A Preview of BATSU FILM FESTIVAL 2018 (AUGUST 03-05)

Here’s a brand new festival for North America that is totally dedicated to Japanese films. It’s called the BATSU FILM FESTIVAL and it runs from August 03rd to 05th at the Alamo Drafthouse in Denver Colorado. It’s aim is to go beyond the films of familiar names that tend to make the rounds on the festival circuit and get releases and expose the hidden talents in the Japanese film industry. With this mission, the festival programmer has dived into indie films as well as commercial features that weren’t given a wide distribution or shown outside of the bigger festivals to bring audiences in Denver a great selection of films all in one weekend in August.

There are many highlights amongst the 12 features and 4 shorts that have been selected and I have trailers for them all and links to reviews. I have watched (and reviewed) some but haven’t published any info yet so check out the notes above the trailers for some thoughts. As always, click on the titles to be taken to the festival page to see more info:

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BAMY, The Lies She Loved, Brand New Legend of Stardust Brothers, Hoshikuzu kyodai no aratana densetsu, Pinkerton ni aini iku, The Memory of the Seasons (Tentative), Kisei Shinryaku PARASITE WAR, Yamikin gurentai, Mawari Kagura, Mitsuya seizaemon zanjitsu roku, Lady Ninja: A Blue Shadow, Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A, Full Metal Panic! Into the Blue Japanese Film Trailers    

Happy weekend, people!

Yohei Suzuki Yeah

I hope everyone is doing well!

It was a quiet week for me although I did learn a boatload of Kanji and built my confidence in speaking Japanese up by talking a lot to myself during work throughout the week and then one friend yesterday. I’ll be meeting her again today and another one tomorrow to speak more. I published a review for Gukoroku – Traces of Sin and my annual look at the Japanese films at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival. I also updated my Rotterdam and Berlin festival posts by replacing trailers that had been taken down.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Continue reading “BAMY, The Lies She Loved, Brand New Legend of Stardust Brothers, Hoshikuzu kyodai no aratana densetsu, Pinkerton ni aini iku, The Memory of the Seasons (Tentative), Kisei Shinryaku PARASITE WAR, Yamikin gurentai, Mawari Kagura, Mitsuya seizaemon zanjitsu roku, Lady Ninja: A Blue Shadow, Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A, Full Metal Panic! Into the Blue Japanese Film Trailers    “

Genkina hito’s Top Ten Films of 2017

Welcome to my top ten films of 2017.

The Long Excuse Mistress

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.

FINAL JUSTICE

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BAMY and Tokyo Vampire Hotel at the Torino Film Festival 2017 24th November – 02nd December

The 35th Torino Film Festival will take place from November 24th to December 02nd and there are a lot of interesting Asian films. I want to focus on Japanese titles and there are two on the programme, one of which is a super special supernatural romance tale that left me grinning with glee and the other a super fun-looking vampire tale from Japanese cinema legend Sion Sono. Here are the details:

bamy-film-image-7

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A Preview of the Films at Kanazawa Film Fest 2017

The Kanazawa Film Festival will be taking place across Japan soon! It launches atKanazawa Film Festival 2017 Image the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (details) in Kanazawa city and its run will last from July 15th to the 17th. The film fest will then pop up in various city from July to November with venues in Yamaguchi, Kitakyushu, Hakui, Kyoto, and Sendai all screening films. It starts in Kanazawa this month and so I want to report on it now but if you live or are visiting any of the aforementioned cities this year then you can get some cinematic goodness from some indie films.

Apparently, there are 22 works selected from the 89 entries but despite the large amount of material on offer there are no female directors. Despite this reservation, the line-up consists of some incredibly intriguing-looking indie films with nearly all of them looking well-made. Also gratifying to see is my favourite film from the Osaka Asian Film Festival showing up. After complaining about a lack of stories in Japanese cinema a few weeks ago, I’m pleased to see a wide variety on display in these indie features and I hope I get to see some of them very soon.

Here are the details with trailers for some of the films and links to various websites and Twitter feeds dotted around. A lot of this information is rough around the edges so I encourage you to look at the festival’s official site and check the links I have provided:

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BAMY (2017) バーミー Dir: Jun Tanaka, Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017

Bamy       bamy-film-poster

バーミー Ba-Mi-   

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Jun Tanaka

Writer: Jun Tanaka

Starring: Hironobu Yukinaga, Hiromi Nakazato, Misaki Tsuge, Toshi Yanagi, Yuki Katsuragi,

Jun Tanaka’s film, “Bamy” (2017) plays with the myth of the red string of fate – an unbreakable bond that ties people destined to be together – but posits that instead of this being something romantic or joyful, it is nothing but a curse because it reveals that people have no control over their own lives. The string is forced upon individuals who cannot escape what has been preordained by some larger transcendental entity. The film follows this thread of an idea to its natural and almost absurd conclusion in a film that raises itself from being a semi-pastiche of Kurosawa’s modern-day horror classic, “Pulse” (2001), to an entertaining jaunt into a twisted set of romances where not even horrifying ghosts can sever predestined connections between people.

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Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017 Programme Preview Part 3: Independent Japanese Films

oaff2017_posterart_english

The full line-up for the 2017 Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF) (March 03rd – March 12th) was revealed last month and for the 12th edition of OAFF, the number of selected films has reached an impressive 58 in total, including 16 films in Competition and they are coming from 19 countries and regions, including China, Hong Kong, Korea, the USA, and Japan. I took a look at many of those films in the two previous posts, one highlighting the competition and opening/closing films and one looking at the Thai, Hong Kong and special screening films. This preview will look at the independent Japanese films. Again, I helped write the synopses for many them only this time it was with the help of staff-members with the Housen films who would help me translate things from Japanese and discuss the exact meanings of certain words used. Thanks go out to them. Also, there are three films at the start that weren’t assigned to me so I didn’t cover them. I did write director biographies which I threw into this post. Who knows when I may call upon them.

Here’s what’s on offer from the Japanese cinema selection (you can click on any of the titles to be taken to the corresponding festival page which will have more information):

besoin-de-amour

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