Genkina hito’s Top 25 Films of the Decade

My WordPress blog birthday was December 20th and it has been a decade since I first started writing reviews and news articles here about what interests me.

Cure Yakusho Stares at City

It started with book reviews like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Apocalypse and big screen Hollywood fare such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. It shifted to American indies like Stake Land and 2 Days in New York with some European and central/South American films like Submarine, Certified Copy, I Am Love and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before I transitioned quickly into Asian cinema, long a passion of mine from childhood, and I took to covering the latest UK releases and festival news for Asian movies and writing about my favourite filmmakers like Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinya Tsukamoto. My taste has changed from horror and action to more contemplative and experimental works but my passion for cinema burns bright and for good reason.

Through ten years of writing on this blog I have made friends and watched lots of great films. Indeed, I’ve covered a quite a range of titles and, as the years progressed, actually got involved with film culture through writing for magazines and other websites, doing festival press work at the likes of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and the Osaka Asian Film Festival as well as doing plenty of writing like interviews at UK festivals like Raindance, Terracotta and the London Film Festival. It has almost always been fun and I’ve even had the chance to live and travel in Japan. I can honestly say this blog has been amazing for me by helping me make friends and find my voice in this world.

So, thanks to film and writing about it, I’ve had a fun time. Indeed, sometimes the process of writing about films has been just as much fun as the viewing experience and now I want to highlight my fifteen favourite films to watch and also write about.

Strap yourself in and turn on some music for the ramblings of a film fan:

Continue reading “Genkina hito’s Top 25 Films of the Decade”

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:

Continue reading “Japanese Film Festival Ireland Full Programme Line-Up”

Japanese Films at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2016

The Rotterdam International Film Festival has started and lasts from January 28th to February 07th and there is a large contingent of Japanese films programmed, quite possibly the largest I have seen in the few years I have been watching the event. There are a lot of great titles, some of which are considered the best films to be made in 2015 and there is a diverse range of stories. The festival plays host to animation from a range of artists and there are shorts from Takeshi Kitano. Some of these are red hot international premieres while some of the films have been screened at Canadian film festivals already, some in 2014 (so there’s a bit of copy and paste from previous festival trailer posts). As well as contemporary film, there is also a retrospective for the director Masao Adachi who worked during the 1960s.

Here are the films:

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2016”

Happy Hour, Nagasaki: Memories of My Son, Wake Up, Girls! Beyond the Bottom, Orange, W: Futatsu no Kao wo Motsu Onnatachi, Neko bun no 4, Death Forest Kyoufu no Mori 3, Mori no Café, The Sunset Drive and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

Ruined Heart Tadanobu Asano Nathalia Acevedo

I had a productive week in terms of movie-watching with High Noon, Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Draughtsman’s Contract watched. I went and reviewed Ruined Heart (2014) as well.

I’ve got more overtime in work with the staff movie club – I won’t be able to watch the film but I will be earning money for next year when I have something special in store. I will be posting a review next week of a zombie films I have watched but there’s a trailer for I am a Hero which I want to post first. I will not be able to post as much as I once did because I want to practice Japanese and French.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Happy Hour, Nagasaki: Memories of My Son, Wake Up, Girls! Beyond the Bottom, Orange, W: Futatsu no Kao wo Motsu Onnatachi, Neko bun no 4, Death Forest Kyoufu no Mori 3, Mori no Café, The Sunset Drive and other Japanese Film Trailers”

Happy Hour ハッピーアワー (2015)

Happy Hour   

Happy Hour Film Poster
Happy Hour Film Poster

Happy Hour ハッピーアワー(2015)

ハッピーアワー「Happi- Awa-」 

Release Date: December, 2015

Seen at the London Film Festival

Running Time: 317 mins.

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Writer: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara, Tomoyuki Takahashi (Screenplay)

Starring:  Rira Kawamura, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara, Sachie Tanaka, Shuhei Shibata, Ami Kugai, Sachiko Fukunaga, Reina Shiihashi,

Website IMDB

Happy Hour is a film unlikely to get licensed in the West. With a five hour seventeen minute running time dedicated to showing the lives of four middle-aged women, distributors might think that the film is likely to test the patience of many and for some in the audience I was with when I saw it at the London Film Festival that proved to be true. For viewers with patience this is less the endurance test it sounds like and more an example of a character-driven story rich in small incidents and details that build up to show lives of three-dimensional characters whose stories are quietly compelling. While slow it paints a fascinating picture of contemporary Japan with a little social commentary added.

Continue reading “Happy Hour ハッピーアワー (2015)”

Japanese Films at the London Film Festival 2015

BFI Film Festival

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival was announced last week and it has a selection of interesting titles. A lot of the features have been in festivals since the start of the year and two of them have gotten mixed reviews from critics which is disappointing if you want to see new work. The chances of some of these showing up on DVD and possibly theatrically is guaranteed which makes me wonder why I should go to the festival but… BUT… There are plenty of Japanese films so I shall refrain from complaining anymore. There are also some quality titles and two surprises. There are films not yet released in Japan and ones that must be seen on the big screen!

The ones that audiences should seek out, in my opinion, are Love & Peace, Happy Hour, Our Little Sister, The Boy and the Beast, and possibly Ghost Theatre.

Here are the films for you to see so you can make up your mind as to what looks good!

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the London Film Festival 2015”