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Love & Peace ラブ&ピース Dir: Sion Sono (2015)

Love & Peace      

Love and Peace Film Poster
Love and Peace Film Poster

ラブ&ピース Rabu & Pisu

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

Starring:  Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Tohiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno, Makita Sports, Erina Mano, Megumi Kagurazaka, Miyuki Matsuda

Website IMDB

Christmas movies range far and wide in terms of content from Heavenly interventions seen in Frank Capra’s classic It’s A Wonderful Life to the monstrous antics of the little green Gremlins seen in Joe Dante’s same-named film but these appear normal compared to Sion Sono‘s 2015 film Love & Peace takes the seasonal setting and goes down a radically different path as he makes genre mash-up of a Christmas movie with a kaiju/rock opera epic with a little help from Santa

Ryoichi Suzuki (Hiroki Hasegawa) once dreamed of becoming a punk rock star but he gave up on his dreams and became a salaryman at a musical instrument parts company in Tokyo. Life is miserable because he is bullied by his colleagues and he has no friends but he has feelings for a timid office lady named Yuko Terashima (Kumiko Aso) whose bravery and kindness keeps him from going insane. Alas, he can’t express himself to her but fate soon strikes!

Continue reading “Love & Peace ラブ&ピース Dir: Sion Sono (2015)”

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Nisekoi: False Love, Futatsu no Kino to Boku no Mirai, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER, Karappo, Kuma Elohim, Watashi ha Watashi over the rainbow, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix 2, Planet of Amoebas, Shounen Hollywood “HOLLY STAGE FOR YOU” Complete Edition Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you are all well!

I’ve been pushed for time this week because Christmas is approaching and parties have been happening. I’ve also had to do a lot of shopping. I had planned to spend December practising my Japanese, French and English and maybe playing a game (90s JRPGs I’ve had on the backburner) but the month has slipped by. At least I got lots of Christmas cards and saw lots of smiles. I’ll practise the languages some other time and run some sets on Capcom vs SNK tonight.

This week was me on a holding pattern as I published news on the next Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme and also information on Third Window Films’ theatrical and home release of One Cut of the Dead (2017).

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Nisekoi: False Love, Futatsu no Kino to Boku no Mirai, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER, Karappo, Kuma Elohim, Watashi ha Watashi over the rainbow, Voice Actor Bowling Grand Prix 2, Planet of Amoebas, Shounen Hollywood “HOLLY STAGE FOR YOU” Complete Edition Japanese Film Trailers”

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Third Window Films Unleash “One Cut of the Dead” into UK Cinemas and Homes

The biggest surprise hit of 2018 is a low-budget zombie movie which has become one of the biggest box-office hits in Japan. International film outfit Third Window Films are bringing this “one-in-a-million success” to UK cinemas and homes early next year!

This is a workshop film with non-professional actors made with a budget of just $27,000 which has grossed $30 MILLION domestically despite opening on just 2 screens and with an advertising budget of $0! Since then it has toured the world and won lots of awards and has earned 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Every day on Film Twitter sees more news of its popularity and success so everyone should be getting hyped for this one as it comes to cinemas from Scotland to Wales and England. Here are the details:

Continue reading “Third Window Films Unleash “One Cut of the Dead” into UK Cinemas and Homes”

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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 Preview – People Still Call It Love – Passion, Affection and Destruction in Japanese Cinema

The Japan Foundation have announced the details of their next Touring Film Programme and it is full of fantastic films! The tour lasts from February 02nd to March 28th and the theme that connects them all is “love”. The stories address that emotion in a variety of ways through a broad variety of relationships. Love can be found in all shapes and sizes and it can also be an absence. What cannot be denied is that it is a powerful emotion and there are many powerful films that display this.

Amidst the works are stories of couples struggling to relate to each other, a father and his children overcoming differences, brothers and sisters who barely get along, a wife struggling with a husband that has no affection for her, a gay couple who run a law firm who support those on the margins of society and more.

Expect to understand the complexities of Japan, from Tokyo to Osaka and Aguni (an island off Okinawa) and further afield. I’m definitely going to see some of these before I jet off to Japan again.

Here are the films:

Continue reading “Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 Preview – People Still Call It Love – Passion, Affection and Destruction in Japanese Cinema”

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Keita Never Die, Waiting for Spring, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Eiga Youkai Watch: Forever Friends, FOR REAL FAR Climax, Yume koso ha anata no ikiru mirai, Dream is the future you live in, Ogawa dorama ryuma ga kuru, Smoking Aliens, Hop Step Jump!, Hop Step Jump! 2, Red Blade, Wachigaya Itosato kyojo-tachi no bakumatsu Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Thicker than Water Film Image

We made it to another one and we are half-way to Christmas (YAY!)

I’ve finished another 12-day work week and I’m feeling dandy. I’ve started my Christmas shopping and card writing late but it is under control and I’m looking forward to having time off work to relax and eat and play games. I hope everyone is going to be doing something fun as well.

I managed to post reviews for two documentaries, the first being The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (1987) and the second was The Oyster Factory (2016).

