Dear Doctor ディア ドクター (2009) Miwa Nishikawa

Dear Doctor    Dear Doctor Film Poster

ディア・ドクター  Dea Dokuta-

Release Date: June 27th, 2009

Running Time: 127 mins.

Director: Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: Miwa Nishikawa (Screenplay/Original Novel)

Starring: Tsurube Shofukutei (Dr. Osamu Ino), Eita (Keisuke Soma), Kimiko Yo (Akemi Ohtake), Teruyuki Kagawa (Masayoshi Saimon), Kaoru Yachigusa (Kaduko Torikai), Haruka Igawa (Ritsuko Torikai), Ryo Iwamatsu (Lieutenant Yoshifumi Okayasu), Yutaka Matushige (Sergeant Hatano),

Website    IMDB

Miwa Nishikawa follows up her perfect twisted Tokyo-based family drama Wild Berries with this title about a countryside doctor who may not be what he appears to be. Despite the bucolic setting replacing Tokyo the themes are much the same as in her debut film, deception and desperation.

Dear Doctor takes place in a remote town in the middle of the countryside. It’s nighttime and creatures lurking in the rice fields croak and murmur in the darkness.  A man riding into town on a bicycle along a poorly lit road stops and puts on a doctor’s coat he finds lying on the ground. He continues cycling all the way to the clinic where a cluster of elderly villagers and police officers question him. Where did he find the coat? Where’s the doctor it’s normally attached to?

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Tokyo.Sora 「Tokyo.Sora」(2002) Dir: Hiroshi Ishikawa (3.5/5)

I recently landed a role as contributor to V-Cinema and I have reviewed a number of films for the website. I have been something of a fan and enjoyed listening to their podcasts when they have covered Japanese cinema so I’m pretty excited to be a part of the team and helping to highlight Japanese cinema. Writing reviews is something I enjoy doing and I hope people enjoy reading my reviews!

My first review for V-Cinema is of Tokyo.Sora, a film from Hiroshi Ishihara. He has three films under his belt and this is his debut. This is just a snippet of the review with images and links to a little research. The full review can be found through a link at the bottom:

Tokyo.Sora   

Tokyo Sora Film Poster
Tokyo Sora Film Poster

Tokyo.SoraTokyo.Sora

Release Date: October 29th, 2002

Running Time: 127 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Ishikawa

Writer: Hiroshi Ishikawa

Starring: Yuka Itaya, Haruka Igawa, Manami Honjou, Ayano Nakamura, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Sun Cheng-Hwa, Keishi Nagatsuka,

IMDB

Hiroshi Ishikawa has had a long career in filmmaking but only has a few features films to his name. His work as a TV commercial and music video director stands in stark contrast to the slow moving dramas he writes and directs where not a lot is said out loud and the audience is expected to tease out just what is going on from the accretion of detail in slow-paced films. From this, his debut, to his more current film, the world of his characters inhabit is a very lonely place.

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Tokyo Sonata トウキョウソナタ (2008)

Genkinahito'sTokyo Sonata Review BannerTokyo Sonata Basic InfoI love Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s existential horror films like Cure and Pulse so seeing him depart into the mainstream with a family drama was bittersweet but ultimately rewarding because it resulted in a masterpiece that finally revealed the genius his fans have long-recognised.

When Ryuhei Sasaki (Teruyuki Kagawa) is laid-off from his admin job his life as a salary-man is over and his family life is put at risk. The shame of unemployment means that he keeps his situation a secret from everybody including his wife (Kyoko Koizumi) and two sons, Kenji (Kai Inowaki) who wants to learn to play the piano and Takashi (Yu Koyanagi) who he barely speaks to. This means that each morning he dons his suit, picks up his suitcase and heads off to look for work and eat free soup with the homeless and other unemployed salary-men. Soon the lies and suspicion begin to take its toll.

Synopsis wise it sounds like the perfect tale for the age of global recession. Ryuhei is the victim of corporate outsourcing of jobs and this fragments his identity on different levels. The film charts his increasingly desperate attempts to maintain his image of breadwinner and the authority over his family that comes with it.

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