Japanese Films at the Raindance Film Festival 2020

The 2020 edition of the Raindance Film Festival takes place online from October 20th to November 07th with the UK being able to enjoy all of the entire programme while people in other parts of the world can enjoy certain content. All of the films are available for free but the organisers are asking for a donation (click here to find out more). There are a couple of Japanese films. Here they are…

Click on the title links to be taken to more information:

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OP PICTURES+FEST 2020 Films (October 16th – 29th)

OP PICTURES + Fes 2020

OP Pictures is back for another year and it comes in the middle of the Covid-19 OP Pictures Fest 2020 Posterpandemic, a time when intimacy is to be shunned lest the virus get you. These films were mostly made last year before Covid-19 went global and just before the actor Takuya Sakurai died (he appears in a number of these titles). These films are screening between October 16th – 29th at Theater Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Just like last two year’s events (2018 and 2019), this is a collection of pink films produced by Okura Movie and screened over a number of evenings and there is a selection of films from Hideo Jojo who I spoke to at this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival due to the screening of his film On the Edge of Their Seats – you can find the interview here. A wonderful irony about this is that I have compiled this list of titles and I don’t think I’ll watch them myself but this list might prove useful to others.

It goes without saying that this stuff is NSFW so you have been warned.

Here’s a festival trailer, the films will follow below… 

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The Real Thing, Mechanical Telepathy, Under the Stars, Tokyo Telepath 2020, Super Mikincorinista, Wish, Fruitful and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

The Taste of Tea Anna Tsuchiya and Go

I hope you are all well.

I started the week with a review of the gentle family comedy The Taste of Tea (2004) and followed that with a preview of the free films and events at the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2020, an interview with Ryushi Linday, director of Idol (2020) and Kokutai (2019), and a look preview of the Japanese films at the Busan International Film Festival. The filmic highlight of the month has to be The Taste of Tea which I enjoyed a lot but I have been able to watch more…

In terms of films watched three horror movies, After Death (1989), Society (1989) and Spellcaster (1988), and three films by Hirobumi Watanabe.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Real Thing, Mechanical Telepathy, Under the Stars, Tokyo Telepath 2020, Super Mikincorinista, Wish, Fruitful and Other Japanese Film Trailers”

Busan International Film Festival Logo

Japanese Films at the Busan International Film Festival 2020 (21st-30th October)

Busan International Film Festival Logo

The full programme for the 2020 edition of the Busan International Film Festival was announced earlier this month as was the format of the festival.

This year’s edition is smaller than previous years where there would typically be multiple screenings of 300 features and shorts. Now there are 192 films from 68 countries and each film will screen only one time.

The reduced format sees all but a handful of physical screenings and events cancelled or moved online. This includes the opening and closing ceremonies, receptions, on-stage greetings, talks and guest meetings. The priority is safety but people can still enjoy films, many of which are available to view online via (Korea only).

So, the fest will take place from October 21st to the 30th and it features a great selection of films from across the world. Titles that I have already reviewed (forgive me for plugging my own writing) are Happy Old Year and Beasts Clawing at Straws. I have not seen any of the Japanese titles, many of which look awesome.

Here’s the line-up:

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An Interview with Ryushi Linday, director of Idol (2020) and Kokutai (2019)

Ryushi Lindsay PhotoRyushi Lindsay (website) is an Anglo-Japanese filmmaker working in both Japan and the UK. He currently has two very different films on the festival circuit, the experimental documentary Kokutai (2019) and the drama Idol (2020). The former’s examination of baseball is delivered with a more expressionistic quality created by the rigorous use of formalist aspects of film while the latter is more naturalistic with carries a critique of social conditions in Japan as well as the idol industry. It is clear that underlying it all is a keen awareness of the world which is refreshing to see and engaging to view. Lindsay took the time to answer questions via email about his background, his inspirations as a filmmaker, his motivation for making Kokutai, and the many ideas and collaborations that went into making Idol.

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Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2020 (Online) – Free Films and Workshops Via YouTube and Zoom October 24/25

I wrote two news posts on Anime UK News covering the Kotatsu Festival and have decided to merge them here.

