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Destruction Babies ディストラクション・ベイビーズ Dir: Tetsuya Mariko (2016)

Destruction Babies   

destruction-babies-film-poster
destruction-babies-film-poster

ディストラクション・ベイビーズ 「Deisutorakushon Beibi-zu

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director:  Tetsuya Mariko

Writer: Tetsuya Mariko, Kohei Kiyasu (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuya Yagira, Masaki Suda, Nana Komatsu, Nijiro Murakami, Sosuke Ikematsu, Denden,

Website IMDB

Writer-director Tetsuya Mariko’s fourth feature film is a realistic take on the idea of anger begetting more anger with nothing to break the cycle as a teen named Taira terrifies Shikoku with a wave of violence that draws a variety of innocents and other outsiders into a twisted game.

Continue reading “Destruction Babies ディストラクション・ベイビーズ Dir: Tetsuya Mariko (2016)”

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Our Blue Moment, River’s Edge, Cherry Boys, Sunny / 32, Kamen Rider Para-DX with Poppy, Kurueru sekai no tame no rekuiemu, Gure- no ko panda chiisana gure-to no seicho- nikki, Clairvoyance (Cicada), Raika, Raizu Dharuriser – The Movie, 9, N.Y. Maxman, Panda kopanda, Panda kopanda Rainy Day Circus Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

I hope you are all well. I’m still spending a lot of my free time writing about lots of different things but I had more time to do the trailer post this week which is ironic because last weekend had the better batch of films that I wanted to pay more attention to. This weekend does have some appealing titles like Sunny 32 and that’s mostly because of the cast. I played catch-up by posting about the Japanese Films at the Glasgow Film Festival and posting a review for the wonderful ensemble comedy Room for Let. Also released was a lot of information for this year’s Osaka Asian Film Festival and the line-up of films is pretty fine!

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Our Blue Moment, River’s Edge, Cherry Boys, Sunny / 32, Kamen Rider Para-DX with Poppy, Kurueru sekai no tame no rekuiemu, Gure- no ko panda chiisana gure-to no seicho- nikki, Clairvoyance (Cicada), Raika, Raizu Dharuriser – The Movie, 9, N.Y. Maxman, Panda kopanda, Panda kopanda Rainy Day Circus Japanese Film Trailers”

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Room For Let    貸間あり Dir: Yuzo Kawashima (1959)

Room For Let   貸間あり Film Poster

貸間あり Kashima Ari

Running Time: 112 mins.

Release Date: June 02nd, 1959

Director: Yuzo Kawashima

Writer: Giichi Fujimoto, Yuzo Kawashima (Screenplay), Masuji Ibuse (Original Novel),

Starring: Frankie Sakai, Nobuko Otowa, Ikio Sawamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Takeshi Kato, Chikage Awashima, Chieko Naniwa, Shoichi Ozawa,

IMDB

This comedy gem was programmed by Britain’s Japan Foundation for their 2018 Touring Film Programme to celebrate the centenary of Yuzo Kawashima (1918 – 1963), a master Yuzo Kawashimaof satire who was little-known outside of Japan until around the 2010s when festivals like Berlin started programming restored prints of his films. The Japan Society in New York also recently screened a number of his films so his profile is rising. Closer to the UK it is hard to get many of his titles but we have one film at least, “Bakumatsu Taiyoden” (1957), which was released via Eureka’s Masters of Cinema label and it proved to be a funny ensemble comedy set during the Bakumatsu period when the shogunate was coming to an end. This historical setting is, according to experts, an outlier for what Kawashima was known for which was telling tales tragedy and comedy in the lives of ordinary people in post-war Japan, a nation in flux as people returned from colonies and front-lines, emerged from rubble-strewn streets and charred houses, to find a more liberal set of ideas taking root in the home islands with traditional social structures being modernised, cities being rebuilt, and everybody on the make. Indeed, it seems Room For Let is more representative of his output and some suggest it even goes as far as to act as a link between the formalised Golden Age of cinema and the New Wave as the chaotic sense of change and oddball personalities are captured on screen with class and plenty of ribald humour. Seeing it as part of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 with a friend was great but having the privilege of seeing a rare 35mm print was fantastic as we were taken back in time to 1950s Osaka!

Continue reading “Room For Let    貸間あり Dir: Yuzo Kawashima (1959)”

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Akihiro Toda’s “THE NAME (名前)” to Close Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

The team behind the Osaka Asian Film Festival has given a glimpse of the entire programme of films that will play at this year’s edition and full details of the film which will close this year’s festival, the Word Premiere of Akihiro Toda’s “THE NAME (名前)” which will play at the ABC Hall on Sunday, March 18th.

