Rentaneko Rent-a-Cat レンタネコ (2012) Dir: Naoko Ogigami

Rent-a-Cat   Rent a Neko

Japanese Title: レンタネコ

Romaji: Rentaneko

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: May 12th, 2012 (Japan)

Director: Naoko Ogigami

Writer: Naoko Ogigami

Starring: Mikako Ichikawa, Reiko Kusamura, Ken Mitsuishi, Maho Yamada, Kei Tanaka

There is a woman who roams a riverbank in a contemporary Japanese city. She pulls a cart which has a selection of cats in the back. This is actually part of her business. As she moves at a leisurely pace she calls out to people through a megaphone with simple slogans and questions to attract the right customers:

Rent-a-cat Riverside

“Rent-a-cat. Rent-aaaaaaaaaa-cat. Feeling lonely? I’ll lend you a cat.”

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Japanese Films at the Berlin Film Festival 2012 – Results

Berlinale 2012 finished yesterday and the Italian film Cesare Must Die walked away with the Golden Bear award (Best Motion Picture). The list of films walking away with silver bear awards (given to individual achievements in Directing, Acting and Short Film) saw an eclectic mix of films from stretching from Northern Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa. What happened to Japanese films in and out of competition?

Well…

Atsushi Wada's Great RabbitAtsushi Wada earned a Silver Bear award for the Best Short Film (Jury Prize) with “The Great Rabbit” anime short (seven minutes). It is described as “a magical animation that is also a profound conundrum.”

In another part of the festival programme, more specifically the Generation 14plus which is aimed at children fourteen and above) Isamu Hirabayashi’s “663114” anime short received a Special Mention honour from the Youth Jury. His film uses a cicada to explore parallels between Hiroshima’s atomic bombing and the recent disaster at Fukushima while asking questions about the future of the planet.

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Japanese Films at the Berlin Film Festival 2012

Berlinale 2012 starts today and it has a huge selection of international films. This is a film blog focussing on Japanese films so I’ll detail what content in the various programmes is Japanese. There is a great selection of old and new here but the unearthing of director Yuzo Kawashima is the most interesting.

Bakumatsu Taiyoden – The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate (1957) 110 mins.

Yoko Minamida, Frankie Sakai and Sachiko Hidari in Bakumatsu Taiyoden

Directed by Yuzo Kawashima and starring Yoko Minamida, Frankie Sakai and Sachiko Hidari

This comedy takes place in the politically turbulent end days of the Shogunate and involves a colourful cast of characters in a brothel. Shohei Imamura helped to write the screenplay.

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