How Selfish I Am! (2013) 自分の事ばかりで情けなくなるよ

How Selfish I Am        How Selfish I Am Film Poster

Japanese: 自分の事ばかりで情けなくなる

Romaji: Jibun no Koto Bakaride Nasakenaku Naru Yo

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: October 26th, 2013

Director: Daigo Matsui

Writer: Daigo Matsui (Screenplay), Sekaikan Ozaki (Original Work)

Starring: Maho Yamada, Sei Ando, Shunsuke Daito, Mei Kurokawa, Sekaikan Ozaki, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kaonashi Hasegawa, Taku Koizumu,  Yukiji Ogawa,

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How Selfish I Am is an episodic musical drama exploring the loves and travails of a group of people in Tokyo, all of whom are connected together by the music of the rock group CreepHyp. A glib comparison might be Short Cuts by Raymond Carver/Robert Altman on a smaller scale with a post-rock soundtrack but just as much darkness and more visual and aural dazzle.

The film is the culmination of a long collaboration between How Selfish I Am Sekaikan Ozakifilmmaker Daigo Matsui and the band CreepHyp, this is the final result of a series music videos made over the last few years¹ based on a story originally conceived by CreepHyp’s frontman, Sekaikan Ozaki. The episodic nature of the original music videos is carried over to a feature film format and expanded upon as it draws everything together into a final product which acts a musical showcase for the band, a creative director, and a strong ensemble cast.

The film is told over the course of a few years and from multiple perspectives split between two girls and two guys, all of whom are scudding along the bottom of the Tokyo social scene.How Selfish I Am Kumiko Ando 2

We start off with Kumiko (Ando), a lonely girl working at a cosplay bar/brothel who pines after her ex-boyfriend (Onoue).

How Selfish I Am YamadaKumiko is followed by Mie (Yamada), a mousy, introverted and put-upon office lady who adores CreeHyp, and has a Twitter addiction (@mieephyp0819 – yes, I write down Twitter handles in films) and a ticket to CreepHyp’s concert which she may miss because of problems at work.

How Selfish I Am DaitohTsuda (Daito), the guy collecting tickets at the concert, is undergoing something of a meltdown as his beloved pop idol is about to retire.

The final, and longest sequence, involves a young homeless man named Rikuo (Ikematsu) who lives in two vans with a young woman (Kurokawa) who, due to a trauma in her past that has damaged her, refuses to speak.

How Selfish I Am Kurokawa and Ikematsu

The four stories weave together to create a sometimes funny but mostly tragic series of tales demonstrating the bleaker side of the Tokyo dream, all loneliness, frustration and desperation.

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Japanese Films at the 2014 Raindance Film Festival

Raindance 2014 Logo

The Raindance Film Festival announced its line-up yesterday and it is filled with a lot of Japanese indie film gems released at the tail end of last year and throughout 2014. There 100 features and over 150 shorts and the Japanese selection makes a large part of this. Raindance remains the best place to see a lot of indie films with the likes of Yosuke Fujita and Mipo Oh getting their latest films screened and there are a lot of shorts from New Directions in Japanese Cinema, a collective of filmmakers who have been making films for a spell now and are a good indicator of what the indie scene looks like. Here’s the trailer for the festival:

The festival takes place from September 24th to October 05th, at the Vue Cinema at Piccadilly Circus and features a lot of titles from around the world.

I enjoyed a lot of the titles I saw last year and I’m going again because the quality of the films looks great. The programme has a number of movies and shorts that have caught my eye while writing trailer posts and, furthermore, the directors/cast/staff will be coming to the UK from Japan and so I think it best to show them some support and also hear the inside story on how their films were made, something which is always a thrill.

Third Window Films will be promoting their four of their latest films at the Raindance Film Festival, with all four titles having directors over to introduce their films and have Q&A sessions and interviews. Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats by Yosuke Fujita, The Lust of Angels by Nagisa Isogai, And the Mud Ship Sails Away by Hirobumi Watanabe and Buy Bling, Get One Free by Kosuke Takaya will all play.

Here are the people who are making the effort to travel across the globe to meet us:

Yosuke Fujita, director of “Fukuchan of fukufuku Flats”

Hirobumi Watanabe and his brother/producer Yuji Watanabe, and cameraman Bang Woohyun, all of whom worked on “And the Mud Ships Sails Away”

Nagisa Isogai, director  of “Lust of Angels”

Hoshi Ishida, actor in “Touching the Skin of Eeriness” (which plays back to back with “Lust of Angels”)

Kosuke Takaya, director of “Buy Bling Get One Free”

Ian Thomas Ash, director of “-1287”

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Madame Marmalade’s Mysterious Puzzle Question Version, Love Affair, Beyond the Memories, Jinroh Gemu, Madoka Magica The Movie – Rebellion -, Dokidoki! Precure the Movie: Mana’s Getting Married!!? The Dress of Hope Tied to the Future, Miroku, Beatchild 1987, How Selfish I Am

Little Wing Karate GangThis week was a back to work week after having fun at festivals. It has been pretty quiet for the most part but due to my schedule I have been able to catch up with a lot of anime I had intended to watch from the Autumn season. The first impressions are going to come in bits and pieces because I have a lot of film reviews to write and I am also taking part in a read-along for the fantasy novel The Republic of Thieves. It has been over a year since I took part in the last one and I enjoyed it a lot. The group I am a part of get a set of questions every Saturday and then post their answers on a Monday so there goes my review schedule. More posts during the week to bore you with…

Reviews? Well I wrote two this week, both for a Kore-eda film. The first was for Like Father, Like Son and the second was for I Wish. Both films are rather good and I’d urge anyone unfamiliar with Japanese cinema to watch them.

What films are released in Japan/Tokyo’s (art house) cinemas’ today?

Madame Marmalade’s Mysterious Puzzle Question Version Madame Marmalade Mysterious Puzzle Version Film Poster

Japanese: ナゾトキネマ マダム・マーマレードの異常な謎 出題編

Romaji: Madamu Marmalade no Ijo na Nazo: Shutsudai Hen

Running Time: 105 mins.

Release Date: October 25th, 2013

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura, Norio Tsuruta, Daiki Ueda

Writer: Yoshihiro Nakamura, Norio Tsuruta, Daiki Ueda (Screenplay),

Starring: Haruna Kawaguchi, Atsuko Takahata, Hajime Yamazaki, Narushi Ikeda, Shiro Namiki Tamae Ando, Koko Mori, Noriko Nakagoshi,

This film looks interesting because it looks like the first of two omnibus films with a wrap-around story about the search for a film inside the films in the film…. Still with me? With this Question Version of the film, the audience then gets to answer some questions posed by the film by submitting an answer sheet. The second film, released next month, answers all of the questions in the Answer Edition.

It brings together some good (most of the time) directors who handle a different film which a detective scours for a secret. So we have Yoshihiro Nakamura (The Foreign Duck, See You Tomorrow, Everyone) probably doing drama, Norio Tsuruta (Ring 0: Birthday, Dream Cruise) probably doing horror and an unknown in Daiki Ueda.

There is a group of decent actors including Haruna Kawaguchi (P.O.V. – A Cursed Film) who plays the super car driving fox Madame Marmalade, Atsuko Takahata (Bunny Drop), Tamae Ando (Noriko’s Dinner Table, April Bride), and Hajime Yamazaki (Swallowtail Butterfly, Crime or Punishment?!?).

30 years ago, Shunnosuke Todo, the master of the film world revealed to his wife that there is a secret in three shot films which contained a love story before he passed away. Now his wife is on the verge of death so she hires Madame Marmalade (Kawaguchi) to find the secret!

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