“Dogs Without Names” Documentary Film Screening and Q&A at London’s Phoenix Cinema on May 31st

The Japan Society in London has organised another screening in London and this one looks like it will be a moving subject.

One of the films in my list of titles covering the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (which I need to update…) finally reaches the UK after it was released in 2015. The film is a documentary all about the animals who were abandoned and the people who rescue them and it will be screened at the Phoenix Cinema on May 31st. Not only that, there will be a Q&A with the director Akane Yamada and representatives of organisations featured in the film.

Here’s more on the director from the organisers: “Akane Yamada has over 30 years experience as a film and television director. Recent productions include The Happiness of Mucchan (NHK, 2014) which tracks Mucchan, a dog abandoned in the 20 kilometer ‘red zone’ around the Fukushima nuclear reactor, and The Woman Who Sleeps with 1,000 Cats (Fuji Television, 2015) featuring Yuri Nakatani, of NPO Minashigo Dogs and Cats Rescue in Hiroshima.”

Here are the details on the film:

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Japanese Films at the 2017 Annecy International Film Festival

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival has been running since it was established in 1960. It is the world’s oldest and largest animation film festival and it has become one of the best places to glimpse early footage of upcoming anime. This year, it runs from the June 12th to the 17th and the programme line-up has already been announced and there are many Japanese titles both in and out of competition.

There will be many presentations including works in progress as well as a celebration of 100 years of anime.

Here’s what’s on offer:

In This Corner of the World Film Image

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CAMERA JAPAN to Screen Two Films at Shofukan in Rotterdam on April 07th

This year will be the twelfth that CAMERA JAPAN has been in operation and it is great that the festival is operating since it offers one of the most comprehensive collections of current Japanese cinema. The 2017 festival dates have already been announced:

September 21st-24th  Rotterdam
September 29th – October 01st Amsterdam

In the run-up to the festival, CAMERA JAPAN are screening a grip of films and this week’s titles are interesting. To find out more about each individual screening, click on the titles/links:

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Japanese Film Festival Ireland Full Programme Line-Up

It’s 23:49 in Osaka and I want to go to sleep but I have important news! The Japan Film Festival Ireland has reached its ninth year and this year’s addition features anime, dramas, and mediums. There are 21 in all and each movie I would like to see. The screenings take place in Dundalk, Cork, Galway, Maynooth, Sligo, Limerick, Dublin, and Waterford and so people in Ireland will get to see really great examples of Japanese cinema.

Here’s the lowdown on the various films being screened. Click on the titles to be taken to the festival page which has more information:

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Love and Goodbye and Hawaii 恋とさよならとハワイ Dir: Shingo Matsumura (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017 Film Review

Love and Goodbye and Hawaii Love and Goodbye and Hawaii Film Poster

恋とさよならとハワイKoi to sayonara to Hawai

Running Time: 94 mins.

Director:  Shingo Matsumura

Writer: Shingo Matsumura (Screenplay),

Starring: Aya Ayano, Kentaro Tamura, Momoka Ayukawa, Risa Kameda, Aoi Kato

Website IMDB Eiga

This might sound like damning a film with faint praise but, Love and Goodbye and Hawaii is a nicely shot simple tale about a woman slowly coming to the realisation that a relationship with her ex-boyfriend may well and truly be dead and she faces the decision of whether to resurrect it or move on.

The aforementioned woman is Rinko (Ayu Ayano), a bespectacled twenty-something who works in an office. She has been living with her ex-boyfriend Isamu (Kentaro Tamura), a graduate student, for three years. Indeed, the two have chosen to live together even after they broke up because their situation is comfortable. Although they separate their shared bedroom with a rack of clothes and sleep in different futons on opposite sides of the room, they interact with each other like a regular couple.Love and Goodbye and Hawaii Film Image Race of Love Continue reading “Love and Goodbye and Hawaii 恋とさよならとハワイ Dir: Shingo Matsumura (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017 Film Review”

Japan Foundation Event: Vegalta: Soccer, Tsunami and the Hope of a Nation – Documentary Screening and Discussion at the Prince Charles Cinema on April 05th

The Japan Foundation sent out information on a free film screening at the Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square. Japan, film, and the filmmakers at a great cinema? And it’s all free? It looks like a fascinating event covering the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. It’s a documentary made by a pair of British directors who travelled to Sendai to see how a football team gave hope to people in the shattered area and the aftermath. The filmmakers will be present for a Q&A.

Here’s more information including a trailer:

Japan Foundation Talk Vagalta

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The Japanese Embassy in London Will Screen Eizo Sugawa’s “River of Fireflies” on March 30th

The Japanese embassy screens films once a month and I used to report on them because many of these titles are the type that never leave Japan. I stopped once I actually arrived in Japan and became a huge tourist but now I’m getting back into writing about films I want to alert people to the latest screening before it disappears!

Here’s the information from the embassy’s events page:

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Third Window Films Release the Tetsuya Mariko film “Destruction Babies” on April 10th

The next home movie release from Third Window Films Destruction Babies,. It was released last year in Japan and cropped up in UK cinemas after it was secured a place on the programme at this year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. I haven’t seen this one but fellow movie bloggers have. Here’s a snippet of a review from Windows on Worlds, a site run by a writer named Hayley who knows a lot about Japanese cinema:

“Oblique, ambiguous, and soaked in blood, Destruction Babies is a rebel yell for a forlorn hope, as raw as it is disturbing.”

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Japan Society New York Uncovers Underappreciated Sci-Fi with Beyond Godzilla: Alternative Futures & Fantasies in Japanese Cinema

This is a quick-post for a special event (I’ve been busy eating at tonkatsu restaurants and losing time to procrastination…).

Japan Society New York have a special line-up of science-fiction films of the B-movie variety from March 24th until April 8th, 2017. The whole programme has been up for a while and tickets are on sale. A quick look shows that the films on offer run the whole gamut from humanoid aliens to kaiju and irradiated menaces and the effects are so visually amusing that just sitting in the cinema looks like an absolutely glorious prospect in terms of fun. Check out this trailer:

Here’s what the programmers have to say:

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Parks Film Review パークス Dir: Natsuki Seta (2017) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017 Review

Parks        

parks-film-poster-2
parks-film-poster-2

パークス Pa-kusu

Running Time: 118 mins.

Director:  Natsuki Seta

Writer: Natsuki Seta (Screenplay),

Starring: Ai Hashimoto, Mei Nagano, Shota Sometani, Shiro Sano, Reiya Masaki, Ryu Morioka, Shizuka Ishibashi,

Website IMDB

Tokyo is home to many world famous parks such as Yoyogi and Ueno but when I lived in the mega-metropolis I developed a soft spot for Inokashira Park out in the fashionable area of Kichijoji. It may not be as big as the others but I found it an equally wonderful serene green space with lots of interesting features. It recently reached its 100th anniversary and the film “Parks” was commissioned to commemorate the special occasion. Since parks are public spaces that invite a multitude of visitors who form their own stories and memories, the challenge of making a film about the park would be paring down a huge number of ideas and interpretations of the area into a coherent narrative but writer/director Natsuki Seta and her team have managed it by creating an off-beat and charming drama with music at its heart that spans the decades and fully encompasses why parks are treasured by so many people.

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