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A Preview of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2018

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2018

Mirai Film Image

Cardiff                                                                                         Aberystwyth

Chapter 28th – 30th September      Aberystwyth Arts Centre 20th – 21st October

So I work as a writer for the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and it’s going to launch soon. More than 10 feature films have been programmed to present the wide variety of stories and styles in Japanese animation. This year, we welcome two guests from Japan who will treat audiences to special events.

The festival gets off to a start on September 28 at 14:00 at Chapter Arts, Cardiff, with a screening of the Masaaki Yuasa’s latest film Lu Over the Wall.

Continue reading “A Preview of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2018”

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The Hungry Lion 飢えたライオン Dir: Takaomi Ogata (2017)

The Hungry Lion    The Hungry Lion Film Poster   

飢えたライオン Ueta Raion

Running Time: 78 mins.

Release Date: N/A

Director:  Takaomi Ogata

Writer: Takaomi Ogata, Fujio Ikeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Urara Matsubayashi, Atomu Mizuishi, Mariko Tsutsui,

This was at the Tokyo International Film Festival last year and Rotterdam and the New York Asian Film Festival this year.

The Hungry Lion is the fourth feature from Fukuoka-born indie filmmaker Takaomi Ogata. Each of his films address pressing social issues faced by modern Japan. Never Ending Blue (2011) shows a teenage girl enduring child abuse and self-abuse and was potent enough to win the Runner-up Grand Prix at the 2010 Okinawa Motion Picture Festival. Body Temperature (2011) featured the story of an intensely lonely man too focussed on a life-sized doll to make a connection with other humans. Sunk Into the Womb (2013) features a Nobody Knows type of story about a single-mother who abandons her children. The Hungry Lion has the harrowing story of an innocent person having their reputation murdered by liars, gossip-mongers, and the media.

Continue reading “The Hungry Lion 飢えたライオン Dir: Takaomi Ogata (2017)”

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North North West, The Hungry Lion, Hibiki, 3D Kanojo Real Girl, Aura Aurora, Itoshi no Airi-n, NETSTAR Saisei Kaisu no muko-gawa, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix, Urufuna Shissi, Lenses on Her Heart Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Of Love and Law Film Poster

I hope everyone is fine!

I took two days off work and had a special day on Friday and then a nice relaxing start to the weekend where I watched films on Donation Theater and visited people. I posted information about the Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2018 and a review of the wonderful documentary Of Love and Law which will play at next month’s BFI London Film Festival.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “North North West, The Hungry Lion, Hibiki, 3D Kanojo Real Girl, Aura Aurora, Itoshi no Airi-n, NETSTAR Saisei Kaisu no muko-gawa, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix, Urufuna Shissi, Lenses on Her Heart Japanese Film Trailers”

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Of Love and Law 愛と法 (2017) Dir: Hikaru Toda

Of Love & Law     Of Love and Law Film Poster

愛と法 「Ai to hou」    

Running Time: 94 mins.

Release Date: September 2018

Director:  Hikaru Toda

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kazuyuki Minami, Masafumi Yoshida, Yae Minami, Kazumi Tsujitani, Rokudenashiko, Hiroko Tsujitani, Masae Ido, Natsuo Yamamoto,

Website     IMDB    JFDB

Documentarian and visual anthropologist Hikaru Toda is based in London and Osaka and has worked on many films to explore the differences between people and society. Love Hotel, a 2014 film she co-directed, was a look at the lives of the customers of a love hotel in Osaka. It eschewed going down the cheap route of titillating and alternative sex to look at the pressures, inner-desires, and memories that drive the people who escape to such a private place. The film also offered a look at the creeping draconian politics of Japan’s government which is shutting down love hotels whilst also taking away personal freedoms as it re-militarises the country. Two of the customers were gay lawyers Kazu and Fumi who lived out their love behind closed doors and reappear in this documentary out in the open.

Continue reading “Of Love and Law 愛と法 (2017) Dir: Hikaru Toda”

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Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2018

Vancouver International Film Festival 2013 Logo

The Vancouver International Film Festival 2018 runs from September 27th to October 12th and it has a selection of Japanese films seen at festivals such as Cannes and Udine but there is one new title which hasn’t been picked up by any festival that I have seen thus far. Just like last year, it has a film starring Ai Hashimoto and one directed by Daihachi Yoshida. It’s a good line-up so if you cannot attend Toronto or Fantasia, go see the films here.

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2018”

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The Miracle of Crybaby Shottan, Kasane, Fooly Cooly Alternative, The Departure, Itsumo Tsukiyo ni Kome no Meshi, Hatsukoi Sukecchi: Maitchingu Machiko Sensei, Endoka isan sensou, Crying Free Sex, Gekijouban Hontou ni atta kowai hanashi 2018, Eiga Okaasan to Issho Hajimete no Dai Bouken Japanese Film Trailers   

Happy weekend, people!

Ohikkoshi Film Image 2

I hope everyone is doing good!

