The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 runs from January 24th to February 04th and it includes a massive amount of titles which all look really special. Some are so new, there’s little information. Without further ado, here are the titles!
Running Time: 120 mins.
Director: Kei Ishikawa
Writer: Kosuke Mukai (Screenplay), Tokuro Nukui (Original Novel),
Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Keisuke Koide, Asami Usuda, Yui Ichikawa,
A brutal crime is committed in Tokyo where a picture-perfect family is knifed to death by an unknown assailant. With the killer having disappeared, questions are left unanswered but the central protagonist of this film aims to answer them. Kei Ishikawa’s tightly controlled directorial debut ostensibly looks like a murder mystery similar to Rage (2016) where an ensemble cast lead the audience into the conclusion of a terrible atrocity but this is a mystery where it is less about the how and more about the why the perpetrator committed the crime. Based on a novel by Tokuro Nukui and adapted by veteran scriptwriter Kosuke Mukai, this is a disturbing film gives us a chilling portrait of people driven to murder by issues of class and background in a society where hierarchy is everything. In this tale, lies and deceit are inherent in everyone who bears traces of sin.
I hope everyone is well!
Work has been okay, writing has been better, movie viewing has been fantastic. I posted a review for the wonderful drama, Kako: My Sullen Past, posted my top ten films from last year and watched a whole lot of Japanese movies, usually before going to work. Various things are being put into place this week as I book tickets for the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 event at the ICA and something else.
What’s released this weekend in Japan?
Continue reading “Ito-kun A to E, Evil and the Mask, Our House, Watashitachi no Ie, Hopeiro no Yuutsu, Left Fly, Legend of the Stardust Brothers, Brand New Legend of Stardust Brothers, Hoshikuzu kyodai no aratana densetsu, Mazinger Z Infinity, Full Metal Panic! One Night Stand, Shingeki no Kyojin Movie 3: Kakusei no Houkou, Cinema Kabuki Kyouganoko Musume Gonin Doujouji / The Dancing Girl at the Dojoji Temple, Cinema Kabuki Ninin Wankyu Japanese Film Trailers”
Welcome to my top ten films of 2017.
LAst year was dominated by work/fun at two festivals. There was the Osaka Asian Film Festival at the start of the year while I was in Japan and the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2017 during the autumn when I returned to the UK. Both experiences were great because I got to do what I love the most, writing about films. I also got to work with some really great people and made friends. I have to say thank you to all of them. I hope these people stay with me. As far as I’m concerned, they have my loyalty for what it’s worth. Once I got back from Japan, I made sure to take my family to see as many films as possible. Going to the cinema was something we already did as a family but spending more time together is important. As a result of all this activity, I saw lots of films this year. Due to the type of films I cover or circumstances or pure choice, I flit between years so not everything has been released in 2017. Here’s an article on VCinema I contributed to about a year in cinema and here are my top ten for 2017:
I hope you discover something in this list that interests you.
I’ve updated my Top Ten Films page for these entries.
Kako: My Sullen Past
ふきげんな過去 「Fukigen na Kako」
Running Time: 120 mins.
Director: Shiro Maeda
Writer: Shiro Maeda (Screenplay)
Starring: Kyoko Koizumi, Fumi Nikaido, Kengo Kora, Mei Kurokawa, Yuki Yamada, Itsuji Itao,
Playwright and novelist Shiro Maeda has long been working in films, adapting A Story of Yonosuke (2013) and his novels Isn’t Anyone Alive? (2012) and The Extreme Sukiyaki (2013) for the big-screen. Indeed, his adaptation of The Extreme Sukiyaki was his directorial debut and he followed it up with Kako: My Sullen Past (2016), an exquisite character-driven story of a teenager plagued by uncertainty and cynicism who finds her dull life turned upside-down when her long-dead aunt dashes back into her life and a whole lot of skeletons tumble out of the closet.
Happy weekend, people!
I hope you are all well and had an excellent New Year’s period. I managed to watch three films and complete a lot of writing, share good food and drink with family and chat with friends. Then it was back to work, which is a bit of a drag, but my job is good and I get to meet lots of people and work in a nice environment. I would like to try a new job soon and I suppose the New Year’s Resolutions I made will help me. I posted about the Japan Foundation’s Touring Film Programme for 2018. More importantly, I kicked off the year in an awesome way with a review of The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (2017). Reviewers paint it as a depressing film about isolation but I saw it as an uplifting human drama. Mindset and positive thinking.
