Genkina hito’s Top 25 Films of the Decade

My WordPress blog birthday was December 20th and it has been a decade since I first started writing reviews and news articles here about what interests me.

Cure Yakusho Stares at City

It started with book reviews like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Apocalypse and big screen Hollywood fare such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. It shifted to American indies like Stake Land and 2 Days in New York with some European and central/South American films like Submarine, Certified Copy, I Am Love and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before I transitioned quickly into Asian cinema, long a passion of mine from childhood, and I took to covering the latest UK releases and festival news for Asian movies and writing about my favourite filmmakers like Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinya Tsukamoto. My taste has changed from horror and action to more contemplative and experimental works but my passion for cinema burns bright and for good reason.

Through ten years of writing on this blog I have made friends and watched lots of great films. Indeed, I’ve covered a quite a range of titles and, as the years progressed, actually got involved with film culture through writing for magazines and other websites, doing festival press work at the likes of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival and the Osaka Asian Film Festival as well as doing plenty of writing like interviews at UK festivals like Raindance, Terracotta and the London Film Festival. It has almost always been fun and I’ve even had the chance to live and travel in Japan. I can honestly say this blog has been amazing for me by helping me make friends and find my voice in this world.

So, thanks to film and writing about it, I’ve had a fun time. Indeed, sometimes the process of writing about films has been just as much fun as the viewing experience and now I want to highlight my fifteen favourite films to watch and also write about.

Strap yourself in and turn on some music for the ramblings of a film fan:

Continue reading “Genkina hito’s Top 25 Films of the Decade”

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!

Continue reading “Japan Cuts 2014 Preview”

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? 地獄でなぜ悪い (2013)

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?

Release Date: September 28th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

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

This has been a long time coming. I saw Why Don’t You Play in Hell? at last year’s BFI London Film Festival and I had huge expectations. In the months leading up to the screening I had posted trailers and made posts full of Gifs. It was my final festival film of the year and walking into the cinema I was tingling with excitement. Why? Because Sono is one of my two favourite Japanese directors and this looked awesome. I can confirm that it was God-tier awesome. 

The film opens on a teenage director named Hirata who, along with his amateur film crew The F*ck Bombers, is busy shooting a gang fight between some Yankees. The main ambition of The F*ck Bombers is to make the most miraculous movie ever with realistic action! These guys will come into play later as the film switches to Muto (Kunimura), a yakuza crime boss who is the top target of a rival gang.

 Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Jun-Kunimura

A hit-squad from the rival gang head to Muto’s home. Except he’s not there. His wife Shizue (Tomochika) is. What results is a bloodbath as Shizue defends her home from the gangsters… 

Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Muto's-Wife-Tomochika

Meanwhile, as mother dearest is chasing one of the few survivors of her rage, Muto’s daughter, the angelic child actress Mitsuko, arrives home to find herself wading in a sea of blood. Lying on the kitchen floor and bleeding out is lone survivor Ikegami (Tsutsumi) who is charmed by Mitsuko so much that he develops a bit of an obsession. He stumbles out of the crime scene where he runs into Hirata and The F*ck Bombers who realise he is an honest to God blood-covered yakuza and begin to film him.

Continue reading “Why Don’t You Play in Hell? 地獄でなぜ悪い (2013)”

Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Like Father, Like Son, The King of Apology, Flying Goldfish & the Secret of the World, House of the Rising Sun, I’m Home, The Road Less Travelled and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Galilei Donna ImageThe Raindance Film Festival is less than a week away. Japanese film goodness will soon be mine… Actually, I watch lots of Japanese films most weeks. For example, I watched Shinji Aoyama’s Tokyo Koen which I liked quite a lot. I watch lots of films generally like Citizen Kane which was on BBC Four last week Sunday. Anime is always on my viewing list and the last episodes of Dog and Scissors, Gatchaman Crowds, Watamote, Sunday Without God and Attack on Titan have/played out this week. This week I posted about License to Live, the last film in my Kiyoshi Kurosawa Season, more of my Autumn 2013 Anime Selection, and a review for The Drudgery Train which stars Mirai Moriyama, Kengo Kora and Atsuko Maeda.

