Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 04 Apr 2014, 10:54

Jun Ichikawa's Tokyo kyodai (東京兄妹) (1995) R2J coming 2014/07/04
- http://www.allcinema.net/prog/show_dvd. ... sid=925762

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*****************************

Also, in case you didn't notice the following movies / topics were recently given a thread of their own:

Love's Whirlpool (Ai no uzu) (Daisuke Miura, 2014)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6722

The Tale of Iya (Rina Takeda, 169 min, 35mm)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6635

The State of Japanese Cinema
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6725

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Apr 2014, 14:22

HungFist wrote:
HungFist wrote:Image

Looking forward to Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's My Man (私の男), set for June 2014 release. I’ve missed the last few Kumakiri films (loved Sketches of Kaitan City, though), but this sounds very interesting. No trailer yet, though. I love the poster art, interesting to see Asano directed by Kumakiri, and Fumi Nikaido!!! This girl has really impressed me lately. She was quite good in Sono’s Himizu, and she was by far the best thing in Why Don’t You Play in Hell. Speaks fluent English too, I hear.

Site:
http://watashi-no-otoko.com/

Image
Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kdrxzFmY10
via Eigapedia
Trailer:
http://youtu.be/h7X05TkEASk

Very much looking forward to this.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Apr 2014, 14:47

Second poster for My Man

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Jun 2014, 07:50

Saw My Man a few weeks ago. It’s almost as good as its trailer. A well written story of a middle aged man who takes care of an orphan girl who lost her family in an earthquake, and then develops a love affair with her when she becomes a teenager. Well acted by Tadanobu Asano and Fumi Nikaido, and filmed by Kumakiri with his usual realistic, grainy and understated way. Visual beauty on offer as well, with most of the film set in snowy Hokkaido. The soundtrack is by Jim O'Rourke again. The only flaw is a couple of artistic/symbolic scenes underlining the devilish nature of the relationship – something totally unnecessary in an otherwise fine film.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by Tenchu1998 » 25 Jun 2014, 15:34

I want to see this movie so badly!
HungFist wrote:The only flaw is a couple of artistic/symbolic scenes underlining the devilish nature of the relationship – something totally unnecessary in an otherwise fine film.
What do you mean by this?

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Jun 2014, 15:50

Tenchu1998 wrote:
HungFist wrote:The only flaw is a couple of artistic/symbolic scenes underlining the devilish nature of the relationship – something totally unnecessary in an otherwise fine film.
What do you mean by this?
Two scenes where you get a slight fantasy vibe with surreal visuals. They kind of feel like they are stating the obvious, or worse yet, showing that the filmmakers condemn the relationship between the two lead characters... something that is perfectly obvious anyway.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by Tenchu1998 » 25 Jun 2014, 15:59

Judging from the trailer, it does look like there is a lot of drama involved in this relationship of theirs. Nikaido Fumi is such an incredible actress, OMG! Just one of those rare talents of her generation.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 28 Jun 2014, 18:07

"We are proud to announce that Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's My Man won the best film award at Moscow Film Festival and the best actor award to Tadanobu Asano."
- https://www.facebook.com/nikkatsu.co/po ... 3744722622

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by Tenchu1998 » 28 Jun 2014, 18:16

Yay!

Now I want to see this movie even more badly!

I watched this interview segment just now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-syeRgLpY1k 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGmhQUx6Q3c 2

Of course, I had no real functional understanding of what they were talking about. But, OMG, Fumi Nikaido is so cute! I love just watching her talk in interviews without understanding what she is saying. I really like that beautiful movie poster, too, with the snow and the birds, and them 2 in the middle of this wonderful open space.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 15 Jul 2014, 07:30

although I haven't been so impressed with Ryuichi Hiroki recently, this sounds semi-interesting:

Shota Sometani and Atsuko Maeda to star in Ryuichi Hiroki's "Sayonara Kabukicho"
- http://eigapedia.com/blog/shota-sometan ... -kabukicho

Written by Haruhiko Arai, who has scripted many wonderful films like Distant Thunder, Oh Women! A Dirty Song, Tragedy of W, Vibrator, It's Only Talk). A bit less excited about the cast, although Maeda proved in Moratorium Tamako that she can be a rather good actress.

Already finished filming. January 2015 release.

