Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

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Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Finally set to visit one of the coolest film festivals in the world. Located in the godforsaken small town of Yubari, this fest gathers together the latest Japanese indie, cult and trash films.

- Want to see the world premieres of films you've never heard of, and never will? Check!
- Wanna see Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) hosting a non-stop, two day series of new Troma films, Japanese High School Girl splatter, his own early 8mm works, and late night parties? Check!
- Wanna see a film festival whose jury is led by Shinya Tsukamoto and my favorite actor Hiroshi Yamamoto? Check!
- Whose guests include Yudai Yamaguchi (Yakuza Weapon), Keita Amemiya (Cyber Ninja), Takanori Tsujimoto (Hard Revenge Milly), Kensuke Sonomura (Alien vs. Ninja), Atsushi Muroga (Score) etc.? Check!

Though I'm going to try to balance the splatter with new indie dramas, I must say I'm most exited about the Yoshihiro Nishimura series:
(my own translation of the program, not official):

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Fest program here (don't miss the "Competition Selection & Forecast Selection" link at the top... it's a bit hidden)
http://yubarifanta.com/index_pc.php?ct= ... ngue=21002

More challenges:
- The city of Yubari is so small that Google Maps doesn't have street view of it
- The access is near impossible, and there's only two "real" hotels
- My hostel is in the middle of a forest. I will bring a flashlight in case there's no lights on the forest road
- The coldness will guarantee that if I get lost, I'm dead
- The heavy snowfall will guarantee that if I die, my body won't be found until next summer
- My self written instructions to the hostel state "follow the highway for 500 meters, turn right, and cross the bridge. Then you're lost"

More trivia:
- The city, which already went bankrupt once, has a population of 10 000. The festival expects more than 12 000 visitors.
- Yubari is famous for delicious melons (the fruits, not oppai you hentai yaro!)
- Though it's a strange statement, Yubari usually guarantees a view of Yoshihiro Nishimura's balls as he runs naked in the snow.
- Yubari has frequently been referred by filmmakers: Kill Bill's Gogo Yubari is named after the fest, Helldrivers zombie horns refer to the Yubari melons, etc.
- When Yubari went bankrup, the citizens could choose whether to keep the amusement park of the film festival. They chose the fest.

Yubari last year
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Nishimura and Iguchi on the left, Maki Mizui on the right. Maki's gonna be there this year, too, but in order not to make my gf jealous I will focus on Nishimura's balls :D

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013

Post by HungFist »

Of course, Yubari is not only splatter and balls...

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The guest list is incredibly long, including:

Tsukamoto Shinya (director; Tetsuo, Tokyo Fist)
Yamamoto Hiroshi (actor; Ramblers, No One’s Ark)
Yoshida Daihachi (director; The Kirishima Thing, Funuke)
Nishimura Yoshihiro (director; Tokyo Gore Police, Helldriver)
Yamaguchi Yudai (director; Meatball Machine, Yakuza Weapon)
Mizui Maki (actress; Helldriver, Mutant Girls Squad)
Murata Yui (actress; Helldriver, Karate Robo Zaborgar)
Tsujimoto Takanori (director; Hard Revenge Milly, Bushido Man)
Sonomura Kensuke (action director; Hard Revenge Milly, AvN, Bushido Man)
Koga Mitsuki (actor; Hard Revenge Milly, Shinobi, Bushido Man)
Ohata Hajime (director; Henge)
Amemiya Keita (director; Cyber Ninja, Kamen Rider, Garo)
Muroga Atsushi (director; Score, Blowback: Love & Death)
Hara Masato (director; 20th Century Nostalgia)
Hiranami Wataru (director: The Rise and Fall of the Unparalleled Band)
Kitamura Akihiro (actor; The Human Centipede)
Watanabe Makiko (actress; Love Exposure, Himizu)
Saeki Hinako (actress; Assault Girls, Uzumaki)
Aramaki Shinji (director; Appleseed, Starship Troopers: Invasion)

2 weeks till the fest. Photos and reviews to come if I come back alive.

