The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill   The Fable A Contract Killer Who Doesn't Kill Film Poster

ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 The Fable: Korosanai Koroshiya

Release Date: June 18th 2021

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Kan Eguchi, Masahiro Yamaura (Script), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Manga)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Yurina Hirate, Masanobu Ando, Mizuki Yamamoto, Ken Yasuda, Jiro Sato, Daisuke Miyagawa, Manami Hashimoto,

Website IMDB

Films based on manga are quite ubiquitous in Japan but few have qualities that gain the traction to make it onto the radars of global audiences the way the Rurouni Kenshin live-action films have. The closest has arguably been 2019’s well-reviewed The Fable which featured a combination of eccentric characters, quirky comedy, and a pair of attention-grabbing action set-pieces (choreographed by the Jackie Chan stunt team) that bookended proceedings. For the sequel, The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, it is a case of more of the same as the director and cast return in a film which has a similar structure and feel to the previous instalment. 

Once again we are in the company of Akira Sato (Junichi Okada) A.K.A, The Fable. Behind his innocuously naïve and spaced-out persona lies a killing machine who is a legend in the criminal underworld. In the first film, his body-count had become so outrageous, his boss ordered him to keep a low profile in Osaka with his handler Yoko (Fumino Kimura) with strict orders not to kill anyone or anything. Sato now works a part-time job at a design company where his colleagues and new-found friends remain unaware of his hidden life but maintaining this deception soon proves impossible when a former target from Sato’s murky past re-emerges.

Continue reading “The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]”

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill   The Fable A Contract Killer Who Doesn't Kill Film Poster

ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 The Fable: Korosanai Koroshiya

Release Date: June 18th 2021

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Kan Eguchi, Masahiro Yamaura (Script), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Manga)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Yurina Hirate, Masanobu Ando, Mizuki Yamamoto, Ken Yasuda, Jiro Sato, Daisuke Miyagawa, Manami Hashimoto,

Website IMDB

Films based on manga are quite ubiquitous in Japan but few have qualities that gain the traction to make it onto the radars of global audiences the way the Rurouni Kenshin live-action films have. The closest has arguably been 2019’s well-reviewed The Fable which featured a combination of eccentric characters, quirky comedy, and a pair of attention-grabbing action set-pieces (choreographed by the Jackie Chan stunt team) that bookended proceedings. For the sequel, The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, it is a case of more of the same as the director and cast return in a film which has a similar structure and feel to the previous instalment. 

Once again we are in the company of Akira Sato (Junichi Okada) A.K.A, The Fable. Behind his innocuously naïve and spaced-out persona lies a killing machine who is a legend in the criminal underworld. In the first film, his body-count had become so outrageous, his boss ordered him to keep a low profile in Osaka with his handler Yoko (Fumino Kimura) with strict orders not to kill anyone or anything. Sato now works a part-time job at a design company where his colleagues and new-found friends remain unaware of his hidden life but maintaining this deception soon proves impossible when a former target from Sato’s murky past re-emerges.

Continue reading “The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]”

A Preview of the Japanese Titles at the New York Asian Film Festival 2021 (August 06th – 22nd)

The New York Asian Film Festival is a go for 2021 and runs from August 6th to the 22nd. It is a hybrid event with over 60 films split between cinemas and online streams.

It’s a beautiful and exciting mix of experiences from 12 separate territories/nations with a mix of big-budget blockbusters to indie movies. There are tales from towns and cities in the mountainous land of Tibet (A Song for You) to a backwater in the Kazakh countryside (Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It). A humorous take on a utopian community in Singapore (Tiong Bahru Social Club) to the dank underworld of Hong Kong (Hand-Rolled Cigarettes and Coffin Homes) and the gritty streets of Tokyo (JOINT). Stop-motion dystopian sci-fi (JUNK HEAD) rub shoulders with Korean tales from the hellscape of capitalism (I Don’t Fire Myself). Who populates these cinematic landscapes? Fiery office ladies, hitmen, dancers, mutants, wannabe singers, DJs, and more. 

Here’s the trailer introducing the fest:

Here are certain highlights:

The Opening Film is the tense action thriller Escape from Mogadishu, directed by Ryoo Seung-wan (The Berlin File, Veteran), a based-on-a-true-story title that retells the escape attempted by North and South Korean embassy workers who were stranded in a hostile environment during the 1991 Somali Civil War.

Legendary filmmaker Ann Hui will receive the Variety Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award and the biographical documentary Keep Rolling will be screened. Her film, The Story of Woo Viet will also be screened, so auds can get a taste of what made her one of the most important voices in Hong Kong cinema.

There will be a free outdoor screening of the Hong Kong wu-xia New Dragon Gate Inn (1992), which stars Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, and Donnie Yen. This marks the 10th anniversary of the film’s restoration by NYAFF.

Out of everything on offer, I’ve written about Three Sisters, JOINT (review and interview with Oudai Kojima, the director), and, Over the Town and Keep Rolling. I can highly recommend them. I also enjoyed Tiong Bahru Social Club and have kept thinking about it.

What about the rest? I will highlight the Japanese films so it can help you when you are making a choice about what to watch. AND THERE IS SO MUCH THAT IS TOO GOOD TO PASS UP!!!

I will also be covering the fest over at Heroic Purgatory. My co-host John and I talked about the festival in the last episode which covers the New York-set film The Wedding Banquet.

UPDATE: THE PODCAST IS LIVE!!!

What are the films programmed? Scroll down to find out!

Continue reading “A Preview of the Japanese Titles at the New York Asian Film Festival 2021 (August 06th – 22nd)”

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, Around the Table, Rika: Self-Proclaimed 28-Years-Old Pure Love Monster, Hinomaru Soul: Heroes Behind the Scenes Japanese Film Trailers

Here is the first part of a two-part trailer post!

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill    The Fable A Contract Killer Who Doesn't Kill Film Poster

ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 The Fable: Korosanai Koroshiya

Release Date: June 18th 2021

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Kan Eguchi, Masahiro Yamaura (Script), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Manga)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Yurina Hirate, Masanobu Ando, Mizuki Yamamoto, Ken Yasuda, Jiro Sato, Daisuke Miyagawa, Manami Hashimoto,

Website IMDB

The first film was highly enjoyable up until the extended (and overly long) finale and I felt that it captured the manga perfectly. The trailer indicates that the stunts and action have grown even more grandiose!

Synopsis: Akira Sato (Junichi Okada) is the legendary killer known as The Fable. He is continuing to keep a low profile in Osaka with his partner Yoko (Fumino Kimura) as they pretend to be ordinary siblings. He maintains his part-time job at a design company called Octopus where his boss, Takoda (Jiro Sato), and colleague/love interest, Misaki (Mizuki Yamamoto), are unaware of his hidden life of assassinations. The team at Octopus become the target of extortion when a seemingly innocent NPO run by a seemingly nice guy named Utsubo (Shinichi Tsutsumi) brings in a contract killer Suzuki (Masanobu Ando) to get money out of them. Akira must step in and use his skills.

Continue reading “The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, Around the Table, Rika: Self-Proclaimed 28-Years-Old Pure Love Monster, Hinomaru Soul: Heroes Behind the Scenes Japanese Film Trailers”