Made in Yamato, Inu-Oh, Hatachi no Soru, Setouchi Jakucho: 99 Years of Life, Owari ga Hajimari, Koi Kogare Utae, HE-LOW THE FINAL, Orera no Tadomatsuri Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend

Melting Sounds Film Image 2

I hope you are well

Only one trailer post this week so this is it. In terms of reviews and interviews, my review for Angry Son and interview with its director, Kasho Iizuka, were published on V-Cinema. On this blog, I posted two reviews, The Residents and Melting Sounds, both for Kahori Higashi films and both released ahead of their screening at this year’s Nippon Connection. Also, a new episode of Heroic Purgatory dropped, this one covering Parasite by Bong Joon-ho.

I didn’t cover that festival due to fatigue from a chronic illness from last spilling over into this one. The illness is gone. I’ve started exercising again and stopped drinking alcohol and lowered my sugar intake. I feel mentally sharper but still far from my best physically and mentally.

In terms of films, I’ve watched

The Big Lebowski

Rome, Open City

Belle de Jour

Cowboy Bebop (live-action Netflix)

Come Drink with Me

Tomorrow, I’ll be recording a new episode of Heroic Purgatory, this one dedicated to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

What films are released this weekend?

Continue reading “Made in Yamato, Inu-Oh, Hatachi no Soru, Setouchi Jakucho: 99 Years of Life, Owari ga Hajimari, Koi Kogare Utae, HE-LOW THE FINAL, Orera no Tadomatsuri Japanese Film Trailers”

Melting Sounds ほとぼりメルトサウンズ Director: Kahori Higashi [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]

Melting Sounds        Melting Sounds Film Poster

ほとぼりメルトサウンズ Hotobori Meruto Saunzu

Release Date: July 16th, 2022

Duration: 80 mins.

Director: Kahori Higashi

Writer: Kahori Higashi, Yuichi Nagatsuma (Screenplay),

Starring: xiangyu, Keiichi Suzuki, Amon Hirai, Umeno Uno, Tadashi Sakata,

Much like many of the previous films released under the aegis of MOOSIC LAB, like Dong Teng Town, Soul Music, and Sleeping Insect, Kahori Higashi’s Melting Sounds mixes music with low-key dramatic ruminations of mortality and ties everything together with a quirky character. Said quirky character is played by xiangyu, an electropop star and frequent collaborator of Suiyobi no Campanella, who offers her offbeat music and cute personality to a film that is cute and quietly devastating as it gets into the issues of losing things before offering a life-affirming way of rescue.

The story begins in Kiryu, a rural city in Gunma Prefecture, one winter when a young woman named Koto (xiangyu) arrives at her grandmother’s former home for a solo getaway trip from the city. Upon arriving she is met by the sight of a cardboard tent set up in the garden, the proprietor of which is an old man named Take (Keiichi Suzuki). Less oddball and more archivist, he has an array of analogue recording devices with which he records sounds of everyday life on cassette tapes before burying them in the ground to create “sound graves.” Koto, intrigued, joins in.

Continue reading “Melting Sounds ほとぼりメルトサウンズ Director: Kahori Higashi [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]”

The Residents 暮らしの残像 Director: Kahori Higashi [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]

The Residents

暮らしの残像 Kurashi no Zanzo

Release Date: 2022

Duration: 16 mins.

Director: Kahori Higashi

Writer: Kahori Higashi (Screenplay),

Starring: Toma Hirose, Yukimi Soma, Rin Oka, Shinoka Mashima, Tiffany Fujimoto,

IMDB

In a case of the English title being a better fit for the film, Kahori Higashi’s short film The Residents hides a powerful twist that the Japanese title gives away. What initially starts as a simple comedy of manners drawn from a deluge of quirky characters in one location turns out to be something more as viewers get to know more about the titular residents. 

The Residents Film Image

What do you get when you stick housewife, a flautist, a hostess, two lovers, and an aspiring actor in a cramped apartment on a sticky hot summer’s day? While this sounds like the set-up for a convoluted joke, it is the beginnings of a melancholy tale.

Continue reading “The Residents 暮らしの残像 Director: Kahori Higashi [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]”

ZARD LIVE 2004「What a beautiful moment Tour」Full HD Edition, Jinsei Drive, Tsujiura Renbo, MAYONAKA, Watashi no hanashi, Buraku no hanashi Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend

Out of Tokyo 202X Film Image

I hope you are well

This is the second part of the trailer post. The first part is here. This week, I posted a review of Out of Tokyo 202x and an interview with Akinori Ikuse, its director. I also posted about the Chicago Japanese Film Collective and the films that can be streamed/watched there.

Currently underway are the Cannes Film Festival and the Korean Independent Animation Festival which is live in Japan and gives viewers the chance to stream films via Vimeo. A festival pass can be had for 2,000 yen. Cannes is totally in-person and totally for cool people ;_;

What was released today in Japan?

Continue reading “ZARD LIVE 2004「What a beautiful moment Tour」Full HD Edition, Jinsei Drive, Tsujiura Renbo, MAYONAKA, Watashi no hanashi, Buraku no hanashi Japanese Film Trailers”

Taiga e no Michi, Haken Anime!, The Quintessential Quintuplets the Movie, Toku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru ~Setsugetsuka~, Fullmetal Alchemist: Revenge Scar (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Kanketsuhen Fukushusha Scar), Sayonara Goodbye, President Tanuki Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend

Decision to Leave

I hope you are well

The Cannes Film Festival 2022 is currently underway and one of the Korean films, Hunt by Lee Jung-jae, is about to get its screening as I type this!

This is a list of all of the films released today. There’s another five films released tomorrow, so check back here to complete this weekend’s Japanese film releases.

What are the first batch of trailers released?