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013

Post by Tenchu1998 »

Holy shit! This looks like the most awesome festival ever. This is the way it should be arranged.
When you're back, us know how it all went down. That is, if the Japanese Blair Witch doesn't snatch you during your stay in the woods.

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013

Post by HungFist »

Best. Festival. Ever. !!!

Half of what happened I can't even post photos of because me or someone else would get in trouble!
- A boob attack that sent the victim's glasses fying in the air? Check!
- Chatting with Yoshihiro Nishimura and Maki Mizui more than 3 times? Check!
- Zombies wandering around the festival area? Check!
- Nishimura's bare balls? Check!
- The nazi-mutant-bitch from The ABCs of Death doing striptease? Check!
- Yui Murata spitting beer on my face after Nishimura drags me in front for fan service? Check!
- and much more...

And the small town itself is absolutely wonderful. Tons of snow everywhere, enough to make a house size movie screen for Cinema Caravan. Mountains, cliffs, rivers. Streets filled with beautifully painted old movie advertisements - Charles Bronson movies, Sonny Chiba movies, Akira Kurosawa movies, John Wayne movies, James Bond flicks...!!!

The famous Yubari bear! Eats festival guests for dinner!
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Zankoku! The screening arena for student splatter films and Yoshihiro Nishimura Forum!
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Nishimura with co-hosts Naoya Tashiro and Maki Mizui
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Jessica when she still had her clothes on
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Bushido Man's Takanori Tsujimoto & Mitsuki Koga + Sengoku Bloody Agent director Naoki Takeda
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Yui Murata just before she poured beer on my face... from her own mouth!
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Charles Bronson!
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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by Shingster »

Sounds awesome Hung! Those screenings seem really intimate as well, like someone's set up a film festival in a highschool!

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by HungFist »

Shingster wrote:Sounds awesome Hung! Those screenings seem really intimate as well, like someone's set up a film festival in a highschool!
That's pretty close to the truth. There's no movie theater in Yubari, so the screenings were held in government buildings and such, like the chamber of commerce and two hotels. Lots of chances to chat with filmmakers when you run into them during a break. In the screenings too, you'd soon come to realize half of the people sitting next to you were directors or actors. It's the most unusual feeling when all of a sudden you recognize the girl sitting next to you as the nazi mutant killer on the screen - and even more unusual when the next day she comes talking to you. Everyone very friendly and modest, and Nishimura (who was always calling me "finlandojin") was operating the 8mm film projector himself (and managed to break the film at one point) for his old films.

The "My Sex" Competition was unforgettable. The participants had either submitted a work or did a live performance. The winners were:
1. An incredible air-sex performance by a man who was making love to "nothing"
2. My favorite, Naoya Tashiro's ourtageous live action romantic comedy Chinkou-kun, where a 100cm special effects penis is dating a human girl (karaoke, cafe, love hotel...)
3. Jessica's (from the ABC's of death) very beautiful dance, though she may have won extra points for finishing the dance with nothing but small pants on...

Some others I loved were Maki Mizui's speech ("I hate Nishimura") which instantly proved her acting talent, and a student short film where a film geek takes a girl to a love hotel but his rental movie selections turns out less than successful: A Better Tomorrow and Project A.