Here are details on the film:

The Name    The Name Film Poster

名前 Namae

Running Time: 114 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director: Akihiro Toda

Writer: Yusuke Moriguchi (Screenplay), Shusuke Michio (Original Story)

Starring: Kanji Tsuda, Ren Komai, Miho Kanazawa, Mako Komaki, Akari Kakimoto, Noriko Kijima, Yohta Kawase, Mayuko Nishiyama, Mariko Tsutsui,

IMDB

The Name Film Image

Synopsis: Moriya city in Ibaraki is a quiet place with residents who lead simple lives. Everyone, apart from a lonely angst-ridden bachelor named Masao Nakamura. Since losing his business and becoming penniless, he has adopted multiple identities to get by: Yoshikawa, a big businessman, Suzuki, the happy family man, Okubo, the doting husband who quit Tokyo to look after a sick wife. When his ruse about the sick wife is about to be exposed as a lie at work, a schoolgirl named Emiko Hayama steps in from out of nowhere and pretends to be his daughter.

Emiko is another person who loves to lie. Instead of facing a lonely home run by a single-mother, the girl hangs out with Masao and the pair strike up a friendship. It fills a gap in their lives but their lies hinder them from overcoming inner-turmoil. At some point a fake dad and a fake daughter will have to face their suffering in order to move on. Continue reading “Akihiro Toda’s “THE NAME (名前)” to Close Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018”

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“Love and Other Cults” Plays at Derby QUAD and Deptford Cinemas before release on dual-format Blu-ray/DVD in the UK

Love and Other Cults is one of the latest in films produced Third Window Films and it is about to hit cinemas and homes in the UK very soon. This is the latest film from Eiji Uchida, director of Greatful Dead (2014) and Lowlife Love (2016). It was produced by Adam Torel of Third Window Films, a person who did a lot to build up the profile of Japanese films in the UK and he has made another cracking title with this twisted romantic saga set in small town Japan and featuring a set of broken characters. 

The film is slightly less darker than Eiji Uchida’s earlier works due to its sprightly rhythm and quirky humour but it still gets dark and female characters don’t have a fun time – this was shot under police supervision and the cast features real teen delinquents and the story deals with child neglect, cults, crime and the AV industry – but the never say die attitude of Sairi Itoh is great as she gives a loveable performance as a lost lamb looking for love in all the wrong places. Uchida builds on his earlier work with confidence and there is plenty here to charm audiences.

It will play at the Deptford Cinema on February 13th

It will then be screened at the Derby Quad on March 16 and there will also be a Q&A with director Eiji Uchida!!!

The film will then be released on dual-format Blu-ray/DVD on March 26th. Here’s a trailer:

Continue reading ““Love and Other Cults” Plays at Derby QUAD and Deptford Cinemas before release on dual-format Blu-ray/DVD in the UK”

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Joy of Man’s Desiring 人の望みの喜びよ  Dir: Masakazu Sugita (2014)

Joy of Man’s Desiring   Joy of Man's Desiring Film Poster

人の望みの喜びよ  Hitono Nozomino Yorokobiyo

Running Time: 85 mins.

Director: Masakazu Sugita

Writer: Masakazu Sugita (Screenplay),

Starring: Ayane Omori, Riku Ohishi, Naoko Yoshimoto, Koichiro Nishi

Website    IMDB

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, Director Masakazu Sugita put into production a film dedicated to the orphans left behind after natural disasters. It was something he had long planned since he himself was a survivor of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and was only 14 years old at the time. The result is Joy of Man’s Desiring, a gentle yet deeply powerful human drama which received Special Mention at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, as well as being nominated for the Best First Feature Award in 2014.

The story revolves around two siblings, twelve-year-old Haruna (Ayane Omori) and her brother, five-year-old Shota (Riku Ohishi). When an earthquake strikes their town, their house collapses and buries their family alive. Haruna was able to escape but was unable to save her parents while Shota survived by some miracle.

Joy of Man's Desiring Film Image

Continue reading “Joy of Man’s Desiring 人の望みの喜びよ  Dir: Masakazu Sugita (2014)”

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Sword of the Stranger ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚- Dir: Masahiro Ando (2007)

Sword of the Stranger    Sword of the Stranger Film Poster

ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚- Mukou Hadan

Running Time: 82 mins.

Release Date: September 29th, 2007

Director:  Masahiro Ando

Writer: Fumihiko Takayama (Screenplay),

Starring: Tomoya Nagase (Nanashi), Yuri Chinen (Kotarou), Atsushi Ii (Bailuan), Kouichi Yamadera (Luolan Rarou), Junko Minagawa (Mu-You),

Animation Production: STUDIO BONES

Website MAL ANN

Sword of the Stranger is an incredible action spectacle built around a good old fashioned chambara story brought to life with a flair and dedication to the details of the era and the characters in it through an incredible anime aesthetic that accentuates the physical world, a place of movement, passion, lies, loyalty, and action!