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

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

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

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? gets its Japanese release today. I’ve blogged about it so much and replayed the trailer so many times that to repeat myself further would be wrong and probably bore the few dedicated reads I have. For those who are new but wary of all my babble, let us just say this is the most dangerous and awesome film of the year and I get to see it at the BFI London Film Festival. YERSH!

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 and 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 and recruits 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 gets a cinephile friend named 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.

 Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Blood-Slide-with-Mitsuko-(Nikaidou)

BLOOOOD SLIIIIIIIIDE!!!

Website

Like Father, Like Son                          Like Father Like Son Cannes Poster

Japanese Title: そして 父 に なる

Romaji: Soshite Chichi ni Naru

Running Time: 120 mins.

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Jun Fubuki, Keita Ninomiya, Lily Franky, Jun Kunimura, Kiki Kirin, Isao Natsuyagi

This is another film I’m going to see at the BFI London Film Festival. It has appeared at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival. Koreeda is a great filmmaker as a run of films like After LifeStill Walking, and Nobody Knows prove. The film stars Masaharu Fukuyama (Suspect X), Machiko Ono (EurekaThe Floating Castle), Yoko Maki (InfectionThe Grudge), Lily Franky (Afro Tanaka), Jun Fubuki (SéanceRebirth) Kirin Kiki (Kiseki) and Jun Kunimura (OutrageVital) and Isao Natsuyagi (The Land of HopeWarm Water Under a Red Bridge).

Successful architect Ryota (Fukuyama) and his wife Midori (Ono) have a happy family life with their six-year-old son Keita (Nonomiya) but a phone call from the hospital informing them of the fact that their child was mixed up with another at birth shatters their happiness. Their birth-son Ryusei has been raised by a poorer but more easy-going family run by Yudai (Franky) and Yukari (Maki) Saiki. Ryota and Midori must decide whether to hand over the son they have carefully raised for the last six years and take back their biological son or not.

 

Website

 

The King of Apology                               The Apology King Film Poster

Japanese Title:  謝罪 の 王様

Romaji: Shazai no Ousama

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 128 mins.

Director: Nobuo Mizuta

Writer: Kankuro Kudo (Screenplay),

Starring: Sadao Abe, Mao Inoue, Masak Okada, Katsumi Takahashi, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Yutala Takenouchi, YosiYosi Arakawa, Gaku Hamada, Takehiko Ono, Mari Hamada, Suzu Hirose

That poster is awful… Initial fears that this wold be rubbish were allayed by the trailer which is full of exaggerated physical comedy. The cast list is also full of great performers who have provided great comedic and dramatic performances– Sadao Abe (Dreams for Sale, Kamikaze Girls), Mao Inoue (Kaidan, Rebirth), Machiko Ono (Eureka), Yasuko Matsuyuki (Drive, Monday, Detroit Metal City), YosiYosi Arakawa (Survive Style 5+, Fine, Totally Fine). All great actors who have been in films I have enjoyed. Then I got to Gaku Hamada (See You Tomorrow, Everyone) who I have developed an aversion to… Still, I’m watching Sake-Bomb tonight, my opinion could change. The writer is Kankuro Kudo and he has penned films like Go, Ping Pong and Drugstore Girl.

 

Ryoro Kurojima (Abe) runs a Tokyo apology centre where he teaches others to apologise. He can teach students how to apologise for minor misdemeanours all the way through to national crises.

 Website

Continue reading “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Like Father, Like Son, The King of Apology, Flying Goldfish & the Secret of the World, House of the Rising Sun, I’m Home, The Road Less Travelled and Other Japanese Film Trailers”

Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2013

Genki BFI London Film Festival 2013 Banner

The 57th BFI London Film Festival is running from Wednesday 09th October to Sunday 20th October, a mere week after the end of the Raindance Film Festival. The London Film Festival programme was announced earlier today and the Japanese selection is rather good. The big news for me is that Sion Sono’s latest film, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? has been selected to play! Other entries include Yuya Ishii’s Great Passage and Hirokazu Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son. The latter was probably the most obvious choie for inclusion but it’s great to see Ishii getting noticed.

