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The Promised Land, Show Me the Way to the Station, Special Actors, If Hope Disappears From the World, AI Tantei, AI Detective, The Detective Has a Melancholy Dream Tonight. 2, Kaihou-ku, Fragile, A Small History of Love Vol. 1, Star☆Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Miss Hokusai Gruff

We made it to another one. But we have to do more than just survive…

I’ve been really fatigued this week due to sleeping patterns which see me wake up at 03:00 in the morning and struggle to get back to sleep. It’s really dispiriting to get mid-way through a regular work day and struggle to smile. I’m going to exercise more to see if that improves things. Other than that and general sense of needing to change my life and improve my writing, I’m okay.

I wrote about the London East Asian Film Festival and I want to go to Samurai Sunday where they will show 13 Assassins, two entries in the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Harakiri, and Sword of Doom! I also posted a review for Bullet Ballet which I got two years ago but only got around to watching now.

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “The Promised Land, Show Me the Way to the Station, Special Actors, If Hope Disappears From the World, AI Tantei, AI Detective, The Detective Has a Melancholy Dream Tonight. 2, Kaihou-ku, Fragile, A Small History of Love Vol. 1, Star☆Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete Japanese Film Trailers”

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Bullet Ballet バルットバレエ Dir: Shinya Tsukamoto (2000)

Bullet Ballet                                                  Bullet Ballet Film Poster

バルットバレエ 「Barutto Baree

Release Date: March 11th, 2000

Duration: 87 mins.

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto

Starring: Shinya Tsukamoto, Kirina Mano, Tomorowo Taguchi, Tatsuya Nakamura, Kyoka Suzuki, Hisashi Igawa, Takahiro Murase, Keisuke Yoshida, Hiromi Kuronuma

When you say bullet ballet I think of Hong Kong gun-play movies the likes of which made John Woo famous. That isn’t the case here with this Shinya Tsukamoto film which is distinctly him as it features a visual and aural style reminiscent of Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (even shot in black and white) but closer in tone to the existential enquiries of A Snake of June and Tokyo Fist.

Shinya Tsukamoto takes the lead role of Goda, a thirty-something filmmaker working in advertising. His work aside, life is absolutely average – long hours at the office, drinks after work, an equally busy girlfriend named Kiriko. They have been with each other for a decade but never committed to marrying because they are both pursuing careers. No surprises. No detours. No shocks. That is until Goda returns home one night to find police cars and ambulances surrounding the entrance to his apartment building. Kiriko has committed suicide with a gun.

Continue reading “Bullet Ballet バルットバレエ Dir: Shinya Tsukamoto (2000)”

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Japanese Films at the London East Asian Film Festival 2019

The London East Asian Film Festival announced its programme last month and there will be a lot of films to see from October 24th to November 03rd and there is a great slate of films from Korea to Hong Kong and Japan.

Here are some of the non-Japanese titles I’ve reviewed:

The Crossing (festival link) and Still Human (festival link) The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil (festival link)

The Japanese selection features titles both old and new, fresh off the festival circuit and dragged out of the vaults.

Here are the details:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the London East Asian Film Festival 2019”

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Itsuka no futari, The Truth, The Path Leading to Love, Her Blue Sky. Walking Man , Welcome to Japan Hinomaru Lunch Box, Blue Hour, Vampire Clay 2, Tokyo Adios Japanese Film Trailers

Welcome to the weekend, everyone!

I hope you are all safe and well.

It’s another weekend so that means more badly translated trailers. This week has been playing catch-up with reviews I am supposed to turn in and writing down reviews for films I saw at the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival as well as an interview with director Takeshi Yashiro. I posted a delayed trailer post in two parts (part one / part two) and a preview of Japan Cuts Hollywood this week.

The big news is that Typhoon Habigis is about to make landfall in the Tokyo Bay area. There has been hours of rain leading up to this and rivers are swollen and people are being prepped for evacuation already. If you’re in Japan during this typhoon, take all precautions and make sure you stay indoors and stay safe and heed official warnings for evacuation if necessary. The Japan Times has a Disaster News and Information page which will be of help.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Itsuka no futari, The Truth, The Path Leading to Love, Her Blue Sky. Walking Man , Welcome to Japan Hinomaru Lunch Box, Blue Hour, Vampire Clay 2, Tokyo Adios Japanese Film Trailers”

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A Preview of Japan Cuts Hollywood 2019

Japan Cuts Hollywood Header 2

JAPAN CUTS Hollywood is a 3-day film festival organised in cooperation with JAPAN CUTS in New York. There is a unique slate of titles different from the New York fest (except for Melancholic) and some short films and a History Channel documentary called Defending Japan. Guests will also be in attendance.

Here’s what is programmed:

Continue reading “A Preview of Japan Cuts Hollywood 2019”

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Garo – Under the Moonbow, Blackfox, Words Can’t Go There, Miss Blue Lotus, Ao no Hasu Yori, Last Ninja: Red Shadow, Tenzo, LET IT BE -You Exist to Be You-, Sensei Kara, “Kiki Kirin” o Ikiru, Ikenie man Japanese Film Trailers

This is the second part of my trailer post for last weekend’s releases. A lot came out and I was busy with a film festival so I kept putting it off until now.

What was released last weekend???