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Top: air-sex man + Chinkou-kun harassing a girl
Middle: Yuipuru mini-live
Bottom: Jessica + Maki Mizui

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by HungFist »

Yubari Photos: Part II

Welcome to Yubari. The streets are full of old movie advertisements
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And lots of snowy views!
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"What are you looking at?!" Nishimura + piece of my jacket (I'm bad at photoshopping myself from a picture).
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Festival area with ski center in the background
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Speaking of the hand drawn movie ads on the streets, I spotted at least:
- Violent City (Charles Bronson)
- Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
- Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)
- Golgo 13 (Sonny Chiba)
- Death Wish (Charles Bronson)
- Tokyo Story (Yasuhiro Ozu)
- Die Hard (Bruce Willis)
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Paul Newman)
- Dr. No (Sean Connery)
- Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston)
- The Longest Day (John Wayne)
- The Sound of Music (Julie Andrews)
- Several unidentified Nikkatsu action movies from the 1960's
- Several unidentified Toei yakuza and samurai movies from the 1960's
- Several undentified musicals and dramas from the 1960's

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by Shingster »

Very cool, love the big Butch Cassidy & Seven Samurai billboards!

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by HungFist »

A few more:

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by grim_tales »

That Dr. No billboard is very cool! :D

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by HungFist »

Time to start preparing for next year's festival. Still 4 months to go, and every single hotel room in the town is booked. In fact, I think they were booked before they even started selling them. Right :icon_suspect: Thankfully my oneechan's got some contacts who managed to arrange a couple of vacant rooms in sold out hotels. Yubari... :lol:

(probably the fest has reserved some room packages which they will be dealing later, though, so if haven't got your resevation in, you're probably not screwed yet)

Looking forward to visiting the world's coolest movie town again!

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013 (Best. Festival. Eve

Post by HungFist »

Last year I got spit (a mouthful or beer) on my face by an idol, maybe this year I should get beaten by Rina Takeda... :lol:

So what’s Yubari 2014 looking like?

Genre favourites Yoshihiro Nishimura and Noboru Iguchi will be in attendance, the latter presenting his latest film Live, and the former hosting an absolutely insane looking Forum Theater event that comes with zombies, ninjas, live concert, Japanese Tom Cruise, and an SM-event with Eihi Shiina. And there’s even more trash in the official competition with Asami’s blood soaked Gun Woman - and Asami will be there, too!!!

Other competition titles include lovely sounding films like Fuck Me to the Moon and the school girl flick The Lust of Angels! Nishimura protégé Maki Mizui’s directorial debut Kept is also included, being one of the numerous films by female directors in Yubari. Another one is Wandering Alien Detective Robin director Lisa Takeba’s The Pinkie.

More female power is provided by karate girl Rina Takeda, who will be in attendance with not one but two films – the drama School Girl’s Gestations and the Shusuke Kaneko action film Shojo wa isekai de tatakatta.

Last year’s winner Yukihiko Toda (Extend Hands from Darkness) will bring a new, still untitled film about sexual violence. Nobuhiko Obayshi will also be there with his latest 3 hour film (Seven Weeks).

And tons of other films. In addition there will be Art of Kaiju exhibition and seminars, stove parties, and other fun.

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But of course, the highlight of the fest will no doubt be the fore-mentioned Nishimura event. My own, (very) rough and simplified translation of the Nishimura program below:

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

The festival was an absolute blast again!!! I guess it says something that I only got an average of 4.5 hours of sleep per night.

Amazing town, great film selection, over 250 guests... that means you'll be running into famous filmmakers all the time. Really nice atmosphere. I was chatting with Noboru Iguchi, who is the nicest guy on the planet, took another photo with Yoshihiro Nishimura, and felt really bad for Maki Mizui who was crying after she didn't win the Grand Prix. Run into Nobuhiko Obayashi too, but was too shy to talk to him :lol:

Of course the Nishimura event was unforgettable... went in a little late and the first thing I see is Marc Walcow pushing in the lunch on wheels... that is, sushi on naked woman! Later SM competition between Iguchi, Mizui, and Eihi Shiina on who can stick most needles into their partner/victim. Also an amazing live make up demonstration by Soichi Umezawa, and a terrific early horror film from Nishimura from 1983. Rina Takeda showed up as well for the Noboru Iguchi night.

Other movie highlights: Gun Woman (with Asami and Kurando Mitsutake attending), Fuck Me to the Moon, School Girl's Gestation (with Rina Takeda) and The Lust of Angels.

