Love and the Grand Tug-of-war, Mirai e no Katachi, Nannochan’s World War 2 and Films by Tadanari Okamoto and Kihachiro Kawamoto Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, everyone.

I hope you are all well.

I rushed to publish this post without the introduction so here it is.

The state of emergency has been extended for the rest of the month in Japan. Nobody knows what is going on and the government is still determined to push ahead with the Olympics.

This week I posted reviews of two OAFF films, Among Four of Us and A New Wind Blows. I also posted news of a streaming event of indie Japanese films run by the Chicago Japan Film Collective. Nine titles and, if you book an early-bird pass, you can get them for an astoundingly low price!

What is released this weekend?

Love and the Grand Tug-of-war    Love and the Grand Tug-of-war Film Poster

大綱引の恋 Dai Tsunahiki no Koi

Release Date: May 07th, 2021

Duration: 108 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Sasabe

Writer: Takashi Shinohara (Screenplay)

Starring: Takahiro Miura, Kang Ji-young, Manami Higa, Yuichi Nakamura, Wakana Matsumoto,

Website IMDB OAFF

I saw this one as part of OAFF. The synopsis below is what I wrote for the festival.

Synopsis: Following the 2009 financial crash, Waseda University graduate Takeshi (MIURA Takahiro) lost his job in Tokyo and retreated to his family home in Sendai. While he resumed his role as heir to the family construction company with a diligent attitude, his hidebound father resents that his son left and that at the age of 35 Takeshi is still single. However, wider events will force father and son to overcome their differences as the Otsunahiki, a great tug-of-war featuring thousands of participants, will pull them together in a family tradition just as Takeshi meets Jiheyun (Jiyoung), a beautiful Korean doctor on an exchange programme…

The ties of family bind people tightly as characters struggle with the push of their own ambitious urges and the pull of family commitments but the Otsunahiki ropes things together in a family drama rich with events and the culture of Sendai, that will tug and the heartstrings of viewers whilst providing to the desire to visit the beautiful and storied region.

Mirai e no Katachi    Mirai e no Katachi Film Poster

未来へのかたち Mirai e no Katachi

Release Date: May 07th, 2021

Duration: 112 mins.

Director: Kenichi Ohmori

Writer: Kenichi Ohmori (Screenplay),

Starring: Atsushi Ito, Rina Uchiyama, Hiyori Sakurada, Isao Hashizumi, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Nene Otsuka, Hiroki Iijima,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Ryusei (Atsushi Ito) is an up-and-coming potter in Tobe, Ehime Prefecture. He wins a design competition for the design that will be used in an Olympic ceremony but he doesn’t recognise the design itself! Turns out his daughter Moe (Hiyori Sakurada) submitted it in his name as part pf a scheme to reunite him with his estranged father Tatsumi (Isao Hashizume). Then Ryusei’s oldere brother reeturns to town for the first time in a decade and that rekindles a family feud over the death of the mother… 

Nannochan’s World War 2  Nanno chan no dai niji sekaitaisen Film Poster

なんのちゃんの第二次世界大戦 Nanno chan no dai niji sekaitaisen

Release Date: May 08th, 2021

Duration: 112 mins.

Director: Ken Kawai

Writer: Ken Kawai (Screenplay)

Starring: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Hisako Okata, Kana Kita, Megumi Nishi, Maki Nishiyama, Mutsuko Takahashi,

Website

Synopsis: Akio Shimizu (Mitsuru Fukikoshi), the mayor of Sekiya City, is trying to establish a peace memorial for the Pacific War having taken inspiration from his grandfather Shoichi, but a conflict arises when a former student protests the endeavour. Akio confronts the woman…

Films by Tadanari Okamoto and Kihachiro Kawamoto

Image Forum in Shibuya will screen 4K remasters of Tadanari Okamoto and Kihachiro Kawamoto‘s films from this weekend (website). It will last 78 minutes and consist of stop-motion and 2D animation. Trailer and titles below. You can also read reviews of these films by Catherine Munroe Hotes over at Midnight Eye.

