Over the Town 街の上で Dir: Rikiya Imaizumi [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021]

Over the Town    Over the Town Film Poster

街の上で Machi no Ue de

Release Date: April 10th, 2021

Duration: 130 mins.

Director: Rikiya Imaizumi

Writer: Rikiya Imaizumi, Hiroyuki Ohashi (Script), 

Starring: Ryuya Wakaba, Moeka Hoshi, Kotone Furukawa, Minori Hagiwara, Seina Nakata, Ryo Narita, Hirobumi Watanabe,

OAFF Website IMDB

Very rarely the setting of a film, Shimokitazawa is a trendy little district in western Tokyo that lies in the shadow of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Home to independent shops, theatres, cinemas, live music venues, bars, and restaurants, the place vibes with youthful energy as students, actors, second-hand booksellers, and bar owners, all with a seemingly average age of 20-something, engage in artistic revelry and nights of frolicking. It is also a place constantly changing as commercial redevelopment is ongoing – when I last visited, a new station and an adjacent department store were being constructed – and it has its quiet parts. It is a slice of Tokyo different from everywhere else in the city.

Using Shimokitazawa as his sandbox, director Rikiya Imaizumi brings us Over the Town, his latest film and his second in 2021, which is full of characters and locations you would encounter in real life.

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Japanese Films at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2013

Genki Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 Banner

I did not cover the Edinburgh Film Festival last year and that turned out to be a major mistake because there were a lot of Japanese films shown. Well this year I’m ahead of the game and here is a post previewing Japanese films and films involving Japan at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2013. Tickets went on sale at the beginning of the week so take a gander at the titles.

 

The Complex                              The Complex Film Poster 2

Japanese Title: クロユリ 団

Romaji: Kuroyuri Danchi

Running Time: 106 mins.

Venue: Cineworld,

Screening Date: June 22nd, 21:45 (Cineworld 5), June 25th, 20:40 (Cineworld 11)

Director: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Hideo Nakata, Junya Kato, Ryuta Miyake (Screenplay)

Starring: Atsuka Maeda, Hiroki Narimiya, Masanobu Katsumura, Naomi Nishida, Sosei Tanaka, Masaya Takahashi, Satomi Tezuka, Taro Suwa, Yurei Yanagi, Megumi Sato, Mayumi Asaka

Hideo Nakata, the director of J-horror classic Ringu and Dark Water returns with another urban supernatural chiller with The Complex which premiered at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival. Reviews suggest this is a return to horror form for the director and the trailer strikes all the right notes for me! It stars the beautiful Atsuka Maeda who is a former member of AKB48 and starred in The Drudgery Train. Hiroki Narimiya, Tooru in Mirror Hell part of Rampo Noir and the titular character in the Phoenix Wright movie Ace Attorney is her male co-star. The supporting cast include Naomi Nishida (Library Wars, Swing Girls) and Megumi Sato (Cyborg She, Exte).

 

Asuka (Maeda) has moved into the Kuroyuri apartment complex. It is a place with a chequered history as mysterious deaths occurred there 13 years ago. It isn’t long before she starts hearing the sound “garigarigari” from the apartment next door where an old man lives and it isn’t long before he is found dead! This is the start of a series of horrifying events that strike the apartment. Asuka calls upon Sasahara (Narimiya), a man who cleans up the homes of the recently deceased, to help solve the mystery.

Lilou’s Adventure                              Lilous Adventure Film Image

Japanese Title: リルウの冒険

Romaji: Riruu no Bouken

Running Time: 117 mins.

Venue: Cineworld,

Screening Date: June 23rd, 14:50 (Cineworld 11), June 25th, 18:10 (Cineworld 05)

Director: Izuru Kumasaka

Writer: Izuru Kumasaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Lilou Diabate, Saera Nakandakari, Lamine Youl Diabate, Lily

This film strikes me as the most interesting at Edinburgh. It is tagged as being a “surrealistic story of two children’s journey across Japan” and while the story comes across as a simple adventure things are complicated by the fact that the main protagonist, the eponymous Lilou, is mixed-race. Not your usual white/Japanese mix but black and Japanese. Amidst the cool Twin Peaks dream sequences scenes of kawaii-Japan, 8-bit videogames and neon lights look to be darker ones where Lilou is challenged by others, perhaps because she is different. If the film explores this aspect of her character then consider me eager to watch it. Enough about my personal interests, here’s the trailer and synopsis.

Lilou is 10-years-old and half Japanese, half Guinean. She lives in Okinawa and has a friend named Kokoro. When Kokoro disappears, Lilou goes on a journey to find her, using clues from a video game.

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