What’s released in Japan this weekend?
Continue reading “We Make Antiques, Love Disease, Tetsuya Kumagawa K Ballet Company “Cleopatra” in Cinema, Garo – Kami no kiba -, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Movie: Take On Me Japanese Film Trailers”
The 2018 Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (February 02nd to March 28th) has had its line-up of films revealed by the organisers and its a veritable feast of excellent contemporary titles with a classic and an anime added which looks/is fantastic respectively. I’ll come out cheering for The Long Excuse which is just fantastic. I cannot recommend this film enough. There’s also Sword of the Stranger which is pure action thrills, and Joy of Man’s Desiring and Room for Let which look exquisite. What’s the theme behind all of these films? Here’s more from the organisers:
Everybody has once told a lie or kept something hidden from others. Whether for good intentions or otherwise, it is a fundamental and intriguing aspect of human nature which has provided inspiration to countless storytellers and filmmakers.
With diverse cinematic voices, The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 features some of the best examples of cinema from Japan and will look at how the country’s filmmakers have been drawn to portraying the “(un)true” colours of human nature. The twists and turns of life portrayed in the programme are at times heart-rending, at other times hilarious, but always enthralling.
Without further ado, here are the films!
夜空はいつでも最高密度の青色だ 「Yozora wa Itsudemo Saiko Mitsudo no Aoiro da」
Running Time: 108 mins.
Director: Yuya Ishii
Writer: Yuya Ishii (Screenplay), Tahi Saihate (Original Poet)
Starring: Shizuka Ishibashi, Sosuke Ikematsu, Ryo Sato, Takahiro Miura, Mikako Ichikawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Paul Magsalin, Tetsushi Tanaka,
Yuya Ishii has gone from indie kid to director of award-winning adaptations of major books with films like Sawako Decides (2010), A Man with Style (2011), Mitsuko Delivers (2012), The Great Passage (2013). Despite the growth in projects, he has kept looking directly at his characters and in his incisive looks at human nature he spots the oddities and uniqueness of everyone regardless of the story and gets the actors to perform perfectly.
Here, he works with newbie actor Shizuka Ishibashi (later to star in Parks) and pairs her up with the more experienced Sosuke Ikematsu (How Selfish I Am!) and Ryuhei Matsuda (Nightmare Detective, My Little Sweet Pea) who was the lead in The Great Passage. The actors all portray characters caught up in the whirlwind world of Tokyo, a place which is fearsome or fantastically rewarding depending upon a person’s perspective. Film festival synopses paint the characters as alienated, stressed, and looking for relief from the everyday grind making the film sound grimdark. Far from being a miserable time, The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue is a tribute to the magic of Tokyo and the people living in it. It exhorts its audience to seize life and appreciate all the small blessings and all the positives, to work hard no matter the good times and bad times and embrace the people who offer love.
Welcome to my last post of 2017.
I hope everyone is well and has had a good year.
Around this time last year, I was at the first of many shrines I would travel to in Taito-ku welcoming in 2017. It was an amazing experience made possible by a good friend and the start of a pretty good year for me. I was able to continue travelling across Japan and enjoyed doing unique things due to the kindness of others.
I had a blast at the Osaka Asian Film Festival where I got to watch lots of films and I really enjoyed meeting the team and working with them. I continued working on a film by helping out with sound-recording and photography on a couple of shoots, something which is set to continue into the new year in a more behind-the-scenes role. I took part in a major festival in Tokyo thanks to a friend (a seriously sophisticated and beautiful JoJo’s fan) and found that carrying a shrine is as hard as it looks. Also, visiting Kyoto was pure magic and it was made better since it was spent in great company.
Happy weekend, people.
I hope everyone is having a great holiday period.
I got a lot of cool gifts connected to exercise and, Yakuza Kiwami and some video game clothes so I was pretty pleased but, more importantly, I received a lot of friendship in the form of messages and cards and I had a good time with my family with lots of food and drink consumed. To my friends and family, thank you for so much. To the people who visit my site, thank you as well.
What’s released in Japan this weekend? Well, two anime and some documentaries midweek so there are two of the first titles to be released in cinemas in Japan!