The Sleeping Insect 眠る虫 (2019) Dir: Yurina Kaneko

The Sleeping Insect    The Sleeping Insect Film Poster

眠る虫Nemuru Mushi

Release Date: September 05th, 2020

Duration: 62 mins.

Director: Yurina Kaneko

Writer: Yurina Kaneko (Script), 

Starring: Ryo Matsuura, Takeo Gozu, Kaoru Mizuki, Yura Sato, Hirobumi Watanabe,

Website

This is the feature film debut by director Yurina Kaneko. She received attention for her 2019 Pia Film Festival Award winning short Walking Plants, which screened at Nippon Connection last year, and also for her part in the omnibus film 21st Century Girl (2018). Sleeping Insect won the 2019 MOOSIC LAB Grand Prix. Like other MOOSIC LAB films released that year, it features the ghosts as the main character as Kaneko has her go on a Lynchian adventure where the border between normality and the supernatural dissolves

The film takes place during the summer and our lead character is Kanako Seri (Ryo Matsuura), the front-woman of a three-piece band. As well as strumming the guitar, she has a heightened, maybe preternatural ability to hear sounds. During a break in practice they discuss how ghosts feel and this is the lead-in for the strange day that follows for Kanako.

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KAMATA PRELUDE 蒲田前奏曲 Dirs: Ryutaro Nakagawa, Mayu Akiyama, Yuka Yasukawa, Hirobumi Watanabe (Japan, 2020) [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020]

KAMATA PRELUDE    Kamata Prelude Film Poster

蒲田前奏曲 Kamata Zensoukyoku

Release Date: Autumn 2020

Duration: 115 mins.

Directors: Ryutaro Nakagawa, Mayu Akiyama, Yuka Yasukawa, Hirobumi Watanabe

Writers: Ryutaro Nakagawa, Mayu Akiyama, Yuka Yasukawa, Hirobumi Watanabe (Script)

Starring: Urara Matsubayashi, Kotone Furukawa, Kumi Takiuchi, Ren Sudo, Sairi Ito, Mayuko Fukada, Noa Kawazoe, Ryutaro Ninomiya, Ryutaro Kondo,

OAFF Link

Receiving its world premiere as the closing film of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020, Kamata Prelude is an omnibus movie split between four different directors with four distinct styles separated simply by an edit and a change in visual approach. Each director is part of a new generation of talent from the Japanese movie industry and this mix of approaches ensures a change of pace occurs often enough to keep interest in the film high.

Keeping all of these disparate elements together is the depiction of the life of a struggling actress named Machiko who lives in Kamata. Portrayed by Urara Matsubayashi (lead actress in The Hungry Lion), the film’s producer, she is the centre of these stories each of which depicts her learning what it means to be a “woman” and an “actress” in contemporary Japanese society through showing the behaviour and perceptions of those who surround her. Comic, dramatic, all sorts of emotional hues are touched upon.

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Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020 Announces Opening and Closing Films: The Garden of Evening Mists and Kamata Prelude

OAFF2020 top_main1_e

Earlier today, the organisers of the 2020 edition of the Osaka Asian Film Festival announced their opening and closing films, both of which are completely different in form and content. Here’s the information direct from the festival website.

Everything kicks off on March 06th with the Malaysian film, The Garden of Evening Mists, a historical drama featuring a pan-Asian cast and crew who have adapted the award-winning novel by Twan Eng Tan.

Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020 Announces Opening and Closing Films: The Garden of Evening Mists and Kamata Prelude”

Third Window Films Kickstarter: New Directors From Japan

Third Window Films are one of the leading distributors of Japanese films in the west, if not the leading distributor, and they have a massive catalogue of titles ranging from big budget pictures to the tiniest of indie films that would rarely be picked up by other labels. I have met the man in charge of Third Window Films and he is very passionate and knowledgeable about the titles he brings to the west and probably one of the best advocates for Japanese cinema in any film industry. Just to prove this point, Third Window Films announced an innovative Kickstarter project that will allow backers to get a dual format 3-disc limited edition release full of indie films which will be region free and open to everyone in the world.

I’ve written about some of these and I am very excited… So excited that I’ve already backed the campaign and pre-ordered my version!

Here are the details!

NEW DIRECTORS FROM JAPAN

NEw Directors From Japan DVD Case Continue reading “Third Window Films Kickstarter: New Directors From Japan”