Here are the films (click on the titles for more info like dates and times):

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

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is coming to the UK? OHMYGOD! YES! SONOOOOOO is here and the day is won. So does this prove that if I cry loud enough and often enough about something, some big festival will pick it up? Because I posted about three different versions of the trailer before it was screened at Venice and then Toronto and finally London. I’m a Sion Sono fan and while I may not be the most eloquent, handsome or talented, I at least try to keep track of what he’s doing and covering his titles so it’s gratifying to see that in the year of release I get to see it and on the big screen.  I get to see the blood slide on screen!

Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Blood-Slide-with-Mitsuko-(Nikaidou)

He has had a short run of issue films. The critically lauded Himizu and The Land of Hope are serious dramas that look at the after-effects of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and radiation in Japan. Now he’s back making entertainment films like Love Exposure and Strange Circus , films that play with cinematic techniques, genre tropes, the audience and are bloody fun. The festival page has this descriptive line: “ingenious slice of high-octane insanity that is both a fresh take on the yakuza film and an affectionate tribute to the death of celluloid.” It forgot to mention the blood slide and the fact it’s probably God-tier entertainment as other reviewers have noted. Check out Bonjour Tristesse’s coverage of the critical reaction from the Venice Film Festival for more. Let’s go!

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 and 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 and recruits 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 gets a cinephile friend named 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.

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2013”

Japanese Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2013

It is September and the greatest film festival in the world is about to take place. It is time for The Toronto International Film Festival.

Genki Toronto International Film Festival 2013 Banner

This year’s festival looks to be better than last year’s one. There are so many of my favourite Japanese directors like Sion Sono, Hirokazu Koreeda and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (a season dedicated to him starts here next week!) getting their works screened and great films from around the world in general. As I looked at the list of titles I have never felt so bad about not being in Canada. This time next year I will be Canadian. I will live in Toronto and I will do Canadian things… I’m not sure what Canadians do exactly but Goregirl is cool and she’s Canadian and they have this awesome festival in Toronto where there are lots of great Japanese and South Korean films and I want to be there…

Here are the Japanese titles (click on the titles to go to the page for more info)!!!

STARTO!

Real                                                                Real Film Poster               

Japanese Title: リアル 完全なる首長 竜の日

Romaji: Riaru Kanzen’naru Shuchou Ryuu no Hi

Toronto Screening Dates: June 01st, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 127 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Screenplay), Rokuro Inui (Original Novel)

Starring: Takeru Sato, Haruka Ayase, Jo Odagiri, Miki Nakatani, Shota Sometani, Keisuke Horibe, Kyoko Koizumi, Keisuke Horibe, Yuki Kan

I champion Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s films. Even the bad ones. Out of the ones I have seen, his best is Tokyo Sonata. I’ll admit, as much as I love his J-horror like Pulse, Cure and Retribution, his dramas and crime thrillers are pretty strong. I haven’t seen a science fiction film from him yet but he does have one. It’s this title, Real. I have heard mixed things about it but I’m staying hopeful. It reminds me a little of Inception but does it have the budget to make as much of an impact? What I do know is that it has a great cast of actors but with Takero Sato and Haruka Ayase taking the limelight, will they be up to the high standards set by Sometani, Koizumi, Odagiri, Nakatani and the rest of the supporting cast? Check the trailer!

 

Koichi (Sato) and Atsumi (Ayase) are childhood friends who have become lovers. Despite this closeness when Atsumi attempts suicide Koichi is at a loss as to what the reason that drove her to do such a thing could be. Now she is in a coma and Koichi needs to find out the reason. Since Koichi is a neurosurgeon he has access to the latest studies and so he takes part in a medical procedure that will allow him to enter Atsumi’s subconscious through her central nervous system.

When he arrives she asks him to find a picture of a plesiosaur she drew as a child. It is the key to a suppressed memory connected to a childhood trauma. Finding this picture will allow Koichi to truly get close to knowing his love.

