Third Window Films Release Fukuchan of Fukufuku Flats on July 13th

Fukuchan of Fukufuku Flats is one of my favourite films of all time and it made my top ten list of films I saw in 2014. It has a story that is really, really funny, poignant and quirky and the characters are all loveable.

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I am a fan of the director Yosuke Fujita and I met him at last year’s Raindance International Film Festival before a screening of the film and talked to him where I explained that I loved his first film Fine, Totally Fine and I found I relate to his characters, all of whom are 20/30-somethings drifting along in life (kinda like me). We talked comedy and his background and then I saw Fukuchan and loved it (especially the characters and enka song used in the end credits – video at the bottom). It has an awesome performance by Miyuki Oshima who has excellent comic support from Yoshiyoshi Arakawa.

Continue reading “Third Window Films Release Fukuchan of Fukufuku Flats on July 13th”

Fine, Totally Fine 全然大丈夫 (2008)

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Fine, Totally Fine                                       Zenzen Daijobu Poster

Romaji: Zenzen Daijobu

Japanese: 全然大丈夫

Release Date: 26th February 2008 (Japan),

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Yosuke Fujita

Writer: Yosuke Fujita

Starring: YosiYosi Arakawa, Yoshino Kimura, Yoshinori Okada, Noriko Eguchi, Naoki Tanaka, Keizo Kanie, Shima Ise, Kitaro

For a title Fine, Totally Fine sounds like damning with faint praise but don’t be fooled because the film is a relaxing and charming tale of people forced to grow that will have you recognising much of yourself in the characters and feeling refreshed.

Teruo (Arakawa) lives at home with his heart-sick used bookstore owner father named Eitaro (Kanie). Teruo is nearing his 30th birthday and when not working as a part time gardener he spends his days aimlessly dreams of building a haunted house which he hopes will be able to “scare people to death” and secure him riches. His childhood friend Hisanobu (Okada) may have a respectable job as a hospital administrator but he still helps Teruo in his childish schemes, however his enthusiasm is waning since he feels his life is stuck in a rut. He is not the only one as Eitaro ups and leaves Tokyo so he can roam the country which leaves Teruo and his sister stunned. Enter clumsy artist Akari (Kimura). She has a love for fish paste sausages and painting but she also has a ‘negative aura’ which results in self-injury. When she attends a job interview at the hospital Hisanobu works at he falls in love with her and when her accident-prone nature forces her to quit Hisanobu snags her a job at Teruo’s bookstore while trying to channel Akari’s artistic talents. Unfortunately for Hisanobu, Teruo falls for Akari, regarding her as his future wife and looking for a way to woo her but life is not that simple.

Yosuke Fujita’s is a writer and theatre director and this is his movie debut. The time spent on stage and script seems to have armed him perfectly for his debut film because the insights into human nature are sharp and delivered amid moments of gentle but highly amusing humour.

Arakawa as Teruo in Fine, Totally Fine Continue reading “Fine, Totally Fine 全然大丈夫 (2008)”

Quirky Guys and Gals サビ男サビ女 (2011)

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Quirky Guys and Gals Basic InformationQuirky Guys and Gals is a production from New Cinema Workshop where students learning to be producers handle making movies. With this production they give four directors a story outline to work with which results in four entirely different comic vignettes peeking at dark topics and celebrating the overcoming of accepted social boundaries through the unlocking of a quirky side. It could have been painfully unfunny but succeeds at being very amusing and original in most sections.

Quirky Guys and Gals (Sabi Otoko, Sabi Onna) ties together four stories of people searching for a spark in their lives. Yosuke Fujita (Fine, Totally Fine) leads off with “Cheer Girls,” an entertaining tale of a woman (Nanami Sakuraba) whose passion is to lead cheers—though not for sports teams. Rather, she finds common people and creates anthems to encourage them in everyday life. Tomoko Matsunashi’s “Boy? Meets Girl,” is a Tootsie remake in a high-school setting. Mipo O’s “Claim Night” sees the 30-something Mayuko (Tomochika) return home to find the electricity in her apartment turned off, yet when she finally gets a repairman to come over, their over-the-top confrontation gives rise to a wildly comedic situation. Lastly, Gen Sekiguchi (Survive Style 5+) offers up “The House Full of ‘Abandoned’ Businessmen” a quaint tale of a housewife who collects out-of-work salarymen to try and give them a fresh start.

Continue reading “Quirky Guys and Gals サビ男サビ女 (2011)”

Quirky Guys and Gals UK DVD

Third Window Films have announced that they are going to release Quirky Guys and Gals on the 3rd of October 2011. This is an anthology film from some interesting directors including Yosuke Fujita (Fine, Totally Fine) and Gen Sekiguchi who was the genius behind Survive Style 5+ a particular favourite of mine.

 

Quirky Guys and Gals

UK Release Date: 3rd of October 2011

Running time: 91 mins

Certificate: 12

Directors: Yosuke Fujita (Fine, Totally Fine), Gen Sekiguchi (Survive Style 5), Mipo O, Tomoko Matsunashi.

Starring: Kyoko Koizumi (Tokyo Sonata, Sakuran), YosiYosi Arakawa (Tokyo!, Kamikaze Girls), Keisuke Horibe (Love Exposure, Tokyo Gore Police), Yoshiyuki Morishita (Juon: The Grudge, Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers, Fireworks)

Synopsis

Quirky Guys and Gals (Sabi Otoko, Sabi Onna) ties together four stories of people searching for a spark in their lives. Yosuke Fujita (Fine, Totally Fine) leads off with “Cheer Girls,” an entertaining tale of a woman (Nanami Sakuraba) whose passion is to lead cheers—though not for sports teams. Rather, she finds common people and creates anthems to encourage them in everyday life. Tomoko Matsunashi’s “Boy? Meets Girl,” is a Tootsie remake in a high-school setting. Mipo O’s “Claim Night” sees the 30-something Mayuko (Tomochika) return home to find the electricity in her apartment turned off, yet when she finally gets a repairman to come over, their over-the-top confrontation gives rise to a wildly comedic situation. Lastly, Gen Sekiguchi (Survive Style 5+) offers up “The House Full of ‘Abandoned’ Businessmen” a quaint tale of a housewife who collects out-of-work salarymen to try and give them a fresh start.

Quirky Guys and Gals ImageDVD BONUS FEATURES:

Anamorphic widescreen transfer with optional English subtitles

Special messages from all four directors

Exclusive interviews with all four directors

Theatrical Trailer

Quirky Cheerleaders

I’m looking forward to this release because it has a cast who have been in some of my favourite films of all time (Tokyo Sonata being one) and some of the more interesting directors in Japan to (so that’s what Sekiguchi-san has been doing…). As is usually the case with Third Window Films the bonus features are awesome and the DVD case looks top notch. The DVD is released on the 3rd of October.

Quirky DVD Cover