Continue reading “Taiga e no Michi, Haken Anime!, The Quintessential Quintuplets the Movie, Toku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru ~Setsugetsuka~, Fullmetal Alchemist: Revenge Scar (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Kanketsuhen Fukushusha Scar), Sayonara Goodbye, President Tanuki Japanese Film Trailers”

An Interview with Akinori Ikuse, Director of Out of Tokyo 202x [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]

 

ID09_Out of TOKYO 202x_director

A mood of optimism radiates from Akinori Ikuse’s 14-minute short, Out of TOKYO 202x, a time travel movie where two people from the future, Rika (Ucyu Imagawa) and Shin (So Morozumi), spend time together after meeting on the grounds of the Tokyo Olympic stadium. Their shared experience is both romantic and hopeful as they get swept up in the cheer and the happiness of an event that was surrounded by controversy given the Covid-19 pandemic. Benefiting from actually being shot on location, Ikuse brings viewers the sight of crowds of onlookers as well as special events like a fly-past by Japan’s Blue Impulse aerial acrobatics team. Beyond this, he manipulates the look and sound of the film to vibrantly convey the intense atmosphere of the occasion.

Ikuse took part in an interview where he explained the making of the film, his filmic inspirations, and what it was like to shoot on location at such a historic moment. This interview was conducted with the help of staff at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and via the invaluable translation of Takako Pocklington.

Continue reading “An Interview with Akinori Ikuse, Director of Out of Tokyo 202x [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]”

Out of TOKYO202x Director: Akinori Ikuse [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022] V-Cinema

Out of TOKYO202x    Out of Tokyo 2020 Film Poster

Release Date: 2022

Duration: 14 mins.

Director: Akinori Ikuse

Writer: Takuya Matsuura (Screenplay),

Starring: Ucyu Imagawa, So Morozumi,

From George Pal’s classic The Time Machine (1960) to Robert Zemeckis’ crowd-pleaser Back to the Future (1985), to Shane Carruth’s puzzling low-budget indie Primer (2004) and Christopher Nolan’s epic espionage thriller Tenet (2020), time travel films come in many forms that show that the genre is truly timeless. Even now, new ideas keep emerging. Writer Takuya Matsuura and director Akinori Ikuse add to the genre with their Olympics-inspired short Out of Tokyo 202x, a hopeful story that relays romance and razzamatazz found at the Tokyo 2020 games.

if09_2

It starts with young time traveller Rika (Ucyu Imagawa) meeting mysterious young man Shin (So Morozumi) amidst a crowd of onlookers during the opening ceremonies of the summer games. Their discussion of temporal movement smoothly slips the proceedings into the realm of the sci-fi as we learn more about Rika’s novel method of traversing time via the manipulation of masses of collected data, like photos, videos, and blogs. She is from the future but it turns out that he is actually from even further forward in time. As the atmosphere of the day overtakes them, their relationship blossoms into something deeper.

Continue reading “Out of TOKYO202x Director: Akinori Ikuse [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022] V-Cinema”

Stream Contemporary Japanese Film with the Chicago Japan Film Collective (May 21st to 30th 2022)

Chicago Japan Film Collective is a Japanese film festival in America’s Midwest which was created with the express aim of introducing work created by women, the LGBTQ community and indie filmmakers to local audiences. This year’s run will last from May 21 to the 30, they will stream/screen 14 films that centre on the theme of love.

2022CJFC_Poster

The films are a mixture of dramas and documentaries, many of them highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. The majority are streamable but there are three films that are going to be screened in cinemas. You can read some of my reviews and interviews with two of the directors via links below. There are also a lot of newer films and they look exciting!

What has been selected for the festival?

Continue reading “Stream Contemporary Japanese Film with the Chicago Japan Film Collective (May 21st to 30th 2022)”

Hedatetete, Education and Patriotism, Ikitete Yokatta, Drive into the Night, Pineapple Tours Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend

I hope you are well.

This week, I posted about the Hanakori Korean Independent Animation Festival which will screen Korean animated films online in Japan next week. I posted my interview with director Yuko Watanabe about her short Boy Sprouted. I also posted the first part of the trailer post. This week, I’ve watched High and Low (Dir: Akira Kurosawa), The Graceful Brute (Dir: Yuzo Kawashima), The People Under the Stairs (Dir: Wes Craven), Armour of God II: Operation Condor (Dir: Jackie Chan), Candyman (Dir: Ni DaCosta) all in preparation for a Heroic Purgatory talk on Parasite (which I also watched).

What else was released this weekend?

Continue reading “Hedatetete, Education and Patriotism, Ikitete Yokatta, Drive into the Night, Pineapple Tours Japanese Film Trailers”

An Interview with Yuko Watanabe, Director of BOY SPROUTED [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]

 

Boy Sprouted depicts the battle of wills unfolds between a boy (Seitaro Hara) who dislikes tomatoes and his mother (Kanako Higashi) who is determined to make him eat them. Director Yuko Watanabe takes this everyday scenario and channels the boy’s aversion into a fairy tale nightmare aesthetic that is visually arresting and makes the film’s tone hover on the border between horror and bathos. The story itself comes from a Japanese AI named “Furukoto”, a bot that uses a neural network to create a story long enough to make a 30-minute short.

The film had its world premiere at Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF) 2022 and can currently be streamed online globally as part of Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia.

Yuko Watanabe took part in an interview where she went in depth into her background as well as the background of the film, explained her experience of working with an AI and a child cast, her ideas for the visuals, and influences in creating such a distinctive and enjoyable work. This interview was done thanks to the dedicated work of OAFF staff, the film’s producer Ryohei Tsutsui, and translator Takako Pocklington.

Continue reading “An Interview with Yuko Watanabe, Director of BOY SPROUTED [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]”