(Empty) Website:
http://www.sayonara-kabukicho.com/

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Aug 2014, 04:35

Shisunki gokko (思春期ごっこ)

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzNy_2H3TW0

Website:
http://www.sishunki-g.com/

More info:
http://asianwiki.com/Shishunki_Gokko

By Raita Kuramoto. I remember that name from before, though I never managed to catch his earlier film(s) Unbright. Looks a bit like Iwai style high school cinema. Some parts look nice, others I'm not so sure about. Release date later this month.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 20 Aug 2014, 08:44

I’ve been wondering if I should see My Man again. I was thinking about it when it had its one month run in the local multiplex but I missed my chance. However, a local arthouse took it immediately after for a two week run. I missed that too, but it was then extended to three weeks at the last moment. And then to four weeks. And then to five weeks. Now I started laughing when I saw an announcement of the 6th week…

A bit similar to Ai no uzu (Love’s Whirlpool) which started in 2 or 3 theatres nationwide, but 7 weeks later it was playing in 5 theatres in Tokyo alone and went to play in another 50 theatres in other cities. It opened in March and already came out on DVD and BD, but there are still screenings in Tokyo and a few other cities…

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 07 Sep 2014, 11:41

HungFist wrote:although I haven't been so impressed with Ryuichi Hiroki recently, this sounds semi-interesting:

Shota Sometani and Atsuko Maeda to star in Ryuichi Hiroki's "Sayonara Kabukicho"
- http://eigapedia.com/blog/shota-sometan ... -kabukicho

Written by Haruhiko Arai, who has scripted many wonderful films like Distant Thunder, Oh Women! A Dirty Song, Tragedy of W, Vibrator, It's Only Talk). A bit less excited about the cast, although Maeda proved in Moratorium Tamako that she can be a rather good actress.

Already finished filming. January 2015 release.

(Empty) Website:
http://www.sayonara-kabukicho.com/

Image
Review:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review ... cho-730099

Also, Hiroki was publicly complaining about Maeda not doing any nudity in the film a while back
http://www.asagei.com/25269 (in Japanese)

Sad but expected. Maeda 1, Male Audiences 0 :mad:
(and perhaps Maeda 1, Common Sense 0, considering this is a film about love hotels and sex...)

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 17 Oct 2014, 17:25

Another review for Sayonara Kabukicho (Kabukicho Love Hotel)
- http://twitchfilm.com/2014/10/busan-201 ... armer.html

No trailer yet, but it's bound to come soon.

Japanese DVD and BD release date for My Man was also announced: February 3, 2015. No subs mentioned.
- http://www.happinet-p.com/jp3/releases/BIXJ-0157

I actually ended up seeing it for the second time as well and very much enjoyed it.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Oct 2014, 05:26

Japan's Oscar candidate for 2015, The Light Shines Only There (そこのみにて光輝く 豪華版 / Soko nomi nite hikari kagayaku), is coming out on Japanese DVD and BD November 14, 2014 with English subs

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Site:
http://hikarikagayaku.jp/

Trailer:
http://youtu.be/r4b-qU4_Pl0

Japan Times Review:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/201 ... ht-shines/

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Oct 2014, 17:41

A few other semi-interesting ones:

Wonderful World's End

Directed by Daigo Matsui (Sweet Poolside) and starring Ai Hashimoto. Opens in January.

Site:
http://ww-end.com/

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwQFwStJJ0w

Image


Sekai no owari no Izukoneko (世界の終わりのいずこねこ)

Some kind of crowd funded project for idol Izukoneko. Seems like they got three times as much money as they were aiming for. The trailer looks visually surprisingly good! I don't know who filmed it, but someone owes me a beer if it was Yuichi Kondo! And the film co-stars Shinji Imaoka!

Trailer:
http://youtu.be/uY4DXoyv4Ug

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 08 Nov 2014, 04:17

HungFist wrote:
HungFist wrote:although I haven't been so impressed with Ryuichi Hiroki recently, this sounds semi-interesting:

Shota Sometani and Atsuko Maeda to star in Ryuichi Hiroki's "Sayonara Kabukicho"
- http://eigapedia.com/blog/shota-sometan ... -kabukicho

Written by Haruhiko Arai, who has scripted many wonderful films like Distant Thunder, Oh Women! A Dirty Song, Tragedy of W, Vibrator, It's Only Talk). A bit less excited about the cast, although Maeda proved in Moratorium Tamako that she can be a rather good actress.

Already finished filming. January 2015 release.

