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Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2017

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Poster

This year’s Cannes Film Festival (17th – 28th May) is the 70th edition of the event and the festival head Thierry Fremaux announced the Official Selection of films programmed last week. Critics are salivating over the fact that there are two Netflix films: the monster movie Okja by Bong Joon-ho (The Host) and The Meyerowitz Stories by Noah Baumbach (writer on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and director of Mistress America). There will be two TV series for audiences to watch: David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake and lots more familiar faces such as Sofia (Somewhere) Coppola’s The Beguiled, Michael (Code Unknown/Cache) Haneke’s Happy End (knowing Haneke, it’s probably an ironic title…). More importantly, there are also nine first-time filmmakers getting their works screened.

Why is that important?

The Cannes Film Festival comes into 2017 with a need to find fresh blood and this is seemingly strong selection because may be it. Since this is the 70th anniversary of the festival and the fact that, last year, organisers faced fierce criticism last year for their lack of female directors, commentators identified that they needed to do a couple of things: broaden out its programme so that there are filmmakers other than the old guard (Campion, Haneke, Kawase, Haynes, the Dardennes brothers etc.) and increase the number of female-centric stories and female-led films across the programme. The old guard are back but just by glancing at the lists of announced films, it is clear that the festival has achieved some of its goals and will probably avoid the criticism it faced last year – hopefully, no high-heels and breast-feeding baby incidents will crop up). Things are a bit of a mixed picture when it comes to the Japanese films.

So far, there are four Japanese films programmed, and three come from festival regulars: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Naomi Kawase, and Takashi Miike. Two of the four are adaptations while the other two are original dramas. Out of the dramas, one is made by a seasoned professional while the shorter one at 45 minutes is from a student. The presence of a fresh director is always something to cheer when it comes to Japanese films at international festivals and this director is a lady to boot: Aya Igashi. She is a graduate from Toei Gakuen Film College’s movie production department and is already working on her third film.

So, while we can all sigh and shrug our shoulders at the lack of original content, we can take comfort in the fact that Aya Igashi is on the radar of people who programme the festival.

What are the films playing this year?

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Cannes Film Festival 2017”

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Japanese Films at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017

It’s a grey day in Osaka and pretty cold but I’m staying indoors for most of it since I am cleaning video game consoles. Anyway, The Rotterdam International Film Festival starts later this month and it features a plethora films from Japan that range from the familiar to the new, plus there’s some interesting little shorts. It’s a programme packed with Japanese films but actually using the website to find them was irritating due to the search options, the way information was hidden and the overall look. I’m not a fan. I searched for it so you don’t have to.

Enough of my whining, there are many great films on offer from Roman Porno to yakuza comedy and this is another great year for Rotterdam.

Here’s what’s on offer (click on the titles to be taken to pages with more information):

haruneko-film-imag

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Japanese Films at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival LogoThe BFI London Film Festival (LFF) has reached 60 years of age and this year’s edition launches on October 05th and ends on October 16th. There are 274 films and Japanese filmmakers have contributed six to that number. Festival favourites Hirokazu Koreeda and Kiyoshi Kurosawa are in town with two features while there are a couple of documentaries, an anime and an anime short named Achoo to make up the rest of the numbers. Some of these have been previewed already for the Vancouver International Film Festival, Cannes, and Berlin and this is a decent line-up for cinephiles who love Japan and those who want to get into a Japanese film or two.

Here’s the line-up!
Continue reading “Japanese Films at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival”

Natsumi’s Firefly, Eternal Maria, 64: Part 2, Sabuibo Mask, Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! the Movie, Lost Serenade, Moratorium Cut-up, Shiranai Machi, Sato ni kitara eeyan, SING LIKE TALKING LIVE MOVIE Strings of the night Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers!

Miss Hokusai Helping Her Father

I did say I would take a break but I had a spare hour and started writing previews and thought, ‘why stop now? I did say I would try and keep the previews going…’ My serious studying starts next week (honest), I have one or two more festival films to review and possibly a DVD and Blu-Ray. I rushed this post so apologies.

What did I post this week? A preview of the Japanese films at the New York Asian Film Festival and the next film to be screened at the Japanese Embassy in London which is Summer Every Day.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Natsumi’s Firefly, Eternal Maria, 64: Part 2, Sabuibo Mask, Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! the Movie, Lost Serenade, Moratorium Cut-up, Shiranai Machi, Sato ni kitara eeyan, SING LIKE TALKING LIVE MOVIE Strings of the night Japanese Film Trailers”

Evergreen Love, The Kodai Family, Detective Mitarai’s Casebook: The Clockwork Current, A Rain Woman, FAKE, Danchi, Ninkyo Yaro, Tokyo Sunrise and other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers!

Umimachi Diary Start

Right, down to business. I’ll be taking a bit of a break from the blog because I am about to embark upon a teaching course. I have film reviews stacked up but the trailer posts might thin out since they take up time and I want to spend as much time as possible studying. I’ll try and keep them going but I need to hit the books. I hope everything works out. There are film festival screeners possibly winging their way to me over the next month or so and I have a couple of film festival posts to write and publish amidst the reviews but I will go dark for some time. I will respond if you comment on a post because I really do appreciate everyone who reads my writing. Thank you to all my regular commenters. I hope to see you guys soon!

