Third Window Films Release Shinya Tsukamoto’s “Fires on the Plain 野火” (2014) on September 11th

Third Window Films will add Shinya Tsukamoto’s last film, Fires on the Plain to their catalogue of titles further making their releases the definitive editions! Fires on the Plain is an astonishing war film because of its relentlessly dwells on death and destruction and shows the pointlessness of war and the way it dehumanises people through a series of gruelling actions (gory battle scenes, murder, suicide, and worse) broken up by suspenseful periods of non-action in the beautiful jungle environs of the Philippines.

Nobi Fires on the Plain Film Image 4

The film is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Shohei Ooka and Kon Ichikawa’s seminal 1959 war film and for director Shinya Tsukamoto it was a passion project he spent ten years bringing to life. It may be a war film but it fits in perfectly with his oeuvre since he has made films full of body-horror and he loves to explore the psychologically twisted aspects of human nature. Just watch his hyper-violent horror films like Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) and dark dramas like Vital (2003) and A Snake of June (2003) and lets not forget Ichi the Killer and Nightmare Detective. Despite the fearsome reputation of the films… well…

I met Shinya Tsukamoto before this movie was screened and he was remarkably laid back. I didn’t get the chance to interview him but I did get my picture taken with him and an autograph which lies safely in a DVD case… I have reviewed a lot of his films and you can see which ones be looking at my profile of the director. I pulled this information from my review of the film and information from Third Window Films. I hope this helps!

Fires on the Plain        

Fires on the Plain Film Poster
Fires on the Plain Film Poster

野火   Nobi

Duration: 87 mins.

Release Date: July 25th 2015 Seen at Raindance

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto (Screenplay), Shohei Ooka (Original Novel)

Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Lily Franky, Tatsuya Nakamura, Yuko Nakamura, Dean Newcombe, Yusaku Mori,

Website   IMDB

The film Fires on the Plain takes place during the closing stages of the war. The Americans are invading Leyte Island in the Philippines and are hot on the heels of demoralised soldiers of the Japanese army, all of whom are looking to evacuate from the island. We see their increasingly desperate struggle from the perspective of an army conscript named Tamura (Shinya Tsukamoto) who is sick with tuberculosis.

He is forced into the field with a grenade by a commander who cannot waste resources on keeping a dying man alive and suggests Tamura blows himself up. Tamura doesn’t want to give up so easily and clings to life. He wanders around the jungle and bounces between broken platoons and brutal battles as everybody heads to the port at Palompon to be evacuated to Cebu but it is a journey that will lead him down a dark path where he will have to hold on to his humanity as he encounters betrayal, extreme violence, and worse…

Japan / 2015 / 87 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / HD / Colour

Out as a  DUAL FORMAT DVD & BLURAY 
September 11th, 2017
Special Features:
Dual format DVD & BLURAY
1 hour extensive making of
Audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of “Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto”
First 1000 copies come with LIMITED EDITION slipcase illustrated by Mathieu Bablet

Japanese Film Festival Ireland Full Programme Line-Up

It’s 23:49 in Osaka and I want to go to sleep but I have important news! The Japan Film Festival Ireland has reached its ninth year and this year’s addition features anime, dramas, and mediums. There are 21 in all and each movie I would like to see. The screenings take place in Dundalk, Cork, Galway, Maynooth, Sligo, Limerick, Dublin, and Waterford and so people in Ireland will get to see really great examples of Japanese cinema.

Here’s the lowdown on the various films being screened. Click on the titles to be taken to the festival page which has more information:

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Fires on the Plain 野火 (2014)

Fires on the Plain        

Fires on the Plain Film Poster
Fires on the Plain Film Poster

野火   Nobi

Duration: 87 mins.

Release Date: July 25th 2015 Seen at Raindance

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto (Screenplay), Shohei Ooka (Original Novel)

Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Lily Franky, Tatsuya Nakamura, Yuko Nakamura, Dean Newcombe, Yusaku Mori,

Website   IMDB

War is hell, as the saying goes, and no more so is that better demonstrated than in Fires on the Plain, a harrowing and horrifying story about a Japanese soldier’s efforts to survive the fall of the Philippines in the final days of the Second World War. From the first scene to the last it serves up a series of hellish vignettes of one man’s struggle against increasingly desperate odds, his plight made visceral and powerful by the director’s passion and experience.

Continue reading “Fires on the Plain 野火 (2014)”

Japanese Films at the 2015 Raindance Film Festival

Raindance 2015 Logo Image

The Raindance Film Festival has announced the feature films that will be screened and it contains a lot.

