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Film Review And Q&A: ‘Blade of the Immortal’ (無限の住人- Mugen no Jūnin) Takashi Miike

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Fights involving different types of weaponry leave nothing to the imagination!

Blade of the Immortal posterFilmed in Kyōto and based on the manga series of the same name by Hiroaki Samura ‘Blade of the Immortal’ is Takashi Miike’s 100th film, his previous films in the jidaigeki genre include ‘13 Assassins’ and ‘Hara-kiri; Death of a Samurai’. The film follows Manji (Takuya Kimura) who after witnessing his sister die and lying on the battlefield near death is made immortal by a strange nun called Yaobikuni (Yoko Yamamoto) who infects him with a Buddhist Lama’s ‘sacred bloodworms’ (kessen-chu) which help his body to regenerate after Read more…

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Film Review: Mukoku

October 3, 2017 Leave a comment

A departure from director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s graphic, often ultra-violent style!

Mukoku-p1Kengo Yatabe (Gō Ayano) is a fifth dan Kendoka who used to be a Kendo instructor at the local high school. His father Shōzō (Kaoru Kabayashi), who he detests and loves in equal measure, was also his Kendo teacher and had a bad reputation for being a brutal practitioner of the technique associated with ‘satsujin ken’, a murderous sword, as opposed to ‘katsujin ken’, a life giving sword. His father is in hospital in a vegetative state after a dreadful incident involving both father and son and his mother has died, something he is struggling to come to terms with. He has given up his Read more…

Film Review: Boys For Sale – Bai Bai Bōizu

September 26, 2017 1 comment

Premiered in the UK as one of the official selection at the 25th Anniversary of the Raindance Film Festival 2017.

Boys for Sale logoWhat might at first seem like a potentially titillating documentary on male prostitution in the Shinjuku 2-chome area of Tōkyō, reportedly the largest urban gay area in Asia, becomes something fascinating and shocking in equal parts. One wonders as the documentary progresses at what point the historical Japanese openness and acceptance of male-male sex as a necessary part of human life became something to be frowned upon and kept hidden. Adrian ‘Uchujin’ Storey, who Read more…

Film Review: Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki

April 23, 2017 1 comment

“I’ve always done my best so I have no regrets” – Hayao Miyazaki

C7Jx7ZRVAAA4D8DA fascinating, albeit somewhat melancholy, insight into Hayao Miyazaki in later life. The documentary begins with a brief review of Miyazaki’s main oeuvre – clips in rapid succession from his feature length animations, the foundation on which his well-deserved reputation is founded after which is his public announcement of his retirement in 2013 at the age of 72. These two elements set the scene against which his later actions are Read more…

Film Review: Silence – A Film By Martin Scorsese

January 9, 2017 1 comment

Sometimes silence is the deadliest sound!

silence_posterBased on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel Martin Scorsese’s film ‘Silence’ is the third adaptation of the novel following ‘Chinmoku’, a 1971 film adaptation by Masahiro Shinoda, and the 1996 Portuguese version ‘Os Olhos da Ásia’ (The Eyes of Asia) by João Mário Lourenço Bagão Grilo.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, with a screenplay by Scorsese and Jay Cocks, it is set in the historical ‘Kakure Kirishitan’ (Hidden Christian) period of 17th century Japan. The main story takes place between 1640-1641, a few Read more…

Film Review: Your Name Directed by Makoto Shinkai

December 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Visually stunning, the film is both uplifting and full of pathos!

Anime feature filmYour Name, directed by Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimetres per Second, 2007, and Kotonoha Niwa – The Garden of Words, 2013), produced by Genki Kawamura (‘Kokuhako’, 2010, and ‘Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki’, 2012) with character design by
Masayoshi Tanaka (‘Toradora’, 2009, ‘Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day’, 2011, and ‘The Anthem of the Heart’, 2015) and animation by Read more…

Film Review: Mifune – The Last Samurai

October 16, 2016 5 comments

A celebration of the greatest actor from the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema!

mifune_strandbanner

Doing the rounds of this year’s film festivals and screened at this year’s British Film Institute’s London Film Festival is ‘Mifune: The Last Samurai’, a new documentary directed by the Oscar winning Director Steven Okazaki (‘Days of Waiting’, ‘Unfinished Business’), produced by Toshiaki Nakazawa (‘13 Samurai’, ‘Hara Kiri: Death of a Read more…

Ghost In The Shell: Can DreamWorks Crack It?

October 4, 2016 1 comment

“We needed a launch that was as unique and original as the property itself.” – Paramount Pictures

Ghost in the Shell Live ActionSince the announcement that Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Avengers, Lucy) is to play the lead character, Major, in the up and coming live action adaptation of the hugely popular manga/anime franchise, GHOST IN THE SHELL, in which Johansson was reportedly offered $10m to take the role, DreamWorks has come under fire from many quarters for whitewashing and potentially Read more…

Reel Japan Film Festival 2016

Press Release.

Reel JapanReal Cinema. Real Culture. Reel Japan.