(Empty) Website:
http://www.sayonara-kabukicho.com/

Image
Review:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review ... cho-730099

Also, Hiroki was publicly complaining about Maeda not doing any nudity in the film a while back
http://www.asagei.com/25269 (in Japanese)

Sad but expected. Maeda 1, Male Audiences 0 :mad:
(and perhaps Maeda 1, Common Sense 0, considering this is a film about love hotels and sex...)
Trailer:
http://youtu.be/eDfX15GwzUk

Speaking of Hiroki, although I think It's Only Talk is his masterpiece, I really like L'amant (2004). It's been a slow burner; I've never considered it a masterpiece and it certainly has its weaknesses, but I find myself returning to that film once in every two or three years. The topic (a schoolgirl selling herself to three middle aged men for one year), the cast (Tomorowo Taguchi, Ren Ohsugi etc.), the mesmerizing lovely gray cinematogrpahy and the perfect soundtrack...

http://youtu.be/8B7o0UuXwoc

And Hiroki's masterpiece: It's Only Talk (which, contrary to it's title, features little talk). Mesmerizing film + amazing performance by Shinobu Terajima (she's Junko Fuji's daughter, btw)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CIS4n7DMgA

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by Tenchu1998 » 12 Dec 2014, 23:42

HungFist wrote:Japanese DVD and BD release date for My Man was also announced: February 3, 2015. No subs mentioned.
- http://www.happinet-p.com/jp3/releases/BIXJ-0157
I wonder if this movie will get some kind of international distribution. I watched the official trailer of it with english subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOjdCA1e7nw, and I saw a picture of a poster in english. Maybe the trailer was just subtitled for film festivals, or something I guess foreign distribution depends on how well received a movie is at festivals, or if some indie company care to pick it up.

I know this was a few months ago, but these interviews of Nikaido Fumi from when she was at the Japan Cuts in New York City are pretty cute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6qlm_f2hYU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAe23L7SkNc

She is so young, and already been in a lot of movies by famous Japanese directors. I think we can all be pretty sure that she is pretty much a star now and she most likely will end up in foreign movies in the future.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by Tenchu1998 » 26 Jan 2015, 15:27

So, has anybody here watched 'Au Revoir L'été'?
What did you think?

It's coming out on DVD and Bluray the same date as 'My Man', according to Amazon.jp.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Jan 2015, 17:06

No, but I'll rent it when I have time.

Image

I went to see Sayonara Kabukicho (Kabukicho Love Hotel). This is exactly what I was hoping from Hiroki and Arai. A perfect mix of relatively mainstream friendly bittersweet drama and indie sensibilities. Also, it's Hiroki back at urban cinema which is what he excels at (e.g. his masterpiece It's Only Talk, also scripted by Arai). Very well captured city atmosphere, too.

There's about half dozen stories, all taking place in a love hotel in Kabukicho during the course of one day and night. It's a lot of characters, but their stories are served as small fragments sprinkled around the main narrative, which follows the the young manager (Shota Sometani) doing a very long shift in the hotel. As a result, it doesn't even feel episodic. It's a very good script by Arai.

Also, I only now realized how good Hiroki is at directing his cast. Fine performances by everyone, including Atsuko Maeda. Although Hiroki complained publicly about Maeda not going topless I think that was the right decision because her performance thoroughly fine and it would've been a shame if it had been overshadowed by her boobs. The rest of the cast do the on-screen sex and nudity, but it's all depicted with humour and compassion. Of course, for cinematic reasons the hotel's customer base isn't exactly your average young and middle aged couples (but rather a Korean prostitute working her last day in Japan, an AV crew, a young yakuza etc.) but none of that usual narrow minded preaching is here to be found.

Easily Hiroki's best film in nearly 10 years from the ones I've seen. And the ending scene is just lovely. I wouldn't mind seeing the film again immediately.

Oh, and Sometani! This guy is 22 years old and during the past four years he has worked with Sion Sono (twice), Takashi Miike (twice), Ryuchi Hiroki, Sogo Ishii, Koji Wakamatsu, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinji Aoyama. He just keeps appearing in interesting films one after another, and he's always good.

