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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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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Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart

Hyouka Nichijou PicIt has been a bit of a quiet week for me. I managed to watch no Japanese films but I am making a renewed effort to finish the anime Le Chevalier D’eon (I started it last year but stopped watching due to Christmas). Anyway I posted a trailer for Kim Jee-Woon’s Hollywood debut, The Last Stand, the line-up for Scotland Loves Anime and a trailer for Berserk Movie III: Descent. What is happening in the charts?

  1. Rurouni Kenshin
  2. The Avengers
  3. Prometheus
  4. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  5. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  6. Total Recall (2012)
  7. Ushijia the Loan Shark
  8. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  9. Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!
  10. The Dark Knight Rises

 Two of the Japanese films released last week enter the charts with Ushijima taking seventh place while Rurouni Kenshin takes the top spot. This has been the biggest opening of any Warner Bros. Japan’s releases… I think… and it has grossed $7 million. Pretty impressive. Prometheus entered at three and Umizaru and The Wolf Children remain in the top ten at four and five respectively.

What is released today? Lots of Japanese films! What a mix!

 

Jinsei, Irodori                                            

Jinsei Irodori Film Poster

Japanese Title: 人生、いろどり

Romaji: Jinsei, Iridori

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Osamu Minorikawa

Writer: Noriko Nishiguchi

Starring: Sumiko Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yuta Hiraoka, Eri Murakawa, Mie Nakao, Tatsuya Fuji, Shigeyuki Totsugi

The third film from Osamu Minorikawa, Jinsei, Irodori is one of a couple of forthcoming films tackling the issue of the ageing population of Japan. It also reminds me of the anime Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita due to the plot involving food and a woman coming in from a large “agency” and helping a community… Tenuous, I must admit. Anyway the film stars a mixture of new talents like Eri Murakawa who starred in Train Brain Express (I keep referring to it as Take the A Train), Shigeyuki Totsugi (Mitsuko Delivers), and venerable talents like Kazuko Yoshiyuki who has starred in a wide variety of films like Maiko haaaan!!!, Glory to the Filmmaker, Departures, Gohatto and Lady Snowblood 2, Sumiko Fuji who has appeared in Summer Wars, Hula Girls and the original Thirteen Assassins and Tatsuya Fuji who I last saw in Bright Future.

Based on a true story, Kamikatsu in Tokushima prefecture is a small town where nearly half of the population are elderly people and its once thriving tangerine industry has collapsed. When a woman from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation named Eda arrives and endeavours to revive the town by selling vegetables from the local area. She meets opposition but three women named Kaoru, Hanae, and Michiko join forces with Eda.

 

I’m Flash!                                                                          I'm Flash! Film Poster

Japanese Title: アイム フラッシュ!

Romaji: Aimu Furaashu!

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda

Writer: Toshiaki Toyoda

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kento Nagayama, Itsuji ITao, Kiko Mizuhara, Shigeru Nakano, Mayu Harada, Yukiya Kitamura, Michiyo Okusu

Toshiaki Toyoda (9 Souls) follows up Monsters Club with this thriller about a religious cult which stars a whole load of stars including the handsome Kento Nagayama (Villain), Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note, Battle Royale), Ryuheu Matsuda (Nightmare Detective, The Suicide Song), the beautiful Kiko Mizuhara (Norwegian Wood, Helter Skelter) and Mayu Harada (The Millennial Rapture) Happy birthday, Mayu! It also stars Itsuji Itao (Love Exposure, Tokyo Gore Police, Ghost Train, One Missed Call Final) who uses his ability to by slimy well in this.

Rui (Fujiwara) is the charismatic leader of a new religious group who attracts the attention of the media after a car accident leaves a man dead. He retreats to his group’s compound in Okinawa where his chief aide (Itao) hires three bodyguards (Matsuda, Nagayama, Nakano) to look after him, his sister (Harada), brother (Kitamura). Why the need for bodyguards? What is the threat and is Rui happy with the life and his religious group?  

  Continue reading “Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart”

A Letter to Momo, Monsters Club, X Game 2, We Were There Part 2, Sentimental Yasuko Trailers

This week started off with a review of the rather amusing X-Cross followed by a trailer for Mamoru Hosoda’s next movie The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. Then I followed that up with a review of Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night. After posting that review I went to the cinema to see the awesome film The Cabin in the Woods. Check out Curiosity Kitty’s review of the film on 360 Degree Review to see what she made of it. I’ll have my review out tomorrow. In other news the 65th Cannes Film Festival will soon be getting underway and as part of my commitment to covering film festivals I’ll chart the Japanese films at the event and how they are received by critics. As part of this coverage I asked fellow blogger, Dandelion Head over at The Strange Dreamer to create Cannes-chan:Cannes-tan Reading Preview

I was inspired by the OS-tans and decided to do something similar. Unfortunately I’m not that great at drawing so I asked Dandelion Head to step in and she has done an awesome job and this is a pretty awesome illustration which will now be accompanying my forthcoming articles covering Japanese films at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.

What’s happening with the Japanese box-office charts?

  1.  Detective Conan: The Mystery of the Eleventh Striker
  2.  SPEC: The Movie
  3.  Battleship
  4.  Crayon Shin-chan
  5.  John Carter

Oh dear, two terrible Hollywood films are in the top five with last week’s new release Crayon Shin-chan entering at number 4. SPEC: The Movie drops down to 2 after accruing $13 million. The new number one? The venerable Detective Conan.

Well I reported on Detective Conan for Anime UK News but it slipped under my radar. What gets released today?

A Letter to Momo
Release date: Early  2012 (Japan)A Letter to Momo Poster
Running time: 120 mins.
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura

Writer: Hiroyuki Okiura
Starring: Karen Miyama, Cho, Toshiyuki Nishida, Takeo Ogawa

Production I.G.’s film A Letter to Momo has major production talent with Hiroyuki Okiura acting as director and this is his first movie since the magnificent Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. The animation and background has been handled by Ghibli chaps Masashi Ando (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) and Hiroshi Ono (Kiki’s Delivery Service) respectively and the project has animators from a myriad of other high-profile titles like Evangelion, The Sky Crawlers, Tokyo Godfathers and Summer Wars.

13-year-old Momo is a young girl who grew up in Tokyo but following the premature loss of her father, she has to move with her mother to the old family house on a remote island named Steouchi. Here, time seems to have stopped: old wooden buildings, holy shrines surrounded by trees, fields painstakingly carved out from steep hills… and no shopping mall. Momo has more troubling matters as she has an unfinished letter left by her father. A letter that contained only two words: “Dear Momo…” What was her father going to say? One day, exploring the attic of her new big house, Momo finds a dusty and worn out book and this is the start of an adventure.

  Continue reading “A Letter to Momo, Monsters Club, X Game 2, We Were There Part 2, Sentimental Yasuko Trailers”