Date: Bank Holiday Weekend, Sat April 30th/Sun May 1st

Tickets: Available from April 1st, £5 per film(limited to 100 seats per screening) Day ticket £15 (4 screenings), Weekend ticket £25 (8 screenings)

Venue: The Yard Theatre Unit 2A, Queen’s Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN Read more…

Film Review: Obon Brothers – A Film By Akira Osaki

October 23, 2015 Leave a comment

A charming and heart-warming portrayal of a man down on his luck!

Obon Brothers

Akira Osaki (read interview here) has not had an easy time in the Japanese film industry. After the failure of his debut film Catchball-Ya, Osaki struggled to secure funding for a new film. Again and again his projects were dropped in the early stages, and this made him frustrated about the film industry he was working so hard to be accepted in. This anger has been translated into his latest film, Obon Brothers, a dark comedy penned by his close-friend, and Read more…

Film Review: Ryūzō And The Seven Henchmen (Ryūzō to Shichinin no Kobuntachi)

October 12, 2015 Leave a comment

A fast paced and quick witted comedy!

Ryuzo_7_Japanese_Theatrical_Release_Poster 2Produced by Office Kitano and released in Japan on 25th April 2015 the film stars the 74 year old Tatsuya Fuji as Ryūzō, whose performance is the mainstay of the film’s success, and is directed by the critically acclaimed Beat Takeshi (aka Takeshi Kitano). The film is a delightful and, in places, very funny romp into the twilight existence of a group of Yakuza headed up by the Read more…

Interview: Film Director Akira Osaki

October 11, 2015 Leave a comment

“My films won’t all be about losers, I do want to make something different in the future!”  – Akira Osaki

Akira OsakiAkira Osaki is an independent filmmaker whose latest production, Obon Brothers, was screened in London (represented by Third Window Films) as part of the 23rd Raindance Film Festival. Hailing from Gunma prefecture in Japan, Osaki is a humble and friendly director, who has worked predominantly as an Assistant Director. Much like the lead character in his film, Takashi Kitano , Osaki was looking for his big break in the Japanese Read more…

Film Review: Uzumasa Limelight (Uzumasa Raimuraito)

A homage to Charlie Chaplin’s LIMELIGHT!

Uzumasa limelightWinner of the Cheval Noir Award and Best Actor Award at the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the 2014 Camera Japan Festival, and the official selection at both the 2014 Hawaii International Film Festival and the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival.  Read more…

JAPAN CUTS: Festival Of New Japanese Film Announces Full Slate Of NY Premieres

July 9-19, 2015 at Japan Society

JAPAN CUTS logoExpanded 9th Edition Boasts Nearly 30 Features, Dozens of Shorts,

Classic Restorations and Most Special Guests Ever!

New York, NY – North America’s largest festival of Japanese Read more…

DVD/Blu-ray Review: Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

The Professor’s first movie and his toughest puzzle yet!

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva‘First it started with a Game’ as the intro goes it was the vast popularity of the game series following the gentleman Professor Layton on his quests to solve puzzles with his apprentice Luke. What made the game stand out against competitor titles was the slick animation between puzzles. People were so charmed by the character designs it shortly after became a movie.

The movie begins with an introduction about the series for new watchers and I know quite few people who indeed picked up this title from conventions for the art alone, not surprising as it was produced by Read more…

Film Review: Ask This Of Rikyū (Rikyū ni Tazuneyo)

March 22, 2015 1 comment

What was the secret Rikyu took to the grave?

Ask this of Rikyū

‘Ask This of Rikyu’, a film directed by Mitsutoshi Tanaka and distributed by Toei, had its first World Premiere at the 37th Montreal World Film Festival in September 2013 sharing the Best Artistic Contribution Award with ‘Landes’ by François-Xavier Vives. It was nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year and won the Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction.

The film, based on the novel of the same name by Kenichi Yamamoto which won the Naoki Literary Prize in 2009, stars the renowned Read more…

Giovanni’s Island On Blu-ray Competition Now Closed And The Winner Is…

January 25, 2015 Leave a comment

A winner has been chosen!

Giovanni's IslandThanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of Giovanni’s Island on Blu-ray !

Sadly there can only be one winner.

And the winner is… Read more…

Win A Copy Of Giovanni’s Island On Blu-ray NOW CLOSED!

January 5, 2015 17 comments

Hooray! It’s competition time again!

Giovanni's IslandGiovanni’s Island is coming to DVD, Blu-ray and Ultimate Edition on Monday 12th January (available from Amazon.co.uk ) and thanks to Anime Ltd, we have a copy on Blu-ray to give away.

True to their reputation of masterful storytelling and quality animation, Production I.G achieve effortless elegance in this never before been told story. Exploring the theme of the toll of human conflict, and done so with stunning visuals, Giovanni’s Island succeeds in bringing a feeling of hope and positivity despite the heart wrenching and moving subject. Indeed, it is hard not to fall in love with the striking hand drawn Read more…

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist Competition Now Closed And The Winner Is…

November 12, 2014 2 comments

A winner has been chosen!

Street Fighter Assasins FistThanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist on DVD & Blu-Ray plus 2 randomly selected Manga UK DVD and/or Blu-Ray titles!.

Sadly there can only be one winner.

And the winner is… Read more…