Genkina hito’s Top 25 Films of the Decade

My WordPress blog birthday was December 20th and it has been a decade since I first started writing reviews and news articles here about what interests me.

Cure Yakusho Stares at City

It started with book reviews like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Apocalypse and big screen Hollywood fare such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. It shifted to American indies like Stake Land and 2 Days in New York with some European and central/South American films like Submarine, Certified Copy, I Am Love and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before I transitioned quickly into Asian cinema, long a passion of mine from childhood, and I took to covering the latest UK releases and festival news for Asian movies and writing about my favourite filmmakers like Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinya Tsukamoto. My taste has changed from horror and action to more contemplative and experimental works but my passion for cinema burns bright and for good reason.

Through ten years of writing on this blog I have made friends and watched lots of great films. Indeed, I’ve covered a quite a range of titles and, as the years progressed, actually got involved with film culture through writing for magazines and other websites, doing festival press work at the likes of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and the Osaka Asian Film Festival as well as doing plenty of writing like interviews at UK festivals like Raindance, Terracotta and the London Film Festival. It has almost always been fun and I’ve even had the chance to live and travel in Japan. I can honestly say this blog has been amazing for me by helping me make friends and find my voice in this world.

So, thanks to film and writing about it, I’ve had a fun time. Indeed, sometimes the process of writing about films has been just as much fun as the viewing experience and now I want to highlight my fifteen favourite films to watch and also write about.

Strap yourself in and turn on some music for the ramblings of a film fan:

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Genkina hito’s Top Twelve Films of 2014

Better late than never! And why twelve? Because it’s hard to decide! This is my list of top twelve films I saw in 2014 so it covers movie releases both new and old. I watched a lot of films in 2014. I was going to the cinema nearly two or three times a month and renting/buying a lot of films so I have built up an impressive list that spans genres and eras ‘60s (Kuroneko, Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41) and ‘80s (Blade Runner, Ghostbusters) and 2014s…

The World of Kanako TsumabukiMy cinematic year began not with a Japanese film but American Hustle, a nice distraction before I headed down to London for the 2014 edition of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. I came away from that film festival profoundly moved by the humanism and simple beauty of everyday life I saw in Kimi no Tomodachi, the perfect drama with a plucky protagonist in Shindo and the very dark existential drama Parade. I followed that with a trip to the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival where I cried buckets over Colorful and saw the future of anime in Patema Inverted. Despite loving these films so much it has taken me nearly a year to write/publish reviews of them because I was constantly going to the Belle (Mbatha-Raw) and Elizabeth (Gadon) in Bellecinema to see the likes of Blue Ruin, The Wind Rises, Deliver Us From Evil, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Belle. Kotatsu was followed by the 2014 Terracotta Far East Film Festival in May which is where I met Akira Nagai, director of Judge!, the actors of Be My Baby, and I enjoyed watching The Snow White Murder Case. In September/October/November I was in London for the Raindance Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival where I met and interviewed/talked to even more directors. Out of all the films I watched between the two festivals it was Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats and The World of Kanako which impressed me the most.

Overall, 2014 was a good year for my Japanese film viewing but my final list contains a lot of western films. Here are my top films from 2014.

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Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno るろうに剣心京都大火編 (2014)

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno    RUROUNI KENSHIN 2_Poster

Japanese Title: るろうに剣心京都大火編

Romaji: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika Hen

Release Date: August 01st, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 139 mins.

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Watsuki Nobuhiro (Original Manga), Kiyomi Fujii, Keishi Ohtomo (Screenplay)

Starring: Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Yosuke Eguchi, Kaito Oyagi, Yosuke Eguchi, Yusuke Iseya, Tao Tsuchiya, Maryjun Takahashi,

History is never as clean or as clear cut as the books make it out to be and for the survivors’ of the Boshin War and the pivotal Battle of Toba-Fushimi the scars run deep and the old hatreds have simmered. It is to be expected that the consequences of this battle are messier and farther reaching than many would like considering the conflict between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the eventually victorious Imperial forces decided the fate of Japan and set in motion the end of samurai era and ushered in the modernisation and westernisation of Japan. Many who fought on both sides found themselves cast adrift in a new world that does not require their deadly skills but these people who fought to change the future of their nation will find history can never be escaped.

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Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno UK Release Info

I am really excited because Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno is going to Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto Inferno Film Posterbe released in my local cinema! This is the follow-up to 2012’s Rurouni Kenshin film which I really liked. Kyoto Inferno is actually the second part in a trilogy and was released in Japan back in August. It is now making its way to the UK courtesy of Warner Bros and will be in the following cinemas from next Friday:

Cineworld Enfield, Crawley, Sheffield, West India Quay, Glasgow RS, Cardiff, Stevenage, Bolton and Vue Piccadilly

I have booked the day off work and my family are coming along for this one because they liked the first film as well!

Here’s some info and the UK trailer and poster:

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Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, Drive in Gamo, Lost After School, Blue Eyes in HARBOR TALE, Shimotsukare Girl, Shelly, Prototype of Love, Ittsu ―THE MOVIE, Ryugu no Tsukai School Girl’s Gestation Japanese Film Trailers

I hope everyone is having a nice summer holiday. I’ve had a few days off work and spent time in Bristol and Somerset walking long distances and I had this song in my head the whole time.

Space Dandy ShadesMy word, that last episode of Space Dandy was good, wasn’t it? I’ve watched and rewatched it multiple times since Sunday. I’m desperate to see what Shinichiro Watanabe will orchestrate for tomorrow’s episode!

Anyway, I saw two films this week. On Tuesday I watched The Purge: Anarchy and on Wednesday I watched the Koji Shiraishi film, CULT. The former was a decent action film, the latter a funny J-horror. I also played episode four of The Walking Dead: Season 2 and after the experience all I could think of was how it wasn’t as gripping as the first season. It’s down to the sense that none of the decisions I make have the long-lasting ramifications they did with the first season and the characters who pop up and disappear quickly.

Behind the Camera Kim Ok-Vin the CuteThis blog has been pretty busy with a review for Behind the Camera (2013), an amusing warm-hearted and star-packed Korean meta-comedy about a film shoot directed from over the internet. I also reviewed the Japanese action film, Wild 7 (2011) which was a lot of fun when it was pure action. I then posted about  Kickstarter campaign that aims to get the indie film Plastic Love Story screened at international film festivals. I also wrote about Tokyo Ghoul for AUKN. This week’s episode was pretty awesome!

There are a lot of indie films released this weekend as you can now read (babble is over):

Continue reading “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, Drive in Gamo, Lost After School, Blue Eyes in HARBOR TALE, Shimotsukare Girl, Shelly, Prototype of Love, Ittsu ―THE MOVIE, Ryugu no Tsukai School Girl’s Gestation Japanese Film Trailers”