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Kairai / Marionettes, Yuzuriha, Recall, East of Jefferson, Batman Ninja, B’z 30th Year Exhibition “SCENES” 1988-2018 Gekijouban, Dolmen X Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, people!

Thicker than Water Film Image

I hope everyone is well.

It’s a bit of a gloomy day today and I’m feeling under the weather because I caught a cold last week. It’s on its way out, thankfully, and it couldn’t come sooner because I am taking a friend out to a pub tonight so we can have a good time together. Earlier this week, I attended the opening of a gallery with the same friend and the Japanese ambassador was there. Other than that, business as usual with films and work at my day job. I saw two great titles last Sunday, a Sono film and a Junji Sakamoto one that both had me tearful and laughing. In terms of my writing, I published an old review of Bad Poetry Tokyo and a preview of Japan Cuts 2018 which has many excellent titles. Japan Cuts always programmes great films and this year looks stellar with titles like Night is Short, Walk on GirlKushina, Nagisa, Passage of Life, Dear Etranger, and TOURISM, being ones I have already seen and rated highly. Hanagatami, Thicker than Water, and Amiko are ones I am desperate to watch. Violence Voyager, the Geki-animation by Ujicha looks like a barrel of laughs!

What is released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Kairai / Marionettes, Yuzuriha, Recall, East of Jefferson, Batman Ninja, B’z 30th Year Exhibition “SCENES” 1988-2018 Gekijouban, Dolmen X Japanese Film Trailers”

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Shoplifters, A Forest of Wool and Steel, When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead., Vision, WAKITA PEAK, Enokida Bouekido, Life in Overtime, 5TO9, Asagao to kase-san / Kase-san and Morning Glories, Tokyo Living Dead Idol, Cinema Kabuki: Tokai Dochu Hizakurige Kobikicho Nazotokibanashi, Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden Fate, The Double-Headed Fūma Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

Shuhei Morita Possessions Image

We made it through to another one!

I’ve been busy at my day job but it’s the good kind of busy. Had some fun working, the highlight of which was installing perspex for a stage housing an Edo-period screen, and dining with Japanese and British colleagues at a fancy hotel. That work is calming down over the next week and I’ll be resuming other duties soon including movie watching. Due to my regular job, in terms of this blog, my work at the Osaka Asian Film Festival came to the rescue and allowed me to have some content ready to go over the last couple of weeks. I posted a review of The Sower and an interview with that films director, Yosuke Takeuchi. V-Cinema also posted my interview with Rina Tanaka and her cast and crew from the film Filled With Steam.

Here’s what’s released this weekend.

Continue reading “Shoplifters, A Forest of Wool and Steel, When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead., Vision, WAKITA PEAK, Enokida Bouekido, Life in Overtime, 5TO9, Asagao to kase-san / Kase-san and Morning Glories, Tokyo Living Dead Idol, Cinema Kabuki: Tokai Dochu Hizakurige Kobikicho Nazotokibanashi, Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden Fate, The Double-Headed Fūma Japanese Film Trailers”

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The Yamasato no Uta, Over Drive, 50 First Kisses, PEACE MAKER Kurogane Path of Thoughts, Yoake zen kure shūzō to mumei no seishin shōgai-sha no 100-nen, Even: Song For You, Uma no Hone, Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

Goodbye Silence Sumire

We made it through to another one.

It has been a manageable week split between proofing a game, practising for and conducting a Japanese language/culture lesson and then still writing about films. I covered some reviews for Mamoru Hosoda’s latest anime, Mirai and then posted about the two Japanese films at the Edinburgh Film Festival, and posted a review for the film, Goodbye Silence. I also performed some maintenance on this blog by updating dead trailers and putting in links.

What is released this week?

Continue reading “The Yamasato no Uta, Over Drive, 50 First Kisses, PEACE MAKER Kurogane Path of Thoughts, Yoake zen kure shūzō to mumei no seishin shōgai-sha no 100-nen, Even: Song For You, Uma no Hone, Japanese Film Trailers”

Japanese Films at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018

Party Round the Globe Film Image

Japanese Films at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (June 20th to July 01st) and while compared to past editions of the festivals it’s disappointing, these are two top titles the event presents probably the best chance to see them in the UK.

Here they are!