 

R100                                    R100 Film Poster

Japanese Title: R100

Romaji: R100

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto

Writer: Hitoshi Matsumoto (Screenplay)

Starring: Nao Omori, Mao Daichi, Atsuro Watabe, Shinobu Terajima, Hairi Katagiri, Ai Tominaga, Eriko Sato, You, Suzuki Matsuo, Hitoshi Matsumoto, Gin Maeda, Naomi Watanabe, Haruki Nishimoto

Hitoshi Matsumoto is unknown to me but lots of people like his feature Big Man Japan. A lot of the cast are familiar to me. Nao Omori (Mushishi), Atsuro Watabe (Love Exposure, Heat After Dark), Shinobu Terajima (Kitaro and the Millennium Curse, Vibrator), Eriko Sato (Crime or Punishment?!?), You (Nobody Knows, Still Walking) are all great actors and I believe they can make this comedy work. The concept is hilarious – a guy into a bit of S&M is hounded by dominatrixes in public.

 

Takafumi Katayama (Omori) is a mild-mannered father who escapes the pressures of everyday life by joining a mysterious S&M club where the dominatrix will visit the client in real life settings. At first the pinch and tickle treatment he receives from these girls in leather is fun but t becomes relentless. He is now at the mercy of a gang of dominatrixes who torment him!

Can I just say that while I’m not into S&M, Eriko Sato looks so good that I’d let her harass me at work or in public.

R100 Eriko Satwhoa

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2013”

Japanese Films at the Venice Film Festival 2013

Genki 70th Venice Film Festival Banner

The 70th Venice Film Festival is due to take place at the end of this month (August 28th – September 07th). Last year saw a neat but small selection of Japanese films and a drama. This year there seem to be even more on offer but they include some of the latest titles. Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises gets its world premiere and as a result is in competition at the festival. Out of competition we see the likes of Kim Ki-Duk returning after his win last year. He has stiff competition from Lee Sang-il who brings his Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and Shinji Aramaki’s rather nice looking Captain Harlock movie. Here’s the line-up:

The Wind Rises                              Kaze Tachi Nu Film Poster

Japanese Title: 風立ちぬ

Romaji: Kaze Tachi Nu

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay)

Starring: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Steven Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita,

Miyazaki’s latest film was recently released in Japan where it has done good numbers at the box office. It has been five years since Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Since then he has written scripts and manga. He’s back with a new film which tells the story of Jirou Horikoshi, the designer of Japan’s famous Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane of World War II. We witness his upbringing and his struggles with poverty, an earthquake and war and his relationship with a woman named Naoko Satomi who is suffering from tuberculosis. Jirou Horikoshi is voiced by Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno. The mecha anime maestro is surrounded by live-action film actors like Hidetoshi Nishijima (Zero Focus) amd co-star Miori Takimoto (Sadako 3D 2Rinco’s Restaurant).

Continue reading “Japanese Films at the Venice Film Festival 2013”

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Gif Version

I posted the trailer for Sion Sono’s latest film Why Don’t You Play in Hell?  last week and Tired Paul suggested I make some Gifs for the film… Little did he know I was already doing it! Well, I posted them on my Tumblr. Some are so large I need to post them here because of the file upload limit on Tumblr.

So, here’s the film done through the power of Gifs (I expect this post will take ages to load due to the size and number of the things).

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?

Release Date: September 28th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

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

Muto (Kunimura)

Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Jun-Kunimura

and Ikegami (Tsutsumi)

Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Ikegami-(Tsutsumi)

are rival gangsters who despise each other but there’s a catch for Ikegami… he loves Muto’s actress daughter Mitsuko (Nikaido).

Genki-Why-Don't-You-Play-in-Hell-Mitsuko-(Nikaido)

Continue reading “Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Gif Version”

New Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Trailer Sion Sono’s Next Film Release

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?

Release Date: September 28th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

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

After watching Himizu and The Land of Hope I was getting worried that Sono was becoming serious. Great films as they are, I’m more of a Suicide Club and Strange Circus chap. You know, original messy projects which we all know him for. Tired Paul to the rescue. He recently sent me this new trailer for Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell? and it looks so f*cking awesome! There’s also a new poster which is also awesome!