Again I've got tons of pictures, many of which I cannot post publicly in uncensored format, and some of which I can't post at all.

Let's start with some scenery:
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Soichi Umezawa turning the beautiful Momoko Kuroiwa into an old granny with her guts hanging out. Click on the image for a larger version!
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Oriental Tom Cruise!!!
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More pictures later!

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Stove Party
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White Rock: a tent which houses some of the screenings
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Soichi Umezawa, Marc Walcow and Henge director Hajime Ohata
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Rina Takeda with School Girl's Gestation cast and crew
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Takeda again: Noboru Iguchi Night. Both wearing pink Nuigulumar Z stuff
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Gun Woman cast and crew: Asami, Kurando Mitsutake, Dean Harada
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Noboru Iguchi and Yoshihiro Nishimura
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The notorious Eihi Shiina SM event
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Yoshihiro Nishimura + Live Team (Noboru Iguchi, Asami, Takashi Nishina, Kanji Tsuda)
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Yoshihiro Nishimura and Maki Mizui
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The city's mascot: Melon Bear x 2
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And then there's a few things of which I really can't post pictures publicly... :lol:

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Rina Takeda vs. Yubari Melon Bear
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eONqm3hkQjI

This is pretty awesome but probably requires quite a bit of background knowledge...
- Takeda recently did a fun credit card commercial in which she breaks a pile of tiles
- She visisted Yubari film fest for the first time this year
- The melon bear is the official mascot of Yubari
- The old lady is some local who is always there working / helping out at the festival.

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

It's that time of the year again. Yubari film fest starts tomorrow! I'm gonna miss the first day but join the fun from Friday.

The program looks as usual... meaning very unusual.

Haman
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Telekura Cannoball Run 2013
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Noboru Iguchi's Wonder Gravity: Damager
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Use the Eyeballs!
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Maiddroid
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Mizo
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No Yoshihiro Nishimura Forum Theater this year since he's busy being a jury member, but he's holding Nishimura Mad Night Event on Friday. All the usual suspects are present... Nishimura, Noboru Iguchi, Maki Mizui, Rina Takeda, Hajime Ohata... Kim Ki-duk was supposed to come too, but unfortunately he had to cancel for some reason.

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Yubari 2015 was... fucking amazing!!! Noboru Iguchi and Yoshihiro Nishimura dancing in high school girl's uniforms, naked (male) punk-rock-stripper クリトリック・リス performing in the middle of the audience, amazing Damager event, and a lot more, including something top secret that I can't talk about anything! As usual, I managed to get about 4.5 hours of sleep each night. Oh, and Masanori Mimoto (Bushido Man, Alien vs. Ninja) was cooking me some deer. What a nice fellow. Oddly enough, the next night I ran into 4 deers on the street while walking to the hotel... I was afraid karma was getting at me!

Yubari 2015 Photos: Part 1

The main venue, Adire Kaikan, which will be taken down after this. The festival needs a new main venue from next year. Bye bye Cine Salon...
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White Rock was relocated this year.
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Noboru Iguchi's Wonder Gravity: Damager! The salaryman on the left realized his life-long dream to play a superhero. He contacted Iguchi and paid him about $4000 to make a film starring him. Iguchi though it was a great idea and would help him find his first ever girlriend ("stop wasting money on dating sites, playing a superhero makes you much hotter"). Iguchi write a theme song, had a costume designed, and shot a 25 minute film which is a lot of fun. The hero is called Damager (aka "Self-Mutilation Warrior Damager") because he can only unleash his power by hurting himself, e.g. cutting his wrists or receiving 40 punches to travel back in time.
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and the video:
http://youtu.be/_s8-m8sC-ys

Then, the night got even crazier when Clitoric Ris appeared
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I've got video of this, too:
http://youtu.be/km4XV6byNtE