The story kicks off in Sengoku era Japan with intrigue and excitement as the first thing we see is a temple set ablaze and a boy named Kotaro (Yuri Chinen) and his loyal dog Tobimaru fleeing the scene. He is being pursued by the royal army of China’s Ming Dynasty. They have been hunting him for over a year and the net is closing as the boy and his dog run through the bleak wintry countryside and along the coast of the small state of Akaike. When Tobimaru is injured in an ambush, Kotaro reluctantly recruits a mysterious, nameless samurai as his bodyguard with the promise of payment. However, “No-name” (Tomoya Nagase) has a guilty past and his own inner demons to battle, all of which comes out in the open in an epic chase narrative. 

Continue reading “Sword of the Stranger ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚- Dir: Masahiro Ando (2007)”

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The Dark Maidens 暗黒女子 Dir: Saiji Yakumo (2017)

The Dark Maidens    The Dark Maidens Film Poster

暗黒女子 Ankoku Joshi

Running Time: 105 mins.

Release Date: April 01st, 2017

Director: Saiji Yakumo

Writer: Mari Okada (Screenplay), Rikako Akiyoshi (Original Novel),

Starring: Fumika Shimizu, Marie Iitoyo, Yudai Chiba, Yuna Taira, Nana Seino, Tina Tamashiro, Riria Kojima.

Website IMDB

You can never truly know another person. This well-worn adage applies really well to this amusing adaptation of Rikako Akiyoshi’s novel where the pristine surface presented by places and people hide the ugliest of human behaviour.

Continue reading “The Dark Maidens 暗黒女子 Dir: Saiji Yakumo (2017)”

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Memoirs of a Murderer 22年目の告白―私が殺人犯です― Dir: Yu Irie (2017)

Memoirs of a Murderer  

22年目の告白―私が殺人犯です― 「22-nenme no kokuhaku: Watashi ga satsujinhan desu」   Memoirs of a Murderer Film Poster

Running Time: 117 mins

Director:  Yu Irie

Writer: Yu Irie, Kenya Hirata (Screenplay), Byung-gil Jung (Original Film)

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Hideaki Ito, Koichi Iwaki, Kaho, Mitsuru Hirata, Anna Ishibashi, Shuhei Nomura, Toru Nakamura,

Website IMDB

Memoirs of a Murderer is an exciting thriller based on the Korean movie Confession of Murder (2012) and made with the backing of Warner Bros. This one comes packed with stars like Tatusya Fujiwara (Battle Royale, Parade), Hideaki Ito (Princess Blade), Kaho (Our Little Sister), and more, all of whom take on this is a visually engaging film with a plot that will suck you in. I must admit not having watched the Korean original but perhaps this helped me to enjoy the silly spectacle.

Everything starts in 1995 and a serial killer is on the loose in Tokyo at the same time that the Great Hanshin Earthquake strikes Kobe. The killer’s M.O. is to strangle his victims and have a witness, preferably someone related to the victim, close at hand to see his awful work and powerless to do anything about it, then walk away to tell the tale.

Continue reading “Memoirs of a Murderer 22年目の告白―私が殺人犯です― Dir: Yu Irie (2017)”

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Gukoroku – Traces of Sin 愚行録 Dir: Kei Ishikawa (2017)

Gukoroku – Traces of Sin   Gukoroku Film Poster

愚行録  Gukoroku」    

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Kei Ishikawa

Writer: Kosuke Mukai (Screenplay), Tokuro Nukui (Original Novel),

Starring: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Keisuke Koide, Asami Usuda, Yui Ichikawa,

Website IMDB

A brutal crime is committed in Tokyo where a picture-perfect family is knifed to death by an unknown assailant. With the killer having disappeared, questions are left unanswered but the central protagonist of this film aims to answer them. Kei Ishikawa’s tightly controlled directorial debut ostensibly looks like a murder mystery similar to Rage (2016) where an ensemble cast lead the audience into the conclusion of a terrible atrocity but this is a mystery where it is less about the how and more about the why the perpetrator committed the crime. Based on a novel by Tokuro Nukui and adapted by veteran scriptwriter Kosuke Mukai, this is a disturbing film gives us a chilling portrait of people driven to murder by issues of class and background in a society where hierarchy is everything. In this tale, lies and deceit are inherent in everyone who bears traces of sin.

Continue reading “Gukoroku – Traces of Sin 愚行録 Dir: Kei Ishikawa (2017)”