The Actor 俳優亀岡拓 Dir: Satoko Yokohama (2016)

The Actor

The Actor Film Poster俳優亀岡拓次 「Haiyuu Kameoka Takuji」

Release Date: January 30th, 2016

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Satoko Yokohama

Writer: Satoko Yokohama (Screenplay), Akito Inui (Original Novel)

Starring: Ken Yasuda, Kumiko Aso, Shohei Uno, Yoshiko Mita, Shota Sometani, Hirofumi Arai, Youki Kudoh,

Website    IMDB

It is fair to say that most people go into acting with the expectation that they will be cast in a leading role at some point. However, not everyone can be centre stage and some are relegated to a career of supporting roles. In a profession where acting in the limelight is what actors pursue, how does being in the shadows feel? This is a question that the titular actor, Takuji Kameoka, faces when a mid-career crisis meets an existential crisis as he takes stock of his life in this melancholy comedy, or should that be, melancomedy.

Takuji Kameoka (Ken Yasuda) is a lonely thirty-something bachelor who plays bit-parts in movies and dramas. His only interest outside of cinema is drinking. One day, on a shoot in snowy Nagano, he gets drunk and sadder than usual at an izakaya where a woman named Azumi Murota (Kumiko Aso) runs the bar in her father’s stead. Takuji and Azumi talk while sharing saké. He quietly falls in love with her and it happens just at the point he begins to wonder if he will ever be the leading man in his own life and in the acting profession.

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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2020 Preview – Joy and Despair in Japanese Cinema

The Japan Foundation announced the details of their Touring Film Programme for 2020. The tour lasts from January 31st to March 29th and the theme that connects them all is “love”. The films look at the emotions of joy and despair and, presumably, there will be every other emotion in between as people seek happiness. According to the organisers, there are stories of “love, social inclusion, the resilience of humankind through times of hardship, and unconventional paths to achieving and maintaining joy”.

Here are the films:

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Japan Cuts 2016 Preview

Japan Cuts 2016 Banner

Japan Cuts 2016 takes place from July 14th to the 24th and there are lots of familiar titles, many of which I’ll put as shorter entries to save space. However you cut it the line-up is really good with a diverse mixture of genres and stories. The guestlist is absolutely fantastic with the likes of Lily Franky, Atsuko Maeda, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sion Sono, and so many more talented filmmakers descending upon the festival! Here’s hoping Adam Torel of Third Window Films gets to attend the festival to introduce three films he has helped come into being. There’s also Japan Cuts Microcinema which sees some of the best short films from the last ten years played throughout the festival. Each film lasts around 30 minutes and people can jump in and watch whichever title takes their fancy between films. There’s also an interesting talk which analyses the Japanese film industry and how films get made.

What is on the programme, then? This is a quick preview but there’s a lot. I’ll break it down into sections and you can view trailers and more details for each on the films by clicking on the links:

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Japanese Films at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival

EIFF Logo 2016

The 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place in June and it runs from the 15th to the 26th. The programme was revealed today and there is an interesting line-up that mixes classic and contemporary films. Highlights include Satoko Yokohama’s latest, The Actor and indie crime film Ken and Kazu.

What’s on the programme:
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2016 Nippon Connection Film Festival Preview

The 16th edition of the Japanese film festival Nippon Connection will take place in Frankfurt, Germany, from May 24th to the 29th. Over the course of six days audiences will get the chance to watch more than 100 short and feature films and this incudes indies, anime, blockbusters, and documentaries. This is the biggest festival dedicated to Japanese films and so filmmakers are going to attend the event to present their works.

On top of the films there are guests who are coming over from Japan so that means there are also workshops, lectures, panel discussions, performances, exhibitions, and there is also a Japanese market with food on sale. It’s a huge event with lots to see and do.

Good Stripes Film Image
Good Stripes Film Image

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The Actor, The Inerasable, Saraba Abunai Deka: Long Goodbye, DOCUMENTARY of HKT48, DOCUMENTARY of NMB48, The Lover of My Ex, The Cross, Behind ‘The Cove’, Kaze no tayori and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, readers!

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi Episode 3 Tree

Well, what’s left of the weekend (at least I published it on the weekend). I have been very busy this week but I did manage to post about the Japanese films programmed for the Glasgow Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. I also wrote news reports for those festivals for different websites. I watched two films – nuclear nightmare movie Threads (UK, 1984) and zombie actioner Junk (JP, 1999), I’ve marathoned all available episodes of the anime Boku Dake ga Inai Machi and re-started Shirobako after putting it on a back-burner. I’ve also gone and started listening to ’80s music again. There’s a great crop of films released this weekend with The Actor and Inerasable getting screened

What’s released this weekend?

  Continue reading “The Actor, The Inerasable, Saraba Abunai Deka: Long Goodbye, DOCUMENTARY of HKT48, DOCUMENTARY of NMB48, The Lover of My Ex, The Cross, Behind ‘The Cove’, Kaze no tayori and other Japanese Film Trailers”