I also want to wish Adam Torel, owner of Third Window Films, a speedy recovery. He’s a great guy and brings life to the Asian film scene in the West.

What did I post this week? A review for the wonderful film Our Little Sister (2015).

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Evergreen Love, The Kodai Family, Detective Mitarai’s Casebook: The Clockwork Current, A Rain Woman, FAKE, Danchi, Ninkyo Yaro, Tokyo Sunrise and other Japanese Film Trailers”

Himeanole, Hold My Hand, The Match Girl, Wolf Girl and Black Prince, Lyrical School no michi tono sogu, Conflict: Saidai no koso, Anohito – The One, Onna Hieraruki- Teihen Shoujo Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers!

                                                     My song for the weekend!

I have had a busy week galavanting up and down the country and so I haven’t had much time to watch many films. That written, I watched a bunch of films Heat (1995), Dear Doctor (2009) and TV dramas like Rose Red, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel. I’ve started getting more work from film festivals which is great so more films for me to watch.

Two posts this week, the first for the release date for Sion Sono’s film, Love & Peace and the second post was for the Japanese Films at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Himeanole, Hold My Hand, The Match Girl, Wolf Girl and Black Prince, Lyrical School no michi tono sogu, Conflict: Saidai no koso, Anohito – The One, Onna Hieraruki- Teihen Shoujo Japanese Film Trailers”

After the Storm, Garm Wars: The Last Druid, Distraction Babies, Zebra, She and Her Cat – Everything Flows, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin III Dawn of Rebellion, Garo: Divine Flame, Midori The Camellia Girl and other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers!

The Lost Village Image

This has been a bit of a quiet week for me. I reviewed two films and I watched two films this week: Petal Dance (2013) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016). I started watching the TV anime The Lost Village (Mayoiga 迷家). I am on episode three and I think it’s the funniest thing I have seen since Osomatsu-san. It is filled with characters and so over the top it has become absurd. I’m also watching Two Best Friends Play Silent Hill 2 because I find the Best Friends funny and because I’m a big Silent Hill 2 fan.

Two posts this week, the first for the Japanese Films at the Annecy International Film Festival. The second post is for the screening of Love Exposure at Japan Society New York.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “After the Storm, Garm Wars: The Last Druid, Distraction Babies, Zebra, She and Her Cat – Everything Flows, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin III Dawn of Rebellion, Garo: Divine Flame, Midori The Camellia Girl and other Japanese Film Trailers”

The Magnificent Nine, HK: Forbidden Super Hero the Abnormal Crisis, If Cats Disappeared From the World, The Whispering Star, Jonetsu tairiku Presents Sono Shion to iu ikimono, About My Liberty and other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear audience!

Be the World for Her Film Image

I watched one film this week and that was Ran (1985) for the third time this year after watching it at a cinema for the first time ever. If you live in the UK you can watch it on BBC iPlayer – it screened on BBC Four! – for a day more (I should have reported on it being on iPlayer earlier). I have completed lots of writing because I want to spend the next few months studying. Two posts this week, one for Nippon Connection and another for a film screening at the Japanese embassy.

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “The Magnificent Nine, HK: Forbidden Super Hero the Abnormal Crisis, If Cats Disappeared From the World, The Whispering Star, Jonetsu tairiku Presents Sono Shion to iu ikimono, About My Liberty and other Japanese Film Trailers”

Hero Mania: Seikatsu, Ajin: Shoutosu, 64: Part 1 Prequel, Road to High & Low, Iitatemura no kaachantachi tsuchi to tomo ni, Ametsuchi no hibi Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear audience!

Harmonium Film Image

I gorged myself on a lot of new anime this week just to get a feel for the season so I’ve picked up Bungo Stray Dogs, Kiznaiver, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable and Re:ZERO. I spent more time writing film reviews than watching films… I did post about the Japanese films at the Cannes Film Festival and I posted a film review for Cesium and a Tokyo Girl (2015).

What’s released this weekend?

Continue reading “Hero Mania: Seikatsu, Ajin: Shoutosu, 64: Part 1 Prequel, Road to High & Low, Iitatemura no kaachantachi tsuchi to tomo ni, Ametsuchi no hibi Japanese Film Trailers”

Japanese Films at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

Cannes FIlm Festival 2016 Poster
Cannes FIlm Festival 2016 Poster

This year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 11th to the 22nd and it’s the 69th edition of the event. The festival’s main programme (every title in competition and Un Certain Regard) has been announced. This year’s line-up looks like its lumbering under the weight of major American films like Steven Spielberg’s The BFG and two Jim Jarmusch films. There are films from European stalwarts such as the Dardenne brothers, Andrea Arnold and Nicolas Winding Refn and there are two familiar Japanese names in the mix but both are in Un Certain Regard… Plus there are two Japanese films in Cannes Classics. It’s a good line-up and continues an upward trend following on from a similarly packed 2015. The only person missing from the party is Takashi Miike!

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival”