Japanese Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2013

Genki Vancouver International Film Festival 2013 Banner

Canada has two awesome film festivals at this time of year. The first is the Toronto International Film Festival and the second is the Vancouver International Film Festival. The line-up for Vancouver looks pretty good although a lot of the films have already been screened at events like London. I didn’t cover the Japanese films at Vancouver last year but I did follow the coverage (Amusing! Insightful!) from great cinebloggers Goregirl and Bonjour Tristesse so check in on them every day of the festival to see what they thought. There are some little gems here in terms of the Japanese line-up so let’s take a look.

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: 119 mins.

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

Hirokazu Koreeda’s Like Father Like Son won an award for Cannes and was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival. Awesome. It’s worth making a trip out not just because of the awards buzz but the fact that Koreeda is a great filmmaker. A modern-day Ozu with his interest in family life. 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.

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

Sadako 3D: Zokuhen, The End of Summer, Moment Girl, R-18 Literary Prize Volume 2: Jelly Fish, Zentai, Soul Flower Train, Japan’s Tragedy, Black Lizard: Looking for Miwa Akihiro, Time Scoop Hunter Trailers

EntameThe week has been busy in movie terms. I watched four films, three of them were on DVD and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (one more tonight) and I had a trip to the cinema to see Elysium which was a decent sci-fi action film. Then there was plenty of anime. In terms of this blog, the week started with a review of The Story of Yonosuke, a great film that broke into my Top Ten of the year. I saw it all the way back in June at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival. I followed that up with my anime picks from the autumn season (part two comes next month) and I also looked at the Japanese films at the Toronto International Film Festival which looks so damn awesome.

Sadako 3D: Zokuhen      Sadako 3D 2 Film Poster

Japanese Title:  貞子 3D2

Romaji: Sadako 3D: Dai-2-dan

Release Date: August 30th, 2013

Running Time: N/A

Director: Tsutumo Hanabusa

Writer: Koji Suzuki (Original Novel), Daisuke Hosaka, Noriaki Sugihara (Screenplay)

Starring: Mirori Takimoto, Koji Seto, Kokoro Hirasawa, Itsumi Osawa, Satomi Ishihara, Takeshi Onishi, Yusuke Yamamto, Ryosei Tayama

I have never been so angry with a film as I was with last year’s Sadako 3D. Within the first five minutes I was having melodramatic thoughts about how the franchise had been killed by the teen idol injection its makers had used to update it for a new audience. It looks like more of the same with this sequel. The film stars Miori Takimoto (Higanjima), Yusuke Yamamoto (Ninja Kids!!!) and Koji Seto (Ju-On: Girl in Black).

Fuko Ando (Takimoto) is a twenty-four-year-old graduate student in psychology who has to look after her four-year-old niece who has mysterious events occurring around her. It stems from an incident involving a cursed video and Fuko finds herself digging into the mystery.

  Continue reading “Sadako 3D: Zokuhen, The End of Summer, Moment Girl, R-18 Literary Prize Volume 2: Jelly Fish, Zentai, Soul Flower Train, Japan’s Tragedy, Black Lizard: Looking for Miwa Akihiro, Time Scoop Hunter Trailers”