Muto (Kunimura) and Ikegami (Tsutsumi) are rival gangsters who despise each other but there’s a catch for Ikegami… he loves Muto’s actress daughter Mitsuko (Nikaido). Part of the reason she’s an actress is because it is the dream of his loyal wife Shizue (Tomochika) who was sent to prison after taking the fall for him.

Muto is out to make that dream happen. Enter 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 gets a cinephile friend named Hirata (Hasegawa) who casts Mitsuko in a fictional gang war but it soon goes wrong when it turns real.

STARTO!!!!

The opening gunfight, blood-covered women chasing people with knives, a director who is clearly a hyper-cinephile and a bit psychotic, sword fights, people plunging through walls and windows aaaaaannnd a waterslide flowing with blood in a house! I said it with the teaser ad I’ll say it again… OH GOD, A REBELLIOUS CRAZY SONO FILM! LIFE IS WORTH LIVING.

This is actually starting to remind me of Key of Life with its mix of losers in a mistaken identity scenario involving gangsters only there’s fountains of blood everywhere. I really loved Key of Life film with its sharp observational humour and loveable characters and I can tell from the trailer that Hirata is going to be heaps of fun. I mean, Bruce Lee’s Game of Death references and blood-slides? He certainly is imaginative! I am expecting great comedy and lots of bloodshed! The cast contains Jun Kunimura (VitalOutrage), Shinichi Tsutsumi (One Missed Call), Fumi Nikaido (Himizu), Tomochika (Quirky Guys and Gals) and Gen Hoshino (Blindly in Love) who wrote and performed the song that can be heard around the one minute mark. Ive watched this trailer about a dozen times and now I’m singing along with the actors at the end. I want to see this now!

According to Nippon Cinema, “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” will get its world premiere at the 70th Venice Film Festival (August 28th-September 7th) and its North American premiere at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival.

The film will get a theatrical release in Japan on September 28th, 2013.

Source: Nippon Cinema via Tired Paul (Thanks Paul!)

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Teaser Trailer Sion Sono’s Next Film Release

Why Don’t You Play in Hell?           Why DOn't you Play in Hell Film Image

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?

Release Date: September 28th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

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

Sion Sono has three projects on the go. I have posted about the live-action dorama All Esper Dayo! which is screening on Japanese television. I have also posted about the casting call for Tokyo Tribes in pre-production. His third feature is Why Don’t You Play in Hell? and a teaser trailer was recently released for it. Thanks to fellow hardcore Sion Sono fan Tired Paul I found out about the trailer and I have to say that watching the trailer made me really happy.

Muto (Kunimura) and Ikegami (Tsutsumi) are rival gangsters who despise each other but there’s a catch for Ikegami… he loves Muto’s actress daughter Michiko (Nikaido). Part of the reason she’s an actress is because it is the dream of her mother Shizue (Tomochika) and so Muto is out to make that dream happen. Enter Koji (Hoshino), a passer-by who is mistaken for being a film director. When dealing with gangsters you don’t mess about so Koji gets indie film director Hirata (Hasegawa) to cast Michiko as the lead actress in his film but it soon goes all wrong.

I’m sure you’re happy after watching the trailer. The violence! The blood! Twisted kissing! Swords and knives! The screaming! The rainbow colours! The opera! A waterslide flowing with blood in a house! OH GOD, A REBELLIOUS CRAZY SONO FILM! LIFE IS WORTH LIVING.

The cast is pretty damn awesome with the ever-watchable Jun Kunimura (Vital, Outrage) playing a Yakuza. His rival is Shinichi Tsutsumi, the male lead in One Missed Call and a pretty good actor. Fumi Nikaido (Himizu), one of Japan’s rising actresses looks like a sadistic and cool character who might run with Aiko in with Cold Fish.

It looks like Sono is veering back to the crazy, careening, balls out and intense films from early in his career that his fans love him for. The script for this was originally written as an action film 15 years ago which would make it before Suicide Club and Strange Circus so that sounds just about right for the tone. The carnage and the locations shown remind me of the climax of Noriko’s Dinner Table. I’m babbling now. I think I’ll watch the teaser for the 30th time!