At the beginning of his show he threw his shirt in the audience and accidentally re-created the towel suffocation scene from The Naked Gun 2½
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So why was he there? Well, because Iguchi directed this excellent music video for him
http://youtu.be/RXjV3bYdE_8

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

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Yubari 2015 Photos: Part 2

Then later the same night, Nishimura and Iguchi a moment before...
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...the madness broke out.
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And here's the video:
http://youtu.be/4i4SJH_iXyI

Don't tell my gf, but I think Kayano is really cute. Thankfully my gf rather looks like her.
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Naoya Tashiro at the screening of his new film Use the Eyeballs. It's a pretty fun bizarre love comedy of a young man who has two additional eyeballs that always pop up from his nose when he gets nervous, which always scares the girls away. It's the first Tashiro film I've seen that doesn't have splatter in it and doesn't show his wife Iona naked. She even kept her clothes on during the festival for the first time in three years... last year she was the naked human sushi plate at Nishimura event and the year before she was a boob fighter...
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Tetsuya Okabe, Maki Mizui and the rest of the cast at Haman screening. Despite some God-awful CGI blood the film is a moody, sad and beautiful horror drama and love story of a high school girl whose vagina has teeth... which tend to eat the partner's dick and leave him dead. Despite the bizarre idea, the film bravely avoids any idiotic comedy and camp, and plays it traight. Good music, ok visuals (a bit pale but not overly digital or over-light) and good actors.
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The cast (mostly AV actresses) of the Grand Prix winner, the excellent Make Room. The film is a hilarious comedy entirely set in one room, which happens to be the make up room for a porn shooting. The crew has only one day to finish the film but everything goes wrong: the actress hired to play lolita schoolgirl shows up with huge tattoos covering her back, another one got eye infection from an actor accidentally coming to her eye, the new star doesn't know her stage name so they can't film her interview scene, and the damn street musician is ruining the audio recording with his singing... and that's just for starters. Everyone who saw the film thought it was fantastic.
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Make Room director Kei Morikawa (who has directed 1000+ porn flicks) receiving the main award. The juru included Nishimura (in white jacket) among others.
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Band playing at the awards ceremony
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I ran into a lot of deer during the festival
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Including 4 on an empty street a day after I had had deer for dinner (cooked by Masanori Mimoto)... I though karma was gonna strike back
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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by Guro Taku »

HungFist wrote:Tetsuya Okabe, Maki Mizui and the rest of the cast at Haman screening. Despite some God-awful CGI blood the film is a moody, sad and beautiful horror drama and love story of a high school girl whose vagina has teeth... which tend to eat the partner's dick and leave him dead. Despite the bizarre idea, the film bravely avoids any idiotic comedy and camp, and plays it traight.
That sounds a lot like Mitchell Lichtenstein's TEETH (2007).

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Guro Taku wrote:
HungFist wrote:Tetsuya Okabe, Maki Mizui and the rest of the cast at Haman screening. Despite some God-awful CGI blood the film is a moody, sad and beautiful horror drama and love story of a high school girl whose vagina has teeth... which tend to eat the partner's dick and leave him dead. Despite the bizarre idea, the film bravely avoids any idiotic comedy and camp, and plays it traight.
That sounds a lot like Mitchell Lichtenstein's TEETH (2007).
Indeed. Good that you mentioned it. I haven't seen it. Just reading the synopsis it sounds like Teeth is more of a horror comedy with a kind of vengeance tone (her vagina bites guys who "deserve it" and kinda protects her?). Am I right?

Haman has the same premise but she never uses her teeth on purpose. She has no control over them which turns it into a tragedy. The film's main theme is her loneliness as she knows she can never have a normal relationship. I suppose Teeth doesn't have this aspect, or?

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by Guro Taku »

To be honest, I haven't seen TEETH since its original release in 2007 so I probably should check if it's on BD and refresh my memory before commenting further. I can only say that I don't remember it as being a comedy.

