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,

Website

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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