The Day of Destruction, KUSHINA, what will you be, On the Edge of Their Seats, Zero As You Are, The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Princess, Miyuki Nakajima Nightclub VOL.20 “Little Tokyo” Movie Version, Secret x Warrior Phantomage! It will be a movie, Shukatsu 4 Wolfman Interview, Stand Strong, A Man in Love, Documentary Battle of Okinawa: Memory of Unknown Sadness, Forgotten Japanese: Japanese lingering in the Philippines and China Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone.

The Day of Destruction Film Image 2

I hope you are all well.

Recently, I’ve been watching lots of non Japanese films with lashing of 70s, 80s and 90s horror movies (Slumber Party Massacre trilogy, some David Cronenberg stuff) and some German films by Werner Herzog. Also catching up on or re-experiencing Hollywood movies I have seen like Inception and The Cabin in the Woods, thanks to Amazon Prime. I did watch The Day of Destruction by Toshiaki Toyoda as part of Japan Cuts 2020.

Later today will be the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival showcase of films by women. I’ll be helping to moderate the chat. This week I posted my reviews for It Feels So Good (2019) and Sacrifice (2019), both of which are playing at Japan Cuts 2020. I’ll be finishing up reviews for that next week.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Day of Destruction, KUSHINA, what will you be, On the Edge of Their Seats, Zero As You Are, The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Princess, Miyuki Nakajima Nightclub VOL.20 “Little Tokyo” Movie Version, Secret x Warrior Phantomage! It will be a movie, Shukatsu 4 Wolfman Interview, Stand Strong, A Man in Love, Documentary Battle of Okinawa: Memory of Unknown Sadness, Forgotten Japanese: Japanese lingering in the Philippines and China Japanese Film Trailers”

Interview with On the Edge of Their Seats Director Hideo Jojo [OAFF 2020] (Japanese and English Text)

Some cursory research into the career of Hideo Jojo will turn up a whole slew of movies that ranging from pink films to V-Cinema. Jojo got his start in filmmaking by producing 8mm movies while studying at Musashino Art University before he entered the industry as assistant director on pink films. His directorial debut, Married Women Who Want a Taste (2003), won the Bronze Prize and New Director Award at the 2003 Pink Grand Prix. To date, he has written and directed over 100 works and won awards and fans in Japan and internationally. His career is as varied as it gets and recent titles include the screenplay for Neko Zamurai (2014), directing the horror movie Corpse Prison (2017) and even a Gachi-ban movie (2008). With such variety, it stands to reason that he would be able to direct a charming youth drama based on a stage play.

On the Edge of their Seats is based on an award-winning stage play created by a theater group from a high school in Hyogo Prefecture. It takes place during a hot summer’s day at a baseball match between high school teams in a tournament that leads to a final played at Koshien Stadium. Being able to play at Koshien in the final is a big dream for all high school baseball players in Japan and it often comes up in films. However, it’s not so much the drama happening on the field of dreams that is the concern of the film but what is going on with five characters in the stands as they work out some dramas that have occurred in their final year of high school. As they interact, they reveal some of their feelings and help each other learn to look at life more positively. The film is a real charmer built around some lovely characters and brought to life by a charismatic cast who are perfectly guided by Jojo’s sharp direction.

Hideo Jojo participated in an interview at the Osaka Asian Film Festival where the film received its world premiere. The interview was conducted with help from the interpreter Keiko Matsushita while the translation was made with the help of the interpreter Takako Pockington.

Continue reading “Interview with On the Edge of Their Seats Director Hideo Jojo [OAFF 2020] (Japanese and English Text)”

On the Edge of Their Seats アルプススタンドのはしの方 Dir: Hideo Jojo (2020) [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020]

On the Edge of Their Seats    On the Edge of Their Seats Film Poster

アルプススタンドのはしの方Arupusu sutando no hashi no hou

Release Date: June 19th, 2020

Duration: 89 mins.

Director: Hideo Jojo

Writer: Tetsuya Okumura (Script), Hiroaki Yabu Hyogo Prefectural Higashiharima High School Drama Club (Original Stageplay)

Starring: Rina Ono, Amon Hirai, Marin Nishimoto, Shuri Nakamura, Rikki Metsugi,

OAFF Website

Journeyman director Hideo Jojo has made everything from pink films to V-Cinema so finding him at the helm an earnest high school drama full of fresh-faced teens shouldn’t be a surprise. On the Edge of Their Seats is a meticulously made movie that, at 75 minutes, flies by with sharp dialogue and performances allowing audiences to get to know the disappointments and desires of a selection of high school students watching a baseball game.

Continue reading “On the Edge of Their Seats アルプススタンドのはしの方 Dir: Hideo Jojo (2020) [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020]”

Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020 Programme Announcement

Earlier this month, the organisers of the Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF) 2020 announced the full line-up for the festival which takes place from March 6-15. This is the best event to see a cross-section of Asian cinema and nearly all of the films will have English subs – the only exceptions we know so far are “Birthday”, ” House of Hummingbird”, and “Malmoe The Secret Mission”.

Despite the issues surrounding Coronavirus, the festival is still going ahead but one section, the co-hosted event “Come to Life! vol.2 Gutai and Nakanoshima”, has been cancelled due to the decision of the co-host organiser. This means six films have been removed which brings the number of selected films screened from a record 64 to 58 in total. This number includes 12 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, and 3 Asian Premieres with films submitted from countries and regions such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Poland, South Korea, Japan, and South East Asia.

Continuing on from previous editions of the festival, OAFF remains a beacon of progressive programming as 25 female directors find their works selected with over half the films in the Competition section directed by women. The festival programme features characters from across the world contesting with issues such as war, crime, bullying, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration and unionising in the workplace. OAFF continues to give a platform to filmmakers who face challenging issues, whether the films reckon with historical injustice or paint a brighter future through showing diverse characters navigating their way in our tumultuous world.

Please check the full line-up of OAFF 2020 which can be found here. Tickets for the films screening at the fest are already on sale.


Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2020 Programme Announcement”