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Forgot to post this awesome festival trailer before! The first fight scene shared by Toshiro Mifune and Sean Connery! Only in Yubari:
http://twitchfilm.com/2015/02/yubari-20 ... -life.html

* the trailer will make perfect sense if you see my old photos on the previous page of this thread-

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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Yubari 2015 mini reviews

Makeup Room (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 4/5
This year's Yubari Grand Prix went to AV veteran Kei Morikawa, whose resume contains more than a 1000 porn films. Makeup Room, one of his first mainstream releases, is an utterly hilarious look behind the scenes of a porn shoot. The movie, which takes place entirely in one room, follows a makeup artist who is trying to prepare the female stars on time for the shoot that is taking place in the next room. However, the day escalates into an apocalyptic farce when everything imaginable goes wrong. Lead star Aki Morita aside, the cast is made up of real AV stars. It's a very funny, well made film that gets funnier scene by scene. And yes, there's boobs. From the typically cynical Western perspective, however, it is surprising how the AV industry is presented in a very positive light: chaotic shoots aside, people are nice and working is rather fun. Director Morikawa said he never even dreamed of winning the main price, let alone international recognition. That's exactly what the film is now heading for with UK's Third Window Films prepping it for UK release and pushing it to international film festivals.

Mizo (South-Korea, 2014) [Yubari Fanta] - 1.5/5
A young hooker comes to town looking for her parents who dumped her in the trash as a baby. She starts working for a local pimp until a maniac ex-cop claims her as his personal rape toy. Might one of these two gentlemen be her father? Perhaps. Add tons of rapes, violence, ultra-cruelty, a close-up of an erect penis, and even a bit of cannibalism, and pretend it's a poignant drama. The film is a far cry from the likes of Kim Ki-duk, Park Chan-wook or Kim Ji-woon, who have dealt with similarly dark topics with tons of style and skill. Mizo feels merely amateurish, and in places, unintentionally comical.

Haman (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 3.5/5
A high school girl's first sexual experience comes to an abrupt end when the teeth in her vagina bite the boyfriend's dick off. It's not exactly a sophisticated premise, but debut director Tetsuya Okabe (former AD for Miike and Nishimura) has a few surprises in his back pocket. Not only is the film pretty well acted, it is actually a moody, melancholic horror drama about a lonely girl who cannot control her body and knows she can never fall in love without endangering other people's lives. The film never falls for idiotic post modernism or humour, nor does it contain any kind of vengeance / slasher element. On the minus side, the film's CGI blood is absolutely atrocious.

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Use the Eyeballs! (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 3/5
2015 was the 4th year in the row Naoya Tashiro has had his new film screened in Yubari. Most of his earlier works (e.g. Naked Sister, 2013) were amusing short movies. Use the Eyeballs is his first movie to be shown in the competition series. It's also his first not to feature any kind of horror or splatter elements. In fact, it's a bizarre love comedy about a bullied schoolboy Kotaro. His problem is the eyeballs - not the normal pair, but the additional pair that pops up from his nose whenever he gets nervous. Needless to say, girls usually run away screaming. Tashiro is a fanboy director whose films are full of references (e.g. Kotaro gets self-confidence by watching The Toxic Avenger on VHS) and insider jokes. There's also an amazing cameo at the end of the film. It's by no means great cinema, and some of the jokes miss the target (e.g. Tokyo Tribe parody), but it's pretty fun and oddly sympathetic overall. Supporting roles are full of familiar faces like Eihi Shiina (mom) and Asami (evil office ninja).

The Limit of Sleeping Beauty (Japan, 2014) [Yubari Fanta] - 3/5
Here's a director to keep an eye on. The 23 year old Ken Ninomiya has already made quite a few interesting short and feature films, some of which have played on international film festivals. This medium length movie challenges Tsukamoto, Aronofsky and Alex de la Inglesias, and although it ultimately falls short, it's amazing how Nimomiya has managed a film that is technically better looking than anything Tsukamoto has done in more than a decade. The film's main problem is the lack of originality: a 29 year old actress-wannabe stuck as circus assistant and losing her mind (add hallucinations, pills of all colours, and mad clowns) isn't exactly an original premise to anyone who is familiar with the works of the fore mentioned directors. But the film does look - and sound - stunningly good a lot of the time.