I like to think I do a decent job shining a light on a lot of the Japanese films released every year, compiling information on the actors and filmmakers and trying to translate plot synopses and link to IMDB pages and websites. This is a bit of a hobby but it also helps when I write about film festivals because I have all the information on hand, the only difficulty I face is in how I present it. With specialist festivals like Japan Cuts and Nippon Connection I highlight films but with UK festivals where the programme isn’t as loaded I can show everything and so with Raindance 2015 I can preview all of these titles for you.

Asleep, Rolling, Fires on the Plain, That’s It, Slum-opolis, Out of My Hand, The Birth of Sake.

It’s a respectable list and that doesn’t include the short films. My own highlights (as in, the ones I hope to watch) are Rolling, Fires on the Plain, and Asleep. They come from great filmmakers like Shinya Tsukamoto and have great actors like Sakura Ando, and they have stories that grab my imagination like in the case of Rolling. Here are the trailers and information on the films:

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Nowhere Girl, Tokyo Stateless Girl, Wait for Me at Udagawachou, Fires on the Plain, Obon Brothers, Brain Fluid Explosion Girl, Gekijou jouei Nihon Anime (-Ta-) Mihonichi, Eiken Boogie Return Match of Tears, The Hybrid Nue no ko, Control of Violence Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Prison School Chiyo 2

I started watching films again after a short break and it’s all for my Summer of Splatter. On top of writing reviews for my own blog I have been writing stuff for Gigan magazine so, if you’re interested, check out what I wrote about the World of Kanako (2014) ahead of its US release (my review is here).

I also started writing up more manga reviews for a possible season that is shaping up for a September/October launch.

On Wednesday Anime News Network reported that Nokuto Noike’s manga 6000: The Deep Sea of Madness would be getting turned into a live-action film by All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW), a joint venture between people in the Japanese anime industry and Hollywood. The names attached to include the producer Mike Medavoy (Shutter Island, Black Swan). Apparently ANEW are also trying to remake the trashy J-horror Ghost Train.

This week I posted my first impressions of Prison School and Charlotte.

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

Continue reading “Nowhere Girl, Tokyo Stateless Girl, Wait for Me at Udagawachou, Fires on the Plain, Obon Brothers, Brain Fluid Explosion Girl, Gekijou jouei Nihon Anime (-Ta-) Mihonichi, Eiken Boogie Return Match of Tears, The Hybrid Nue no ko, Control of Violence Japanese Film Trailers”

Japanese Films at the Glasgow Film Festival 2015

The Glasgow Film Festival kicks off tonight and it has a selection of excellent films that any fan of cinema will love. Here’s the line-up. This is a bit of a rush post. I decided to cover this at the very last minute because I took a gander at the films and I think that there are enough quality titles to make this film festival stand out. I’m excited to see Fires on the Plain because if this is in the UK it means that it may make its way down to London. Also of note are Pale Moon and Uzumasa Limelight both of which have had excellent reviews including ones by a fellow J-film blogger who has great taste (Uzumasa Review) (Pale Moon Review)! Glasgow usually has good films (it’s how I saw Rentaneko and Museum Hours) so I’ll cover it every year from now on…

Here’s the line-up of films programmed this year:

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Japanese Films at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2015

The 2015 Rotterdam International Film Festival launches in just over a week and it will take place from January 21st to February 01st. Rotterdam has always been good for Japanese filmmakers with many like Sion Sono, Takashi Miike and Kiyoshi Kurosawa getting their films screened and receiving support. This year’s line-up of titles has some of their latest projects programmed as major films come to the end of a long festival run including Toronto which is where I got some of the trailers from. Of note is the appearance of Lisa Takeba who was at last year’s festival with The Pinkie. Her projects strike me as interesting and it seems that the programmers at Rotterdam agree because she is back with the world premiere of her latest, Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory!

The line-up features a real variety in topic and tone making this Rotterdam a good one for fans of Japanese films. There are a lot that have toured other festivals but more which have not been widely seen so it’s worth looking at all of them to see if there are any that catch your eye!

Here’s the line-up of films:

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Japanese Films at the Venice Film Festival 2014

Venice FIlm Festival Post Banner

Venice FIlm Festival Poster 2There are two Japanese films at Venice this year. It is possible that I have missed a few films but I have checked on the website at least a few times a week since the line-up of the 71st Venice Film Festival was announced. Anyway, the festival takes place from Wednesday 27th August to Saturday 06th September and despite having only two Japanese films, one of them looks absolutely fascinating enough to entice me even without a trailer at this stage and that’s because it is a film by Shinya Tsukamoto dealing with the story of a Japanese soldier in the Philippines in the dying days of World War II as he fights to stay alive by doing depraved things… before I go into further detail, there’s also a classic screening as well.

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Venice Film Festival 2014”