Image

Schilling's review is also pretty much spot on:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/201 ... Me8vy5-Dk8

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by Tenchu1998 » 27 Jan 2015, 18:17

HungFist wrote:...it would've been a shame if it had been overshadowed by her boobs.
lol

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Jan 2015, 15:15

Interview (discussion?) with Hiroki regarding Sayonara Kabukicho (my comments on the film are on the previous page of this thread):
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/201 ... -director/

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 15 Feb 2015, 04:27

Shinji Somai's The Friends (Natsu no niwa) (1994) is coming to R2J DVD May 2, 2015! The film has never been released on DVD before.
- http://www.allcinema.net/prog/show_dvd. ... sid=954961

The same day HD remastered versions of Ohikkoshi, Tonda Couple and PP Rider (Shonben Rider) will be released. I have the old R2J releases of them all. Tonda Couple really needs a new transfer as the old one is quite poor (very soft, non-anamorphic etc.). I don't remember exactly how PP Rider looked like but probably it could be improved upon too. Ohikkoshi always looked fine as far as I can remember, but the old release is OPP (used copies are going for about 20 000 yen / $200).

The company is called Odessa Entertainment (オデッサ・エンタテインメント). I'm a little surprised they don't put out BD editions. And we really need a DVD or BD release of Lost Chapter in Snow: Passion (1985) which is one of Somai's best films and opens with his most legendary tracking shot (if I recall correctly, it runs 14 minutes). Probably Toho is still sitting on that one. Bloody idiots! Toho doesn't seem to acknowledge they've made any movies before the 1990s other than Godzilla and Akira Kurosawa films. They've got tons of treasures they haven't bothered to release on dvd, and probably never will...

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Mar 2015, 17:29

Daigo Matsui's latest film Watashitachi no haa haa (私たちのハァハァ) (Luv Ya Hun!) (2015) was the best movie in Yubari this year! A wonderful youth film following 4 high school girls who run from home in Kitakyushu to attend a concert on the other side of the country in Tokyo. They actually try to ride bicycle to Tokyo but they only manage to get till Hiroshima; then they have to start thinking how to manage and finance the remaining 800 kilometres. They film everything on video camera, too, so about half of the film is POV.

It's a wonderful film with terrific young actresses and shot from the youth's point of view. That's something you don't really see in Western youth movies. Western youth movies tend to be somewhat conservative, even the great ones like Boyhood or Blue is the Warmest Colour, in that they feel like a grown up director looking back at childhood and telling a tale that has some kind of lesson to teach. At the end of the film the characters have always grown up and learned from their mistakes. Both the positives and the negatives of youth are shown. Watashitachi no haa haa, and some other Asian films, dare to take the opposite approach. They're basically coming of age films without the coming of age part. You might consider them a bit dangerous in that sense, e.g. Watashitachi no haa haa doesn't really judge its protagonists who run from home and try a ridiculous stunt but instead shares their excitement with the viewer. It leaves most of the moral judgement for the viewer.

You could compare Watashitachi no haa haa to Schoolgirl's Gestation (2014), which was in Yubari last year, and which was about a group of high school girls deciding to get pregnant together. However, Watashitachi no haa haa is better acted, more exciting and the cinematography is much better. Other, though more distant, comparison points would be All About Lily Chou Chou and Love & Pop. If you liked About Lily Chou Chou and Love & Pop (two of the three best Japanese youth films ever made) you should love Watashitachi no haa haa. My friend also brought up Taifu Club (the third of the three best Japanese youth films) but I didn't really see much similarity.

Site (empty): http://haa-haa.jp/

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Image

Set for Summer 2015 release.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Mar 2015, 17:33

HungFist wrote: Sekai no owari no Izukoneko (世界の終わりのいずこねこ)

Some kind of crowd funded project for idol Izukoneko. Seems like they got three times as much money as they were aiming for. The trailer looks visually surprisingly good! I don't know who filmed it, but someone owes me a beer if it was Yuichi Kondo! And the film co-stars Shinji Imaoka!

Trailer:
http://youtu.be/uY4DXoyv4Ug

Image
I saw this in Yubari. It's not bad, but it's not so good either. It's like Izukoneko. Her popularity has more to do with her anime-like idol act and all things cat, than her singing voice. Most Westerner audiences would never get it. The movie is a bit like that too. Izukoneko is surely one of the most huggable creatures on earth, and the film looks pretty lovely (none of those digital diseases that usually plague low budget JP films are here to be witnessed), but it's just not very special or energetic. Not even though it's set in post apocalyptic Japan where people have odd cute mutations like a cat tail or additional limbs since some kind of mysterious accident in 2011 (read: Fukushima) and the world is about to be destroyed by an asteroid soon. You keep wishing it would really take off, but it doesn't, really. But it's not bad, you just feel it could be much better. Fans of Izukoneko shouldn't be complaining, though.

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