Control of Violence (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 2/5
Takahiro Ishihara has created a small franchise of yakuza/violence indie dramas: Violence P.M. (2011), Osaka Violence (2012), Snake of Violence (2013) and now Control of Violence (2015). The latest unfortunately feels like a step down from the slightly larger budgeted Snake of Violence which starred Tak Sakaguchi. In Control of Violence ex-yakuza (Arata Yamanaka) is suspected of killing local gangsters until it turns out there's a new player in town: a mysterious yakuza hating stranger (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) who is gathering a lynch gang to take out as many yakuza as possible. The B&W shot film feels a bit amateurish, from visuals to dialogue. It gains momentum as the violence begins, and Ishihara once again makes good use of the Osaka locations; however, the failure ending manages to undo a lot of what the film had accomplished by then.

Kim (Fuzakerun ja neyo) (Japan, 2014) [Yubari Fanta] - 4/5
A terrific, hard hitting and intelligent medium-length film by film school student Shunpei Shimizu, who proves to be a more competent director than most mainstream professionals. The film follows an injured boxer who hates Zainichi Koreans, whom he feels are exploiting the Japanese society and giving him a bad name - even though he's the worst type of Zainichi himself. Unable to fight in the ring, he vents his frustration on the streets by beating people and burns his social welfare money on a housewife-gone-part-time-prostitute who is dreaming of better life. It's a thought provoking, technically competent, and uncompromising film. Shinya Tsukamoto's Tokyo Fist comes to mind a few times; however, Shimizu refuses the over-the-top antics of Tsukamoto and goes for utter, yet intelligent, bleakness. There is neither happy ending nor epic downfall waiting for its sad anti-hero.

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The Maidroid (South-Korea, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 3/5
Here's a Korean otaku fantasy that doesn't try to hide its Japanese influences. A normal guy receives a mysterious package which contains a maid droid which looks just like a Japanese AV star (but of course, she's played by the Japanese AV gone mainstream star Aino Kishi). It's only intended for housework, but, well, you can guess what happens. It's a relatively fun, romantic and light hearted erotic comedy. Director Noh Jin-soo has openly admitted his influences, stating he loves Japanese pink cinema and wanted to do something similar in Korea. On the minus side, the film lacks any originality and features a pretty terrible score that constantly underlines what's happening on screen. The film was shot in 60 hours because of Kishi's schedule. She's alright in the film, but not comparable to her excellent performance in the romantic comedy Rubbers (2010). Overall, the film is pretty decent fun for boys dreaming of their own maid droid.

The End of the World and the Cat's Disappearance (Japan, 2014) [Yubari Fanta] - 2/5
The world's food supplies have been contaminated in a mysterious accident in 2011 (read: Fukushima). Tokyo has become a wasteland. Cats have disappeared. Young people have cute little mutations, like cat tails. And an asteroid is about to end it all soon. Despite the sci-fi premise, this is an in and out idol film created for its star Izukoneko via crowd funding. Her popularity has more to do with her anime-like idol act and all things cat, than her singing voice. 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 at times, but it's just doesn't have much else going for it. It's neither especially stylish nor too energetic. Fans of Izukoneko shouldn't be complaining, though.

Luv Ya Hun! (Watashitachi no haa haa) (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 4/5
4 high school girls run from home to attend a concert on the other side of the country. Their plan is to ride all the way with bicycles and sleep under the sky - a plan that obviously isn't going to get them far. This is an excellent, fresh and non-judgemental film that captures the foolhardiness and excitement of youth - and omits the dull moral lessons. You could call it a coming of age film without the coming of age part. Excellent performances and energetic camerawork (mostly POV) complete the film. Although not directly comparable, fans of Hideaki Anno, Shunji Iwai and Shinji Somai ought to love it. The best movie at Yubari Fanta this year.

