Toshiaki Toyoda’s Uprising 2021 in Chicago and A New Toyoda Film

“Only those rescued by movies will save movies” – Dir: Toshiaki Toyoda

Source: https://www.kodo.or.jp/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Profile_toshiaki-toyoda_credit_Keisuke-Nagoshi.jpg

That’s a pretty cool mantra and one I can believe in and I hope that you do, too. You wouldn’t be reading this post if it were otherwise. Anyway, earlier this month I saw information on an event called The Toshiaki Toyoda’s Uprising 2021 in Chicago. This is a physical screening of Wolf’s Calling (2019) and The Day of Destruction (2020) on Friday, April 09th, at 19:00 at Chicago’s MUSIC BOX THEATRE – THEATRE1.

Seeing these two films on the big screen would be an incredible experience as they present blisteringly unique and challenging visions of cinema thanks to director Toshiaki Toyoda who is one of Japan’s most challenging voices. He brought together top-line actors to grace the screens and rock groups to bring bone-shaking sounds to blow out speakers in a couple of short films that shook the world.

Here is information on the films:

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Genkina hito’s Top Fourteen Films of 2020

祖谷物語 おくのひと Rina Takeda

Wow, I had no idea that 2020 would turn out like this when I wrote last year’s end post. We’re a few days away from the end of what has been a plague year. I almost got caught out at the start when I was in Japan and the borders were going to be closed, back at the end of March, but I escaped with the help of some friends. Since then, I have been in work on reduced duties or at home waiting to be called in for odd jobs. When not working, I was doing shopping with my mother and checking in on my grandmother.

During this time of waiting, I watched a lot of films, some as part of the Osaka Asian Film Festival, Nippon Connection, Japan Cuts and the New York Asian Film Festival, a lot just for pleasure. I took part in a physical film festival in Japan and I helped organise and execute an online film festival twice and during all of this I wrote a lot of reviews. Probably more reviews than in previous years. On top of it all, I also helped start a podcast about Asian films called Heroic Purgatory where I discuss films with fellow writer John Atom (the Christmas special is already out and the second season coming in 2021!).

When I was able to go to the cinema I watched a wide variety of things. In the UK, the last film I watched was Parasite with my mother. In Japan, I went to numerous screenings at the Osaka Asian Film Festival and an animation festival at the Yujiku Asagaya (just before Tokyo’s lockdown). At home with a lot of time on my hands I got into the cinema of Mario Bava and re-watched lots of Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento movies. I waded through hours of 70s and 80s horror movies from America and I went back to some tried and trusted Japanese classics. Most of all, I tried to get more Japanese indie films out there and so I think this is reflected in my list of top films from 2020.

So, what are they?.  

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The Day of Destruction 破壊の日 (2020) Dir: Toshiaki Toyoda

The Day of Destruction    The Day of Destruction Film Poster

破壊の日Hakai no Hi

Release Date: July 24th, 2020

Duration: 57 mins.

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda

Writer: Toshiaki Toyoda (Script),

Starring: Kiyohiko Shibukawa, MahiToThePeople (of the band GEZAN in his debut film role), Issey Ogata, Yosuke Kubozuka, Ryuhei Matsuda, Itsuki Nagasawa, Shima Onishi, Misa Wada,

Website IMDB

Released on July 24th, what would have been the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, The Day of Destruction would have been a slice of counter-programming that rages against the ills of society while it basked in the aura of Olympic spectacle. Even in the absence of the games, the film still retains its power as a unique “state of the nation” address thanks to its director compiling issues into a unique story.

Toshiaki Toyoda has long made films about people on the fringes and struggling to find their way, criticising the state and its treatment of citizens. He himself has been subject to violations of his rights when he was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and held without charge. It later turned out to be a family heirloom from World War II but the police turned it into a media spectacle. Japan continues to be rocked by numerous government corruption scandals, incompetent handling of Covid-19, and the silencing of political dissent by the increasingly fascistic LDP. It must feel that the country is on the highway to disaster and this film picks up on that sense of impending doom.

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The Day of Destruction, KUSHINA, what will you be, On the Edge of Their Seats, Zero As You Are, The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Princess, Miyuki Nakajima Nightclub VOL.20 “Little Tokyo” Movie Version, Secret x Warrior Phantomage! It will be a movie, Shukatsu 4 Wolfman Interview, Stand Strong, A Man in Love, Documentary Battle of Okinawa: Memory of Unknown Sadness, Forgotten Japanese: Japanese lingering in the Philippines and China Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone.

The Day of Destruction Film Image 2

I hope you are all well.

Recently, I’ve been watching lots of non Japanese films with lashing of 70s, 80s and 90s horror movies (Slumber Party Massacre trilogy, some David Cronenberg stuff) and some German films by Werner Herzog. Also catching up on or re-experiencing Hollywood movies I have seen like Inception and The Cabin in the Woods, thanks to Amazon Prime. I did watch The Day of Destruction by Toshiaki Toyoda as part of Japan Cuts 2020.

Later today will be the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival showcase of films by women. I’ll be helping to moderate the chat. This week I posted my reviews for It Feels So Good (2019) and Sacrifice (2019), both of which are playing at Japan Cuts 2020. I’ll be finishing up reviews for that next week.

What is released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Day of Destruction, KUSHINA, what will you be, On the Edge of Their Seats, Zero As You Are, The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Princess, Miyuki Nakajima Nightclub VOL.20 “Little Tokyo” Movie Version, Secret x Warrior Phantomage! It will be a movie, Shukatsu 4 Wolfman Interview, Stand Strong, A Man in Love, Documentary Battle of Okinawa: Memory of Unknown Sadness, Forgotten Japanese: Japanese lingering in the Philippines and China Japanese Film Trailers”