This week has been spent doing overtime in work and overcoming exhaustion and illness at the same time. I had help from relaxing at home with lots of films, a yakuza film from 1958 and lots of shorts on Donation Theater. The campaign period is up and there’s just a week left to watch the remaining films so I’ve got my work cut out but I will do it! I also have work on an otome game and I have to get back into regular reviews again. I have started Japanese practice again, which is good. Prep for going back to the course at the end of the month. I have also done press work for the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival which launches at the same time. It’s all happening but I will make it!

I posted about the Japanese films at the BFI London Film Festival and a review of The Scythian Lamb.

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “The Miracle of Crybaby Shottan, Kasane, Fooly Cooly Alternative, The Departure, Itsumo Tsukiyo ni Kome no Meshi, Hatsukoi Sukecchi: Maitchingu Machiko Sensei, Endoka isan sensou, Crying Free Sex, Gekijouban Hontou ni atta kowai hanashi 2018, Eiga Okaasan to Issho Hajimete no Dai Bouken Japanese Film Trailers   “

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The Scythian Lamb 羊の木 Dir: Daihachi Yoshida (2018)

The Scythian Lamb   The Scythian Lamb Film Poster

羊の木 Hitsuji no ki

Running Time: 126 mins.

Release Date: February 03rd, 2018

Director: Daihachi Yoshida

Writer: Masato Kagawa (Screenplay), Tatsuhiko Yamagami, Mikio Igarashi (Original Manga),

Starring: Ryo Nishikido, Fumino Kimura, Kazuki Kitamura, Yuka, Mikako Ichikawa, Shingo Mizusawa, Min Tanaka, Ryuhei Matsuda, Tamae Ando,

Website IMDB

You can never truly know another person, the old existentialist saying goes. It’s not necessarily that people hide various aspects of their character and history, it’s also that people change all of the time. With that in mind, Daihachi Yoshida’s movies dwell in that gap between the fixed persona and the shadows his characters hide and we see the sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic actions that barely repressed desires and fears make people perform. The Kirishima Thing looked at the politics of high school life with longed-for and thwarted romances between members of various cliques while Pale Moon looked at the weight of expectation from society through the tale of a normal woman and her desire to escape into fantasy in order to feel desired. They all operate with varying tones of drama and comedy and it is much the same in The Scythian Lamb where tight-knit community is asked to accept a group of outsiders with troublesome pasts and hidden intentions.

Continue reading “The Scythian Lamb 羊の木 Dir: Daihachi Yoshida (2018)”

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Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2018

This year’s BFI London Film Festival is going to run from October 10th to the 21st and various cinemas across the city will be screenings films from around the world. There are three Japanese films listed and I have brought them together here. The only one I have seen is Of Love and Law and, in an era that is often marked by nationalism, division, and hate, it’s a refreshing and heartwarming film that reminds us there are good people trying to build bridges and protect others. There is also the anime film Mirai from Mamoru Hosoda which looks swell.

Click on the titles to get to the festival page:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2018”

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Amiko, Asako I & II, Sunny: Strong Mind Strong Love, Kimi no tori wa utaeru, Youtachi Happy Eigaban Himawari, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Laughing Under the Clouds Side Story: Cherry Blossoms, the Bridge to Heavenly Wishes, K SEVEN STORIES Episode3 「SIDE: GREEN Uwagaki Sekai」, Kaidan shin mimi bukuro G men boken-hen kouhen Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I hope you are all well!

I’ve had a busy week what with overtime at work, going down to London and then a get-together at a Japanese restaurant but it has been fun.

I’ve also been working through films on Donation Theater and other titles and it has been a varied selection of titles from CG anime about a kid jetting through space to save a planet populated by robots to live-action dramas about a young woman and a young musician finding confidence in themselves. There is so much to watch, it’s great. It’s fantastic seeing the film community stepping up to help others in their time of need. You can still donate to the site and help the people of western Japan recover from the floods.

I’ve watched more avant-garde films since the last trailer post and some great dramas. This week, I posted about a pink film festival as part of the trailer post, a news announcement of the Japan Society in New York screening Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s serial-killer thriller Cure and Nobuhiro Yamashita’s teen music drama Linda Linda Linda as well as a preview of the Japanese films at this year’s Raindance Film Festival.

What else is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Amiko, Asako I & II, Sunny: Strong Mind Strong Love, Kimi no tori wa utaeru, Youtachi Happy Eigaban Himawari, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Laughing Under the Clouds Side Story: Cherry Blossoms, the Bridge to Heavenly Wishes, K SEVEN STORIES Episode3 「SIDE: GREEN Uwagaki Sekai」, Kaidan shin mimi bukuro G men boken-hen kouhen Japanese Film Trailers”

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OP PICTURES+FEST 2018 Films

So the pink film label OP PICTURES have booked out a cinema in Tokyo and are screening their latest works under the title OP PICTURES+FEST 2018. There is a lot to cover and not enough time. I had to split up last week’s trailer post into two because of the amount of content and I have raced through things here. The same bunch of directors and actors have worked on these titles and they will all be screened until mid-September. These aren’t my cup of tea.

Sorry if I don’t take the films that seriously.

Continue reading “OP PICTURES+FEST 2018 Films”