sadao Watanabe, Hozumi Nakadaira, Seiji Ozawa, Kyoka Suzuki,

Website

Synopsis: This documentary looks at the history of a jazz cafe called Basie (after Count Basie) and gives us five decades of jazz history in Japan. The manager of the cafe is Shoji Sugawara, who goes by the name of Swifty, and he and other interviewees talk about the things they have seen including student protests and performances. The documentary contains footage of live performances at the cafe. Here’s an article from Asahi Shimbun with a great write-up explaining more.

Violet Evergarden: The Movie  Violet Evergarden The Movie Film Poster

劇場版ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン   Gekijouban Baioretto Eba-ga-den Gaiden

Release Date: September 18th, 2020

Duration: 140 mins.

Director: Taichi Ishidate

Writer: Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay), Kana Akatsuki (Original Creator)

Starring: Yui Ishikawa (Violet Evergarden), Daisuke Namikawa (Gilbert Bougainvillea),

Animation Production: Kyoto Animation

Website ANN MAL

Almost a year since the “side story” of Violet Evergarden as given a release, we get the movie which acts as a continuation of the TV series.

Synopsis: Following the end of the Great War, Violet Evergarden, a young girl raised to destroy the enemy, was left with a shattered body and only words from the person she held dearest, but with no understanding of their meaning. She finds new purpose acting as an “Auto Memory Doll,” amanuenses that transcribe people’s thoughts and feelings into words on paper and travels the world in an adventure that will reshape the lives of her clients and hopefully lead to self-discovery.

In this film, Violet still holds the memory of her former employer Gilbert dearly because it was he who taught her of love. Even when his older brother Dietfried tells her that she should forget about him, she refuses. Soon after, Violet hears that the post office has discovered a letter with no address sitting in their warehouse.

My Exercise (Short Movie Version)

マイエクササイズ(短編映画版)「Mai ekusasaizu (tanpen eiga-ban)

Running Time: 02 mins.

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Director: Atsushi Wada

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Animation Production: NEWDEER

Website

Synopsis: Atsushi Wada is the director of The Great Rabbit, which won the Silver Bear Award in the short film section of the Berlin International Film Festival 2012. He has a lot of other short films, many of which are going to be screened alongside commercials and other things made by the animator at a special event. My Exercise, his newest work, depicts an overweight boy doing sit ups with a shiba-inu. Eventually, more animals join in and it becomes very surreal because of their involvement. You can watch a recent NHK World talk with Atsushi Wada on the NHK website.

Love Me, Love Me Not    Love Me Love Me Not Film Poster

思い、思われ、ふり、ふられ(アニメ版)「Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare

Running Time: 103 mins.

Release Date: September 18th, 2020

Director: Toshimasa Kuroyanagi

Writer: Ereika Yoshida (Screenplay), Io Sakisaka (Original Creator)

Starring: Marika Suzuki (Una Ichihara), Megumi Han (Akari Yamamoto), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Rio Yamamoto), Soma Saito (Kazuomi Inui), Aya Hisakawa (Yuna’s Mother), Minami Hamabe (Chiyo), Riko Fukumoto (ayuko), Takumi Kitamura (High School Boy),

Animation Production: A-1 Pictures

Website ANN MAL

Following on from last month’s release of the live-action version, comes the anime movie with the cast of the former film taking on side roles here.

Synopsis: Akari and her friend Yuna are poles apart when it comes to personality. Akari is practical and forward while Yuna is more romantic and shy. The two get involved with two boys who are also very different in outlook. Yuna falls for Rio, Akari’s stepbrother and a guy who falls in love at the drop of a hat, while Akari develops feelings for Yuna’s childhood friend Kazuomi, a complete airhead. These four classmates end up leading a youthful romance that will surpass their expectations.

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