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Keita Never Die, Waiting for Spring, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Eiga Youkai Watch: Forever Friends, FOR REAL FAR Climax, Yume koso ha anata no ikiru mirai, Dream is the future you live in, Ogawa dorama ryuma ga kuru, Smoking Aliens, Hop Step Jump!, Hop Step Jump! 2, Red Blade, Wachigaya Itosato kyojo-tachi no bakumatsu Japanese Film Trailers”

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The Oyster Factory 牡蠣工場 Dir: Kazuhiro Soda (2016)

Oyster Factory  

Oyster Factory Film Poster
Oyster Factory Film Poster

牡蠣工場  「Kaki kouba

Release Date: February 20th, 2016

Duration: 145 mins

Director: Kazuhiro Soda

Starring: Shinsuke Hirano, Koichi Watanabe, Yukiko Watanabe

Website  IMDB

Earlier in 2018 I had the chance to see three of Kazuhiro Soda’s early films which he made as a student at New York’s School of Visual Arts in the 90s and was surprised to discover he started out making a comedy and dramatic short films with well-contained stories and acting. He is still based in New York but is now renowned for observational documentaries having produced works of the cinema vérité variety that look at communities in Japan starting with Democracy (2007). The Oyster Factory was one I first encountered in the 2015 run of the Vancouver International Film Festival. This 145 minute film looks at life inside an oyster factory and as Soda explores this environment he discovers wider issues about the generational divide through the lack of young people entering the industry and Chinese-Japanese relations as Chinese workers are brought in to help keep two oyster factories running.

Continue reading “The Oyster Factory 牡蠣工場 Dir: Kazuhiro Soda (2016)”

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The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On ゆきゆきて、神軍 Dir: Kazuo Hara (1987)

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On   The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On DVD Cover

ゆきゆきて、神軍  「Yuki yukite, shingun

Running Time: 122 mins.

Release Date: August 01st, 1987

Director:  Kazuo Hara

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kenzo Okuzaki, Shizumi Okuzaki,

IMDB

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On is regarded as one of the finest documentaries ever made. It derives its power from its subject, a World War II veteran and political agitator named Kenzo Okuzaki who is on a quest to expose a possible war crime as well as the irresponsible actions of Emperor Hirohito, the military, and post-war governments who carelessly tossed away the lives of their people and have imposed a sort of nation-wide amnesia over the wrongs committed during the war including the killing of their own soldiers.

Continue reading “The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On ゆきゆきて、神軍 Dir: Kazuo Hara (1987)”

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It Comes, Ao no Kaerimichi, Shukatsu 3, From All Corners, Koi no Hana Theatre, Play Room, Isshougai Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Top Knot Detective Film Image

I hope everyone is feeling good.

I’ve had a busy week but it has been good busy with work progressing well, getting

I posted a review of Wasted Eggs (2018) on Monday, a week after it was first posted on V-Cinema. I then posted a review of Snake Beneath the Flower Petals (2016) from Rina Tanaka who I interviewed along with some of her cast and crew at the Osaka Asian Film Festival after a screening of Filled With Steam (2017).

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “It Comes, Ao no Kaerimichi, Shukatsu 3, From All Corners, Koi no Hana Theatre, Play Room, Isshougai Japanese Film Trailers”

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Snake Beneath the Flower Petals 湖底の蛇 Dir: Rina Tanaka (2016)

Snake Beneath the Flower Petals   Snake Beneath the Flower Petals Film Poster

湖底の蛇 Kotei no ja

Release date: 2016

Running Time: 59 mins.

Director: Rina Tanaka

Writers: Rina Tanaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Mika Kuroiwa, Midori Kimura, Hikari Shinoda, Ryuki Nishimoto, Seiji Okabe, Kensaku Tamura, Hono Miyabe, Yasumi Yajima,

Website Website 2

Rina Tanaka is a directing talent to watch out for based on the short Filled With Steam (2017) which I saw at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018. It was a film that had breathtaking moments of painful loneliness that were skilfully shot that I still remember clearly even as the year draws to an end. Snake Beneath the Flower Petals was at Nippon Connection 2017 and is one of the works she made in order to complete the master’s degree course at Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School of Film and New Media where she studied under Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Nobuhiro Suwa and here she captures the isolation of people in a film which displays a superb sensitivity for translating emotions onto the screen

Continue reading “Snake Beneath the Flower Petals 湖底の蛇 Dir: Rina Tanaka (2016)”

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Wasted Eggs Dir: Ryo Kawasaki (2018)

Wasted Eggs

Running Time: 70 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Ryo Kawasaki

Writer: Ryo Kawasaki (Screenplay),

Starring: Mitsue Terasaka, Sora Kawai, Chieko Misaka, Chise Niitsu, Supika Yufune,

Website

On the surface, Japan is hyper-modern but underneath the shiny shell is a society sticking steadfastly to certain aspects of tradition. Nowhere is this more evident than with gender roles. This is what Ryo Kawasaki’s debut feature examines through a light and witty drama surrounding little-explored issues and indignities suffered by women who don’t adhere to society’s demand to have children at a young age.

The film takes place around Christmas. The religious aspect of the season is irrelevant for most people in the country who consider it a time for lovers to be romantic. Rather, the New Year period is the biggest celebration in the winter when people return home and pay a visit to a shrine. That said, various aspects of Christmas are impossible to escape such as decorations, chicken dinners at KFC and Christmas cake. In the past, this seemingly innocuous confection proved to be a powerful metaphor for wealth and, derisively for women who are unmarried after the age of 25, someone who is past their prime. For some of the characters in the film, the season is a sad reminder that they are nearing their romantic expiration date.

Continue reading “Wasted Eggs Dir: Ryo Kawasaki (2018)”