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Hentaidan (The Perverts) (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] - 3.5/5
This is the filthiest film Noboru Iguchi has ever done (excluding his AV work). The medium-length movie (approx. 50 min) brings together all kinds of perverts from shit lovers to piss drinkers. It starts all silly and ridiculous, e.g. with a segment about a man who's dreaming about a school girl idol's crap, but gets gradually darker and darker. Towards the end we get a suicide bus and a scene where a woman is slowly hammered to death by a pervert who gets sexually aroused by the sound of breaking bones. Though darkly humorous throughout, it was in scenes like that where even the hardened Yubari audience went totally silent. Impossible to evaluate as a movie, but it certainly is an experience, and not for everyone. Think of John Waters with an Iguchi spin. It just might be the best thing Iguchi has done in nearly a decade.

Damager (Japan, 2015) [Yubari Fanta] Film - 3/5, Live Experience - 4.5/5
Noboru Iguchi is on fire for a change. This 25 minute half-fiction was born when an ordinary Japanese salaryman Yu Kazama approached Iguchi to realize his lifelong dream to star in a superhero film. Iguchi though the idea was great and would help Kazama find his first ever girlfriend. After all, what's cooler: to have a profile on a dating site, or to be able to tell the girls you starred in a superhero movie? Iguchi brought together his usual team, had a superhero suit designed, and wrote a theme song. Kazama paid the bills. The film opens with footage from Iguchi's office before proceeding to the fiction film which stars Kazama as Damager, a superhero whose superpowers can only be activated via pain (e.g. 40 punches in the stomach to travel back in time). He must now save a pretty high school girl (Airi Yamamoto) from her murderous boyfriend (Demo Tanaka). It's silly and cheap, but also fun and sympathetic! The film finally cuts back to Iguchi's office where Kazama receives a copy of the completed movie.

While not exactly a masterwork by itself, the film was an amazing live experience in Yubari with Iguchi, Kazama and the rest of the cast in attendance. The audience was cheering for Damager (almost unheard of with the typically dead silent Japanese audiences) and singing the theme song together with the staff. Kazama, moved by the audience's enthusiasm, promised to finance a sequel as well. Let's home Mr. Kazama is a man of his word - and also that he finds a cute girlfriend soon.

More about the screening in the Yubari thread.
http://www.kungfucinema.com/forums/show ... 600&page=2

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HungFist
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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

The lineup for Yubari 2016 is online. I already posted about some films in their own threads

Hana-Dama: Phantom
- https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... 29#p176429

Dorome: Danshi hen & Dorome: Joshi hen
- https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... 30#p176430

Make(up) Room 2
- https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... 31#p176431

Dream Theater
Low budget Asami trash with some good looking action and bloodshed. Runs 28 min.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b9-0ufveWg
- http://yubarifanta.com/films/3095/?lang=en

And gotta love this broken English intro to Noboru Iguchi's new film Devotion to Cinema:
"Record breaking number of kisses between girls brought a sensation to viewers. What the girls witnessed after kisses another masterpiece from Noboru Iguchi, reflecting this director’s aestheticism and lyricism."
- http://yubarifanta.com/films/3197/?lang=en

I'm sure there are many other interesting films waiting to be discovered. I'm a little sad that Nishimura won't be there, though (probably busy shooting Meatball Machine).

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HungFist
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Re: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival (Best. Festival. Ever!)

Post by HungFist »

Trailer for Noboru Iguchi's new film Devotion to Cinema (Kinema junjo). Not what you'd expect.

http://youtu.be/MO2Fjnw37-U

In Yubari next month. Not too excited about the film, but Iguchi's gonna be there and the man's always worth seeing live.

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