Homeland, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Who’s Who of the Machiya, Anime Mirai 2014: Harmonie, The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader, Paroru’s Future Island, Kuro no Su Chronus Japanese Film Trailer

The Great Passage Dictionary TeamThis is the first of the two trailer posts for this week. This instalment features a lot of anime because Anime Mirai 2014 is featured. There is a film that was featured at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. This weekend also sees the release of the live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service. Check out the trailer to get a glimpse at what Japanese cinema-goers might see.

Here are the trailers:

Homeland   Homeland Film Poster

Japanese: 家路

Romaji: Ieji

Running Time: 118 mins.

Release Date: March 01st, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Nao Kubota

Writer: Kenji Aoki (Screenplay),

Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama, Yuko Tanaka, Sakura Ando, Takashi Yamanaka, Seiyo Uchino

This drama was at Berlin Film Festival and is all about the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown. It stars some impressive names like Kenichi Matsuyama and Sakura Ando but it has earned a pretty mixed review from Variety – great acting but visually bland and ducks the dangers of radiation.

Jiro (Matsuyama) returns to his former farming village which has been evacuated due to the fact that it lies near Fukushima Daichi and is badly contaminated. Jiro begins cultivating the land and teams up with an old school friend to plant rice despite the spreading radioactivity and its effects on their health. Meanwhile, Jiro’s half-brother has left the town with his wife and child and their mother. When their mother hears that Jiro has returned to their land she wants to go home and see him again.


Continue reading “Homeland, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Who’s Who of the Machiya, Anime Mirai 2014: Harmonie, The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader, Paroru’s Future Island, Kuro no Su Chronus Japanese Film Trailer”

Japanese Films at the Berlin Film Festival 2014

Berlin Film Festial 2014 Post Header Image

The 2014 Berlin Film Festival is underway and there are lots and lots of films. Enough from me, here’s the line-up.

New Features

Forma                Forma FIlm Poster

Japanese: 小さい おうち

Romaji: Chiisai Ouchi

Running Time: 145 mins.

Director: Ayumi Sakamoto

Writer: Ryo Nishihara (Screenplay), Ayumi Sakamoto (Original Story)

Starring: Emiko Matsuoka, Ken Mitsuishi, Ryo Nishihara, Seiji Nozoe, Nagisa Umeno

Ayumi Sakamoto has been in the film industry for a spell having Forma Film Photoworked as an actress and in the camera and electrical department of a number of films like Vital and other Shinya Tsukamoto films where she learned directing and cinematography skills. Shot in a muted palette of greys, blacks and beiges in perfect tandem with the colourless lives of its protagonists, Ayumi Sakamoto’s striking debut has a keen grasp of friendship’s grey areas and linguistic cadences. A slow-burning thriller whose long, rigorously composed shots demand closer scrutiny: never disregard the unspoken and the unseen.

One day, Ayako Kaneshiro is reunited with her former classmate Yukari Hosaka. She invites her to join her company, and she accepts. However, Ayako begins to treat Yukari coldly and act strangely around her. Yukari feels increasingly pressured, but Ayako has her reasons. The pent-up hatred within her deepens the darkness in her heart. To confirm her own feelings, Ayako confronts Yukari. Their conflicting emotions intertwine… What lies at the end of this cycle of hatred?


Little House  Little House Film Poster

Japanese: 小さい おうち

Romaji: Chiisai Ouchi

Running Time: 136 mins.

Director: Yoji Yamada

Writer: Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu (Screenplay), Kyoko Nakajima (Original Novel)

Starring: Takako Matsu, Haru Kuroki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Takataro Kataoka, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chieko Baisho, Fumino Kimura,

Yoji Yamada regularly features at Berlin and so the lucky audience get to see his first romantic film in his long career. It stars Takako Matsu (Dreams for Sale), Haru Kuroki (The Great Passage) and Satoshi Tsumabuki (For Love’s Sake).

Takeshi (Tsumabuki) finds several notebooks left by his recently deceased spinster aunt Taki Nunomiya (Baisho) which tells of her life before and during World War II.

As a young woman, Taki (Kuroki) worked as a housemaid in a little house with a red triangular roof in Tokyo. She served a family which consisted of a husband Masaki Hirai (Kataoka) who works at a toy factory his wife Tokiko (Matsu) and their son Kyoichi. Taki longs for her employer Tokiko but both women find themselves intrigued by a young artist Hirai brings home. However, the war takes a turn for the worse and so do the relationships in the house.


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