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Genkinahito’s Top 10 Films of 2018

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2018 was the year of “I haven’t achieved my dream yet but I do what I want”. I travelled back to Japan for a second time and spent a month in the country, visiting places from Kawagoe to Onomichi and some things in between and I worked at the Osaka Asian Film Festival again. I’ve become involved in more than just Kotatsu, I have become part of other festivals in Europe and America which is so much fun and such an honour because I love films. I have also continued to contribute to V-Cinema and Anime UK News, typically highlighting indie gems, many of which form my top ten titles of the year.

To summarise what I have experienced in terms of cinema, I have contributed to V-Cinema’s end of year post which will be out soon. 

Now here is my Top Ten Films of 2018, starting with number one…

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Amiko  あみこ Dir: Yoko Yamanaka (2017)

Amiko     Amiko Film Poster

あみこ Amiko

Running Time: 66 mins.

Release Date: September 14th, 2018

Director: Yoko Yamanaka

Writer: Yoko Yamanaka (Screenplay),

Starring: Ai Sunohara, Hiroshi Oshita, Mineo Maiko,

Amiko is the directorial debut from Yoko Yamanaka, a twenty-year-old from Nagano whose indie film won the Audience Award and Hikari TV Award at the Pia Film Festival 2017 for it’s originality and entertainment and was featured at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, Fantasia and Japan Cuts, which is how I saw it. Its tale of a girl’s experience in love is a universal one but unique because of its central character, a firecracker of a person who is effortlessly entertaining.

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Highlights of Japannual Japanese Film Festival Vienna 2018 (October 01st – 07th)

Japannual Banner

This is the year when I try and give a little boost to smaller film festivals and the Japannual Japanese Film Festival in Vienna deserves one. The Austrian-Japanese Society is trying to bring some great films to the nation’s capital.

This could turn into a laborious cut-and-paste job from previous festival’s I’ve covered because I have information on all but four films but I’ll spare you by giving the highlights.

The program has a mix of classic titles restored to new and shiny life, to contemporary films still being talked about in film groups. Some of these have been on the festival circuit for a while there are others that pop up rarely. There are indies that need a push and anime that are too good to miss. I’m going to highlight independent cinema and hard to see classics as well as an anime that is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

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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”

Japanese Films at the Fantasia International Film Festival (July 12th – August 02nd)

The Fantasia International Film Festival starts in Montreal next week on July 12th and runs until August 02nd. The selection of Japanese films is simply stunning with titles from Miki Satoshi, Takashi Miike,  Nobuhiko Obayashi, Sion Sono and more. However, there are a selection of indie film titles that look absolutely killer as well.

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This is the 22nd edition of the festival and it has become a focal point for filmmakers, festival programmers, journalists, and audiences eager to see a diverse slate of films before they hit the DVD or internet and take part in film culture. There are lots of guests and great experiences to be had and a chance to get involved with dictating which films get the hype behind them, so please choose Japanese, and try some of the titles listed here.

So what’s lined up?

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Japanese Films at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018

The 68th Berlin International Film Festival, running from February 15th to the 25th, has a pretty good line-up of films but I’m super interested in the Japanese contingent. Thanks to the great media communication, the last few weeks have been building up lots of anticipation. I’ve been covering this festival for a while now and this year is as strong as many others.

Here are the Japanese films that have been programmed, just click on the titles to be taken to the festival listing.

Berlinale 2018 Logo

The Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art has programmed the Forum as part of the Berlinale, selecting 44 films, 35 of which world premieres. The International Forum of New CinemaForum is a bit like the wild west in the sense that the filmmakers selected come from different backgrounds and practice different forms of cinema from drama to avant garde, experimental works closer to art pieces to to observational documentaries, with subjects like political reportage and drama being given equal importance. There are a huge variety of films and topics few formal limitations when it comes to the selection of films, resulting in even greater freedom.

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