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival Banner

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2020 is a free two-day event (Oct 24-25) where a whole host of animation and workshops will be online for anybody around the world to view. If you are an animation student or just curious about Japanese animation, this is an unmissable occasion because you can interact with real-deal award-winning animators and you can watch different works made by professionals and students from across Japan. All that is required is an internet connection to view things via the fest’s YouTube channel and to attend workshops via Zoom.

Details:

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The Taste of Tea 茶の味 Dir: Katsuhito Ishii (2004)

The Taste of Tea    The Taste of Tea Film Poster

茶の味  Cha no Aji

Release Date: July 17th, 2004

Duration: 143 mins.

Director: Katsuhito Ishii

Writer: Katsuhito Ishii (Screenplay),

Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Takahiro Sato, Maya Banno, Satomi Tezuka, Tatsuya Gashuin, Tomokazu Miura, Anna Tsuchiya, Ikki Todoroki, Hideaki Anno,

IMDB

Katsuhito Ishii is probably best known for making weird films and while The Taste of Tea is one of his most restrained, it is probably his most popular work. At its simplest, The Taste of Tea is a cross between Yasujiro Ozu’s gentle comedy Good Morning (1959) and the playfully bizarre Survive Style 5+ (2004). Try to imagine the styles of the two melding with and diluting each other and you come close. The result is a film where everyday characters and their small dramas are given the odd flights of fancy that burst out from beneath the surface of normality.

Like in a typical Ozu film, we follow multiple generations of a family. Here, we are spending time with the Haruno family who live in an old-fashioned house in a small mountain town just north of Tokyo. They consist of the mother, Yoshiko (Satomi Tezuka), Nobuo (Tomokazu Miura), the father, their son Hajime (Takahiro Sato), Sachiko (Maya Banno), their daughter, and eccentric grandfather Akira (Tatsuya Gashuin). They will soon be joined by uncle Ayano (Tadanobu Asano) who is taking a break from his job as a music producer to visit for a few days.

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The Asadas!, Architecture Time and Kazuyo Sejima, Our Story, Gekijouban BEM BECOME HUMAN, Meishi Game, Love Stage!!, Idol Sniper The Movie, Yokohama Mary, All the Things We Never Said, Share the Pain and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Creepy Film Image Hidetoshi Nishijima and Yuko Takeuchi

I hope you are all doing well.

I will be recording an episode of the Heroic Purgatory podcast tonight so I spent this week watching pistol operas from John Woo – A Better Tomorrow (1986), Hard Boiled (1990) and The Killer (1989). The last title is the one my co-host John and I will be talking about for the Heroic Purgatory podcast.

Anyway, other Heroic Purgatory podcast episodes covered Police Story (1984) – podcast -,  Battle Royale (2000) – podcast – and A Bittersweet Life (2004) – podcast.

This week I posted reviews for the Kiyoshi Kurosawa thriller Creepy (2016), the experimental documentary Kokutai (2019), and a preview of the next Third Window Film release, The Taste of Tea (2004). My review for the Atsushi Funahashi film Lovers on Borders (2018) was published on V-Cinema on Thursday evening.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Asadas!, Architecture Time and Kazuyo Sejima, Our Story, Gekijouban BEM BECOME HUMAN, Meishi Game, Love Stage!!, Idol Sniper The Movie, Yokohama Mary, All the Things We Never Said, Share the Pain and Other Japanese Film Trailers”

Third Window Films Release World’s First Blu-ray Edition of Gentle Warped Comedy “The Taste of Tea” on October 05th, 2020

Third Window Films are going to issue the world’s first blu-ray release of the offbeat comedy The Taste of Tea on October 05th. Here are the details on the extras on the disc.

The Taste of Tea Bluray Cover 1

Extra features:    

Extra features (*in standard definition):
90 minute Making Of
‘Super Big’ – Animation
Reversible sleeve art

Here’s the trailer and synopsis and a little extra info:

Continue reading “Third Window Films Release World’s First Blu-ray Edition of Gentle Warped Comedy “The Taste of Tea” on October 05th, 2020″