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

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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 Review Round-Up: Mamoru Hosoda’s “Mirai”

Mamoru Hosoda’s new Mirai no Mirai (Mirai of the Future) was screened at Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight section and it took a while for a bunch of reviews to be published online but they are there to be discovered and they are all full of praise for the film.

Mirai

Mirai of the Future Film Image

Mirai of the Future    Mirai of the Future Film Poster

未来のミライ Mirai no Mirai

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: July 20th, 2018

Director:  Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Mamoru Hosoda (Screenplay/Original Work)

Starring: Haru Kuroki (Mirai-chan), Moka Kamishiraishi (Kun-chan), Gen Hoshino (Father), Koji Yakusho (Father), Kumiko Aso (Mother), Mitsuo Yoshihara (Mysterious Man), Yoshiko Miyazaki (Grandmother)

Animation Production: Studio Chizu

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: A family living in a small house in a corner of a Yokohama dotes on a spoiled four-year-old boy named Kun-chan. When he gets a little sister named Mirai, he feels that his new sister stole his parents’ love from him. Jealousy and resentment well up until he meets an older version of Mirai, who has come from the future and takes him on an adventure.

As previously written, great plaudits for the film. Universal praise. A lot of focus is placed on Hosoda’s own experiences of being a father in a family where a newborn girl took the attention of the parents away from the elder sibling, a boy, and this dose of reality gives the story its hearty content.  

…Hosoda turns life lessons into an exuberant and enriching story full of intriguing ideas…

…From the very start Hosoda nails the chaos and pure joy of family life.” Katherine McLaughlinSciFiNow

Films based on families are what Hosoda tends to do and he tends to mix human drama with the fantastical to make it palatable. There were unconventional families showing the dedication and beauty of personal connections in Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and The Boy and the Beast. The film is closer to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time since it has time-travel with a coming-of-age story and we have time-travel again with all the familiar themes.

Once Hosoda’s fantastical premise kicks in, Mirai unfolds into an episodic, almost plotless story of a child finding their place in the world, and discovering the responsibilities and relationships that help make up their developing identity.” Michael Leader – Little White Lies

The story sounds simple enough and easy to dive into, much like Hosoda’s other films. The real richness comes from the characters and family dynamics.

The film gets praise for its character design/animation as well as the design of locations such as the house. It shows the care and attention that Hosoda typically puts into his films. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars really capture the imagination with their locations which are so rich with details, well, I have tried on a number of occasions hunting down an old post from a blogger which went into detail about specific rooms and the symbolism of decorations.

“…the character design walks the line with grace between big-eyed anime cutesiness and closely observed realism, capturing with insightful wit the way dogs and kids move and wiggle, especially given the fact that they have different centers of gravity compared to adults. There are also some finely timed slapstick moments, and altogether, the story lasts a comparatively sprightly and pleasant 98 minutes, displaying a brevity that would serve more cartoons from the region well.” Leslie FelperinThe Hollywood Reporter

This film is going to be good!

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3ft Ball & Souls, After the Rain, My Friend “A”, What a Wonderful Family! 3: My Wife My Life, Last Love Letter, Ani Tomo, Zenigata, The Man From the Sea, Gachi Boshi, Hurry Go Round hide 20th MEMORIAL FILM, The Reverse Diaries, SEVEN/7, Mitsuko to Uchuu kobu, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Chapter 5 “Rengoku-hen”, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – Glorification Japanese Film Trailers    

Happy weekend, people!

Columbus Film Image 2

I hope everyone is fine and dandy!

I’ve been busy at work conducting Japanese language/culture classes as well as doing my regular job. On top of that, I’ve managed to squeeze in time to do some writing. I posted about Kore-eda Hirokazu winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes on Sunday and followed that with an interview I had with the incredibly talented Hayami Moet, director of Kushina, what will you be, at the Osaka Asian Film Festival. I then posted a review for the American indie film Columbus which I saw at the same festival. V-Cinema posted my interview with the team behind Bad Poetry Tokyo and the director Takayama Kohei, both of which were conducted at, you guessed it, the Osaka Asian Film Festival!!!

I’ll be continuing with the lessons in the next week but I have started a new anime, Golden Kamuy. It’s pretty freaking brilliant.

