Yuho no ato, Dumping Ground, Little Miss Period, One Night, Nunchaku and Soul, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Hyouketsu no Kizuna, Sumikko Gurashi: Tobidasu Ehon to Himitsu no Ko, That Moment My Heart Cried, Geki × Cine SIREN IN THE SHADOWS, CinemaKabuki Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku, Fafner THE BEYOND, Crying Free Sex Never Again!, Kokuumon Gate Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

Birthday Wonderland Film Image 1

I hope you are all well!

I watched a bunch of more horror films this week and worked harder on my kanji. Slightly less overtime at work. I’m about to spin up for a few outside projects at the end of November to refresh my teaching skills.

This post was easier to write because a few of these films were recently shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival. I posted the awards handed out at the fest and also a review for the fun anime adventure Birthday Wonderland.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “Yuho no ato, Dumping Ground, Little Miss Period, One Night, Nunchaku and Soul, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Hyouketsu no Kizuna, Sumikko Gurashi: Tobidasu Ehon to Himitsu no Ko, That Moment My Heart Cried, Geki × Cine SIREN IN THE SHADOWS, CinemaKabuki Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku, Fafner THE BEYOND, Crying Free Sex Never Again!, Kokuumon Gate Japanese Film Trailers”

Interview with Akiyoshi Koba [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]

I interviewed a number of people at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and these interviews are being published over at V-Cinema. This one was the first to go online on April 23rd.

Akiyoshi Koba is a graduate of Taisho University’s Japanese Language and Literature course. He now works as a part-time lecturer at Nagaoka Zokei University and indie filmmaker. His oeuvre is a series of titles that my be low on budget but are big in heart and invention. Koba strives to find what is special in small-town locations, collaborates with actors who feel like they are drawn from everyday life but have some unique feature, and uses set dressing and costuming that exudes a DIY aesthetic. Works like Slippers and Summer Moon (2015), Psychics Z (2016), and Tsumugi’s Radio (2017) typically mix comedy and sci-fi as well as drama. They have a charming simplicity and a love for their characters.

His latest title, Nunchaku and Soul (2019) is a continuation of this lo-fi storytelling and it is his best work to date. It features a mismatched pair of middle-aged guys, a nerd named Numata (Masahiro Kuroki) and a soul man named Soma (Atsushi Takahashi), who are determined to change their lives for the better by entering a dance competition. The differences in character and their reasons for entering are mined for low-key drama and lots of belly laughs. It also features a funky soundtrack. Nunchaku and Soul was recently screened at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 in the Indie Forum section. Despite its humble origins, it proved to be a hit with most of the audience who were treated to post-screening nunchaku demonstrations by lead actor Masahiro Kuroki and dancing given by director and cast.

Continue reading “Interview with Akiyoshi Koba [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]”

Nunchaku and Soul ヌンチャクソウル Dir: Akiyoshi Koba (2019) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019

Nunchaku and Soul    Nunchaku and Soul Film Poster

ヌンチャクソウル  Nunchaku Souru

Release Date: November 09th, 2019

Duration: 76 mins.

Director: Akiyoshi Koba

Writer: Akiyoshi Koba (Screenplay),

Starring: Masahiro Kuroki, Atsushi Takahashi, Jun Bay, Anju Kurosu, Yun Hayama, Michiko Hayashi, Shinichiro Osawa,

Website IMDB

http://www.oaff.jp/2019/en/program/if03.html

Director Akiyoshi Koba is a part-time lecturer at Nagaoka Zokei University and an indie filmmaker whose works feature a mixture of everyday settings dusted with a little sci-fi and tweaked with comedy. Titles include, Slippers and  a Midsummer Moon (2015) where two sisters travel between parallel worlds to find their missing father, the tokusatsu parody short Psychics Z (2016), and Tsumugi’s Radio (2017), a gentle comedy about mental illness and mistimed romance told with a lot of flashbacks. In each of the films, mundane locations are used for out of the ordinary events. This is probably driven by budget constraints but it has resulted in an oeuvre which celebrates the possibility of fun and DIY filmmaking in small-town Japan. Nunchaku and Soul is probably Koba’s most amusing work to date and continues in this vein.

Continue reading “Nunchaku and Soul ヌンチャクソウル Dir: Akiyoshi Koba (2019) Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019”

A Preview of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – March 17th)

The Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (OAFF) is back for its 14th edition and it promises a wealth of cinematic experiences from across Asia with a healthy selection of local indies programmed alongside international award-winners, auteur works, modern classics and genre cinema. I’m working at the festival again so I’ve got a lot of writing to do and I originally wrote this for V-Cinema to introduce the films.

The festival runs at various locations in the city from March 08th through to March 17th and organisers have carefully created a programme consisting of 51 films from 17 regions including 10 world and 9 international premiere films. Over half the titles will be screened in Japan for the first time and there will be filmmakers travelling from across the world to join film fans and take part in Q&A sessions to give more information about their works.

Everything has been organised across multiple programmes including the Competition section as well as sections dedicated to Hong Kong and Taiwan and there is also the prestigious Osaka Asia Star Award which is given to a significant figure from the Japanese or Asian film industry and presented at an award ceremony which is followed by an in-depth talk event.

What’s on offer?

Continue reading “A Preview of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – March 17th)”