Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues

The closing film of Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – 17th) has been announced and it is the Vietnamese family comedy Daddy Issues. This is the Japanese premiere of a film directed by Ken Ochiai whose Kyoto-based film Uzumasa Limelight (2014) should be familiar to fans of Japanese cinema – quite appropriate since OAFF 2019’s opening film Randen is set in Kyoto. Most recently, he has been working in the Vietnamese film industry and created a comedy hit with Saigon Bodyguards which was released in 2016 and beat Rogue One in the charts and became the 4th biggest movie of that year.

Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues”

Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues

The closing film of Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019 (March 08th – 17th) has been announced and it is the Vietnamese family comedy Daddy Issues. This is the Japanese premiere of a film directed by Ken Ochiai whose Kyoto-based film Uzumasa Limelight (2014) should be familiar to fans of Japanese cinema – quite appropriate since OAFF 2019’s opening film Randen is set in Kyoto. Most recently, he has been working in the Vietnamese film industry and created a comedy hit with Saigon Bodyguards which was released in 2016 and beat Rogue One in the charts and became the 4th biggest movie of that year.

Continue reading “Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019’s Closing Film: Daddy Issues”

Uzumasa Limelight 太秦ライムライト (2014)

Uzumasa Limelight    

Uzumasa Limelight Film Poster
Uzumasa Limelight Film Poster

太秦ライムライト 「Uzumasa Laimulaito

Release Date: July 12th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 104 mins

Director: Ken Ochiai

Writer: Hiroyuki Ono (Screenplay),

Starring: Seizo Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Hiroki Matsukata, Masashi Goda, Hirotaro Honda, Hisako Manda, Anna Kawashima,

Website    IMDB

Uzumasa Limelight is all about the nostalgic regret for the passing of the golden age of samurai cinema. It tells a tale of a fading and unique tradition of cinema, the art of dying on screen in samurai movies, and draws on the history of lead actor Seizo Fukumoto to reveal the skill at the heart of what can be overlooked – a dramatic death that takes up a few seconds of screen time.

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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 Preview

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 Ikiru

The 2016 edition of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme launches in two week’s time and lasts from February 05th until March 26th as it visits different venues across the UK. It starts at the ICA in London and visits various cities across England, Wales, and Scotland as cinemas from Edinburgh to Bristol play host to the Japan Foundation’s showcase of a selection of Japanese films which capture the lives of people across the generations. These various stories are a mixture of live-action and animation, drama and comedy and there are classics to some of the most contemporary titles.

Here’s the line-up:

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Japanese Films at the Glasgow Film Festival 2015

The Glasgow Film Festival kicks off tonight and it has a selection of excellent films that any fan of cinema will love. Here’s the line-up. This is a bit of a rush post. I decided to cover this at the very last minute because I took a gander at the films and I think that there are enough quality titles to make this film festival stand out. I’m excited to see Fires on the Plain because if this is in the UK it means that it may make its way down to London. Also of note are Pale Moon and Uzumasa Limelight both of which have had excellent reviews including ones by a fellow J-film blogger who has great taste (Uzumasa Review) (Pale Moon Review)! Glasgow usually has good films (it’s how I saw Rentaneko and Museum Hours) so I’ll cover it every year from now on…

Here’s the line-up of films programmed this year:

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Say “I Love You”, Uzumasa Limelight, The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 3, Gift, K: Missing Kings, Southern Winds, Naniwa Kinyuudo, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Cinema JOHN! and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Belle (Mbatha-Raw) in BelleI watched fewer movies this week… well, only one, Library Wars (2013). A review is inbound for the week after next week alongside one for Godzilla (2014). The reason for the few movies watched is because of the new season of anime! Barakamon, Zankyou no Terror, Space Dandy Season 2, Aldnoah.Zero, and Tokyo Ghoul all had tremendous opening episodes and I will have to write first impressions of them for next week as well as a series review for Knights of Sidonia.

Movie reviews dominated the blog this week with Belle (2013) and Fuan no Tane (2013) both getting published and both films really impressing me.

What Japanese films are released today?