What’s released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “3ft Ball & Souls, After the Rain, My Friend “A”, What a Wonderful Family! 3: My Wife My Life, Last Love Letter, Ani Tomo, Zenigata, The Man From the Sea, Gachi Boshi, Hurry Go Round hide 20th MEMORIAL FILM, The Reverse Diaries, SEVEN/7, Mitsuko to Uchuu kobu, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Chapter 5 “Rengoku-hen”, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – Glorification Japanese Film Trailers    “

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Hirokazu Kore-eda wins the Palme d’Or for “Shoplifters” at Cannes 2018

Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival for his latest film, Shoplifters.

Hirokazu Koreeda Cannes 2018 Shoplifters Palme d'or
(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

Congratulations, Hirokazu Kore-eda!

This was his fifth time in the competition section and his win marks, to quote the critic Peter Debruge over at Variety,

“just the second time this century that an Asian film has claimed the festival’s top prize (the other being Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” in 2010).”

This latest drama features an unconventional family living happily together on the margins of Japanese society through a mixture of grit and graft. Initially a gentle and heartwarming film, the tone changes as it shines a light on the failings of society and individuals. It marks yet another film where Kore-eda has worked with child actors and got amazing results as the different reviews have pointed out (round-up of reviews post).

Cate Blanchett, the Cannes Jury president said, “We were completely bowled over by ‘Shoplifters.’ How inter-meshed the performances were with the directorial vision”.

The film has already been picked up for US distribution thanks to Magnolia Films. The company’s president, Eamon Bowles said,

“In a long career of incredible peaks, Hirokazu Kore-eda has delivered one of his best works. ‘Shoplifters’ is an incredible story that deals with familial bonds in a way I’ve never seen before”. SOURCE

Continue reading “Hirokazu Kore-eda wins the Palme d’Or for “Shoplifters” at Cannes 2018″

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Nomitori Samurai, Mori, The Artist’s Habitat, SUKITA: The Shoot Must Go On, Kamen Rider Amazons the Movie: The Last Judgement, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, Gifted Freeman and Milk Selling Woman, Kokoro no furusato aru wansei no ayunde kita michi, Samurai and Idiots: The Olympus Affair, Mabuigumi New Caledonia hikisakareta iminshi, No Place to Return Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, people!

Shoplifters Film Image 2

I spent this week writing when I said I wouldn’t because I need to focus on learning Japanese. I rounded up the better reviews of the Japanese films at the Cannes film festival with Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I&II and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters and I’m waiting for reviews of Mamoru Hosoda’s latest feature, Mirai to be published so I can collect them in one post. I also posted a preview of Nippon Connection 2018. I also posted my review of Kushina which was originally published on V-Cinema. My review for the film, Goodbye Silence was published on V-Cinema as well. Right, I’ll be doing work for some classes I have to deliver late next week!

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Nomitori Samurai, Mori, The Artist’s Habitat, SUKITA: The Shoot Must Go On, Kamen Rider Amazons the Movie: The Last Judgement, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, Gifted Freeman and Milk Selling Woman, Kokoro no furusato aru wansei no ayunde kita michi, Samurai and Idiots: The Olympus Affair, Mabuigumi New Caledonia hikisakareta iminshi, No Place to Return Japanese Film Trailers”

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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 Review Round-Up: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Asako I & II”

Making his Cannes debut is Ryosuke Hamaguchi who came to the world’s attenton with his five hour film Happy Hour (2015) which took a top prize at the Locarno Film Festival. Here, he adapts

Asako I & II

Asako I and II Film Image

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 Review Round-Up: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Asako I & II””

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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival Review Round-Up: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters”

There is a small selection of Japanese films at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 with two in the Competition section. The biggest name is Hirokazu Kore-eda who has appeared at Cannes six times in the Competition and Un Certain Regard sections, picking up the Jury Prize for Like Father, Like Son (2013). Due to his focus on families in films like I Wish (2011) and Our Little Sister (2015), he is often called the Ozu of modern Japanese cinema by critics and this one features an unconventional family by normal Japanese standards since it features a group of people living happily together on the margins through a mixture of grit and graft. Initially a gentle and heartwarming film, the tone changes as it shines a light on the failings of society and individuals. So, what are the highlights of the reviews?

SHOPLIFTERS

Shoplifters Film Image 2

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival Review Round-Up: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters””