japanese tagged posts

2018 London Film Festival – Mid-Festival Round-Up

An exquisite torture when attending the London Film Festival is working out how many movies can be viewed over the twelve days before physical shut down occurs. Two or three a day seems reasonable. But, with 225 feature films showing (plus a further 160 shorts), 24 or 36 movies begins to seem like small beer indeed.

A first amongst first world problems, we know, but there is so much to feast upon and so little time. And sleep tends to encroach at some point (typically around day 4).

What is genuinely good fun is seeing how the disparate films can be bunched together. What themes emerge across the movies? Below are our observations of this year’s London Film Festival at the midway point.

Sure, it is arbitrary as all hell – key films we were unable to attend include Vox Lux, Beautiful Boy...

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Ghost Mask – Scar

Director: Takeshi Sone

Writer: Etsuo Hiratani

Cast: Yurika Akane, Lee Yuha, Yurisa, Choi Yona, Miya Sakimoto, Lee Eun-woo, Sou Hirosawa

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 81mins

Year: 2018


 


What’s the story: Japanese woman Miyu (Akane) travels to Seoul to find her sister and right a past wrong. While in Seoul she meets brilliant plastic surgeon Hana and her female lover Hyoshin.

What’s the verdict: Director Takeshi Sone acted as cinematographer on Shinichiro Ueda’s wild Japanese horror-comedy One Cut of the Dead, and is his own cinematographer on Ghost Mask – Scar.

But, the rough n’ tumble hand-held visuals of Ueda’s movie are here replaced with a restrained style that coolly records the tragi-horror events of Etsuo Hiratani’s script.

Taking its cue from Takashi Miike’s classi...

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One Cut of the Dead

Director: Shinichiro Ueda

Writer: Shinichiro Ueda

Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Harumi Shuhama

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 96mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: When an undead outbreak interrupts filming on a low-budget zombie movie, the director insists on working it all in. But, that’s just the beginning of the story…

What’s the verdict: Large budgeted zombie fests on screens big and small are content to feast on ideas George A. Romero coined 50 years ago. True zombie smarts are now found in the indie sector. A place where pocket money budgets are surpassed by ingenuity and ambition.

Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead may be this trend’s ne plus ultra movie...

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Must-See Movies at FrightFest 2018

The biggest monster in 2018 is my dear friend who has chosen to get married abroad this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Ahem, I jest. It is, of course, a privilege to be invited to his wedding. Plus, it means I shall spend the next 12 months catching up with the fantastic films listed below. An all-year-round FrightFest? There’s an idea…

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 sees the festival entering a remarkable 19th year, and showing no sign of easing up on the shocks, surprises, special guests and treats.

Located at Leicester Square’s Cineworld and Prince Charles Cinema, the celebration of shivers runs from Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th August.

Over these five days FrightFest will showcase a record breaking seventy movies from eighteen countries...

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London Film Festival Round-Up – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 31 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Robs Daniel & Wallis rounding up their Top 10 highlights of the 2017 London Film Festival.

Lucky, The Shape of Water, Last Flag Flying and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri all feature highly. The two also recall the bone-snapping brilliance of Brawl in Cell Block 99. Brawl is out to rent now through various streaming services. Once you’ve done listening to the podcast, watch it!

So, for more on their opinions of the London Film Festival 2017, listen on…



To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to www.ofallthefilmsites.com

Twitter: rob_a_daniel

iTunes Podcast: The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Tears and Laughter: Movie Reviews


Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama runs until Wednesday 29th November at the BFI Southbank. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

To read an interview with season curator and Sight and Sound features editor James Bell, click here.


OSAKA ELEGY

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Tadashi Fujiwara (dialogue)

Cast: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya

Cert: PG

Running time: 71mins

Year: 1936



What’s the story: To pay off her father’s debts and her brother’s university fees, young switchboard operator Ayako (Yamada) becomes her boss’ mistress. But, when he rejects her she is forced into prostitution.

What’s the verdict: A pre-war film from director Kenji Mizoguchi, the 1936 Osaka Elegy anticipates Japan’s rejection ...

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Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama

From Monday 16th October to Wednesday 29th November, the BFI Southbank will be showcasing the Sight and Sound Deep Focus season, Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama.

Exploring Japanese cinema’s Golden Age with a distinctly female focus, across thirteen films it features the great Japanese actresses from the 1940s to the early ‘60s and the emerging New Wave.

Audiences will be familiar with some of the directors included in the season, such as Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse and Kenji Mizoguchi. But, Tears and Laughter highlights the work of such legendary actresses as Setsuko Hara, Machiko Kyô, Hideko Takamine and the extraordinary Kinuyo Tanaka, the only woman who also directed films during the Golden Age.

As with other Sight and Sound Deep Focus seasons, this is an opportunit...

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Blade of the Immortal

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Tetsuya Oishi (screenplay), Hiroaki Samura (manga)

Cast: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sota Fukushi, Yoko Yamamoto, Chiaki Kuriyama

Cert: 18

Running time: 141mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Unkillable samurai Manji is hired by plucky young girl Rin to avenge her parents’ murders at the hands of a lethal fighting school.

What’s the verdict: One of Japan’s most remarkable directors, Takashi Miike has quietly produced one hundred movies in just over a quarter of a decade. In a nice twist of coincidence, Takuya Kimura’s unkillable killer Manji is known as “Hundred Killer”.

It is unlikely we shall see Miike return to his astonishing heyday, when he produced such five-star movies as Audition, Ichi the Killer, The Happiness of the Katakuris, V...

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2017’s London Film Festival Walks On The Wild Side

For movie lovers, October is London Film Festival time. Specifically, Wednesday 4th to Sunday 15th October this year.

Now in its 61st year, organisers have ditched including the number in the name, favouring the trendier sounding BFI London Film Festival 2017.

Whatever the moniker, the festival is guaranteed to deliver first rate films over 12 celluloid (and digital format) stuffed days.

While there are big hitters amongst the 242 films screening from a whopping 67 different countries, this year we’re most excited by the darker end of the festival.

Still present are the typical galas and strands. Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, Breathe, is the Opening Night Gala...

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FrightFest 2017 Round-Up

Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 has come and gone. Like any good horror icon, it will be back. But, let us take time to reflect upon a suitably wild eighteenth year for the festival. For the first time we have decided to round-up FrightFest with a series of awards. Awards which we hope will provide a flavour of what FF 2017 was like. So, until FrightFest 2018…


BEST “INTRO & Q&A” AWARD– Jennifer Tilly, Cult of Chucky

“I’m here now, bitches!” If we learnt one thing at FrightFest 2017, it’s that an intro to a movie and said movie’s Q&A will go insane if Jennifer Tilly is in the room. A force of nature, when director Don Mancini was late announcing her she burst onstage with, “I have a thing about people starting without me. But, I’m here now, so continue Don, I would love ...

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