Continue reading “Say “I Love You”, Uzumasa Limelight, The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 3, Gift, K: Missing Kings, Southern Winds, Naniwa Kinyuudo, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Cinema JOHN! and Other Japanese Film Trailers”

Japan Cuts 2014 Preview

Japan Cuts Logo

New York, New York, what a wonderful town. I have never wanted to live in New York as much as I did after reading the line-up for Japan Cuts 2014.

The Japan Society will host a series of awesome Japanese films from July 10th to July 29th with titles like Sion Sono’s ultra-violent black comedy Why Don’t You Play in Hell? coupled with crime thriller The Devil’s Path and recent (controversial) World War II blockbuster The Eternal Zero. These are just some of the headline titles, there are even more listed, many of which were released in the last few weeks and some of which are crazy and bizarre and speak to the sharp and unique sense of cinema that the curators have – respect has to be paid for the programming of the documentaries on this list. There’s definitely something for everyone! Here’s a trailer:

I am blown away by the titles and the guests that have been announced with many actors coming over for Q&As (FUMI NIKAIDO!!!). For a fan of cinema in general and Japanese cinema in particular, this is a festival rich with great films and events!

Here’s a list of the films and trailers with comments from me. Click on the title for more info such as times and buying tickets. Tickets are already on sale!

 

Thursday July 10th, Opening Night

 

6 P.M.

The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji   The Mole Song Film Poster

Japanese Title: 土竜の唄 潜入捜査官 REIJI

Romaji: Mogura no Uta Sennuu Sosakan REIJI

Running Time: 130 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Kudo Kankuro (Screenplay), Noboru Takahashi (Original Manga)

Starring: Toma Ikuta, Ren Osugi, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Riisa Naka, Takayuki Yamada, Mitsuru Fukikoshi

This is based on a comedy manga by Noboru Takahashi and directed by Takashi Miike (For Love’s Sake). The film has a great cast of characters like Shinichi Tsutsumi (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?), Ren Osugi (Exte) and Mitsuru Fukikoshi (Cold Fish). It seems like a great way to open the film festival since it looks absolutely funny.

Reiji Kikukawa (Ikuta) has a strong sense of justice but graduates at the bottom of his class from the police academy. He is so useless his superiors send him on what should be a suicide mission. First the police chief fires him for disciplinary issues and then sets him up as a mole in the Sukiyaki gang, the largest crime group in the Kanto area. His target is Shuho Todoroki, the boss, and so Reiji goes through hell to get his man!

 

8:30 P.M.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell?
Why Don't You Play In Hell Film Poster

Japanese Title: 地獄 で なぜ 悪い Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Romaji: Jigoku de Naze Warui Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Running Time: 126 mins

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

Starring: Jun Kunimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Fumi Nikaido, Tomochika, Hiroki Hasegawa, Kotou Lorena, Gen Hoshino, Tak Sakaguchi

Sion Sono blew my mind with this one. After a short run of issue films like the critically lauded Himizu and The Land of Hope, he made this hilarious and blood-thirsty film which was both entertainment and a love letter to cult films and yakuza classics. I found it absolutely hilarious and one of the best films of last year.

Muto (Kunimura) and Ikegami (Tsutsumi) are rival gangsters who despise each other especially since Muto’s wife Shizue (Tomochika) butchered a boss in Ikegami’s gang. She gets sent to prison which jeopardises her daughter’s acting career. Ten years later and days before Shizue is due to be released, Muto is desperate to make his daughter a big-screen star as a reward for Shizue’s loyalty and kidnaps Koji (Hoshino), a timid passer-by who is mistaken for being a film director.

When dealing with gangsters you don’t mess about so Koji recruits the help of a mad-cinephile Hirata (Hasegawa) who dreams of being a movie director and has a ragtag film crew named The Fuck Bombers. Hirata seizes his chance and loses his mind as he casts Mitsuko in a fictional gang war but it soon goes wrong when it turns real.

Introduction and Q&A with actress Fumi Nikaido (I so want to be in her presence!!!)

Followed by the LET’S PLAY IN HELL Opening Night Party!

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