Continue reading “Garo – Under the Moonbow, Blackfox, Words Can’t Go There, Miss Blue Lotus, Ao no Hasu Yori, Last Ninja: Red Shadow, Tenzo, LET IT BE -You Exist to Be You-, Sensei Kara, “Kiki Kirin” o Ikiru, Ikenie man Japanese Film Trailers”

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The Other Home, Mukou no Ie,Liar! Uncover the Truth, Listen to the Universe, Tokyo Wine Party People, Mr. Hikita, I Am Knocked Up, Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!, High & Low The Worst, Geki × cine “Seven people of the skull castle” Season Moon Waning Moon Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

I hope you are all well!

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival is on and I’m locked into doing that. It has been good getting back into anime and watching the films with the audience and then chatting about them in the lobby of the cinema. Titles include Tamako Love Story, Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel Presage Flower and Birthday Wonderland, A Silent Voice and Penguin Highway. Expect to see some reviews. Due to the festival, this post will be split into two so expect more trailers later this week.

This week I reviewed Ad Astra (2019) and ran a news report about the stop-motion animation workshop being run by Takeshi Yashiro.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Other Home, Mukou no Ie,Liar! Uncover the Truth, Listen to the Universe, Tokyo Wine Party People, Mr. Hikita, I Am Knocked Up, Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!, High & Low The Worst, Geki × cine “Seven people of the skull castle” Season Moon Waning Moon Japanese Film Trailers”

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Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival Workshop and Talks with Award-Winning Animator Takeshi Yashiro and Producer Satoshi Akutsu in the UK

Cardiff’s Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and the Japan Foundation have teamed up to host award-winning stop-motion animator Takeshi Yashiro and his producer Satoshi Akutsu on a tour of the UK as they take part in talks and a stop-motion animation workshop.

On October 05th, the two men will show their latest collaboration, Gon, The Little Fox (2019) at a Masterclass and will talk about their careers as Yashiro explains why he chooses to work in stop-motion and how he makes his movies. Satoshi Akutsu presents an equally interesting talk considering he has extensive experience in the role of producer for a variety of projects in Japan and America, having worked with Japanese broadcaster NHK, animation production house Madhouse, and DVD distributor Geneon Universal.

Here’s a trailer for their latest work Gon, The Little Fox, an adaptation of the classic 1932 children’s story about the fateful encounter between a farmer and a mischievous fox.

On October 06th, Yashiro will lead a stop-motion workshop where attendees can animate their own scene with actual puppets used by Yashiro in the film. It is open to people from the age 8 and up at the cost of £27 (for booking please contact the festival info@kotatsufestival.com).

Following their stint in Cardiff, the two men will be in London for a special talk.

Takeshi Yashiro is a graduate from Tokyo University of the Arts who got his career started making CMs and studied different stop-motion techniques in his spare time until he decided to go full-time with the style in 2012 with his debut Dear November Boy (2012). He’s had a string of award-winning films like Norman the Snowman The Northern Light and Firewood, Kanta & Grandpa (both 2013) and Moon of a Sleepless Night (2015), which won the Japan Competition Best Short Award at the Short Shorts Film Festival 2016 (source).

Commenting on the win, Yashiro said about stop-motion,

“The best thing about using stop motion animation is that the characters and the set really “exist” in front of the camera. Though technology has enabled CG to create brilliant images these days, it is still worthwhile using stop motion pictures because the audience can feel everything being there and sense the texture of the materials. In this sense, stop motion films are developed from art design. While sculptors interpret the world by capturing single moments of objects, I like to animate figures to show my interpretation of the world. I hope you will enjoy the story and I’d be glad if you could spare a few moments to think about the art design in the film.”

Here are the events and dates:

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival (October 05th and 06th at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff)
Japan Foundation in London (October 07th, 18:30 at the Courthouse Hotel Cinema in London)

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Ad Astra Dir: James Gray (2019) (USA)

Ad Astra   

アド・アストラAdo Asutora

Release Date: September 18th, 2020

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: James Gray

Writer: James Gray, Ethan Gross (Screenplay),

Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland, Liv Tyler, Kimmy Shields, John Finn, LisaGay Hamilton, Bobby Nish, Sean Blakemore, Kimberly Elise,

Website IMDB

Following on from his sure-footed performance as a cocksure stunt-double in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, Brad Pitt takes the lead in another of 2019’s biggest films but dials down the flashiness to portray an ace astronaut who must confront a hostile environment and emotional states as he goes to the far edge of the Solar System in search of his father to stop a civilisation-ending disaster.

Pitt gives an understated performance as Major Roy McBride, a skilled but buttoned-up military man famous for having a pulse that never goes above 80 bpm.

Continue reading “Ad Astra Dir: James Gray (2019) (USA)”

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The Flowers of Evil, From Miyamoto To You, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Chapter I, Horror Channel, Ojo-chan, Yoidore Seiyu Horoki Seibero ‘Shinbashi-hen’ , Shunga and the Japanese, Gekijouban Soshite Ikiru, Cinema Kabuki Tokubetsu-hen Yuugen , Ninkyo Gakuen, Daremonai Heya Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Chichi no Kekkon Film Image
Chichi no Kekkon Film Image

I hope you are all well!

This week I published my review for Orphan’s Blues and also a look at the Japanese films at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. We’re getting closer to this year’s Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and I’m doing SNS and press stuff.

What is released in cinemas across Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “The Flowers of Evil, From Miyamoto To You, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Chapter I, Horror Channel, Ojo-chan, Yoidore Seiyu Horoki Seibero ‘Shinbashi-hen’ , Shunga and the Japanese, Gekijouban Soshite Ikiru, Cinema Kabuki Tokubetsu-hen Yuugen , Ninkyo Gakuen, Daremonai Heya Japanese Film Trailers”