The Magic Fox

おこんじょうるり Okon Joururi

Release Date: 1982

Duration: 26 mins.

Director: Tadanari Okamoto

Writer: Tadanari Okamoto (Screenplay), Akira Saneto (Original Novel)

Starring: Teruko Nagaoka, Tetsuo Goto,

IMDB

Synopsis: An old witch doctor and a magical fox work together to combat the sickness in her village but when the villagers find out what is happening… 

Chikotan Boku no Oyomesan

チコタン ぼくのおよめさん Chikotan Boku no Oyomesan

Release Date: 1971

Duration: 11 mins.

Director: Tadanari Okamoto

Writer: Tadanari Okamoto, Masako Sakama, Michiko Tamura (Screenplay), 

Starring: N/A

Synopsis: This is the first cell animation created by the animation artist Tadanari Okamoto sees him use thick layers of colours to express a child, “I,” and their thoughts and feelings on Chikotan in a story of two children thinking about love and marriage.

The Restaurant of Many Orders

注文の多い料理店 Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten

Release Date: 1991

Duration: 19 mins.

Director: Tadanari Okamoto

Writer: Tadanari Okamoto (Screenplay), Kenji Miyazawa (Original Short Story)

Starring: Teruko Nagaoka, Tetsuo Goto,

Here’s a Nishitaka Eiga Review

Synopsis: This is the posthumous work of Tadanari Okamoto and it is based on a famous fairy tale by Kenji Miyazawa where two hunters get lost and arrive at a Western-style restaurant. The film was completed by Kihachiro Kawamoto.

Niji ni mukatte

虹に向って Niji ni mukatte

Release Date: 1977

Duration: 18 mins.

Director: Tadanari Okamoto

Writer: Tadanari Okamoto, Yoko Higashikawa (Screenplay), Etsuo Okawa (Original Short Story)

Starring: N/A

Synopsis: This is based on the legend of Genji and Oritsu, two teens who grew up in rival villages separated by a deep valley in the Shinano country. They love each other and that love leads to a bridge being built. 

The Demon

Oni

Release Date: 1972

Duration: 8 mins.

Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto

Writer: Kihachiro Kawamoto (Screenplay), Akira Saneto (Original Novel)

Starring: N/A

IMDB

You can read more about this at Nishitaka Eiga

Synopsis: Two brothers who live with their sick mother go deer hunting, but encounter a demon.

House of Flames

火宅 House of Flames

Release Date: 1979

Duration: 8 mins.

Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto

Writer: Kihachiro Kawamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Tetsunojo Kanze

IMDB

Synopsis: A traveller encounters a young maiden who tells him the 500-year-old story of Unai-otome, a pure maiden who had two suitors, a poet and a warrior who enter into a love tragic triangle. 

A Poet’s Life

詩人の生涯Shijin no Shogai

Release Date: 1974

Duration: 8 mins.

Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto

Writer: Kihachiro Kawamoto (Screenplay), Kobo Abe (Original Short Story)

Starring: Tetsunojo Kanze

IMDB

Synopsis: A cautionary tale about workers who are neglected by their capitalist bosses and find their jobs shipped overseas. The economy collapses but the poetry of a young man gives the people hope.

Dojoji Temple

道成寺 Dojoji

Release Date: 1974

Duration: 19 mins.

Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto

Writer: Kihachiro Kawamoto (Screenplay), 

Starring: N/A

IMDB

Nishitaka Eiga Review

Synopsis: A retelling of the legend of lady Kiyohime and the monk Anchin. After a night together, he flees and she pursues and turns into a demon to capture him…

The Breaking of Branches Is Forbidden

花折り Hanaori

Release Date: 1968

Duration: 14 mins.

Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto

Writer: Kihachiro Kawamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Tetsuko Kurayanagi

IMDB

Synopsis: A monk’s acolyte spends time in a garden where people are forbidden from touching the trees. Two men with alcohol approach and uncork a bottle…

 

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