The Sower (2016) review [Camera Japan Festival]

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“Yosuke Takeuchi has prove(n) himself to be a director with a clear vision and the talent to sincerely paint his vision on the silver screen. We can’t wait for his second cinematographical adventure in the human interest genre.”

Introduction

It is not common for a cinematographical narrative to be inspired by the art and the life of a famous painter. In The Sower‘s case, Vincent Van Gogh and more specifically his paintings of sowing and sunflowers inspired Yosuke Takeuchi to create a narrative integrating these two elements so integral to Van Gogh’s oeuvre.

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Satoshi: A Move For Tomorrow (2016) Review [Camera Japan Festival edition]

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“And if we add Matsuyama Kenichi’s splendid performance to the mix, the already engaging narrative is turned into to be a very moving character study of Satoshi Murayama, but, above all, into a beautiful love-letter to the art of Shogi.”

Introduction

Shogi (Japanese Chess) might already have been featured in many manga and anime, but, given the popularity of Shogi in Japan and beyond, it might be surprising that it took so long for someone to create a biopic about a famous player (narra-note 1). With Satoshi: a move for tomorrow the wait is finally over. This narrative, based on the nonfiction novel Satoshi no Seishun (2000) by Yoshio Osaki, concerns the short life of Shogi prodigy Satoshi Murayama (06/15/1969 – 08/08/1998), who struggled with nephrotic syndrome from childhood onward and, finally, also with cancer.

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Over The Fence (2016) Review [Camera Japan Festival]

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It is not love-story in the traditional sense of the word, but a wonderful and moving psychological study of the concept of meeting, a sort of meeting that might change each subject involved forever.”

Introduction 

Nobuhiro Yamashita is already a well established name in the Japanese cinematographical field. People may know him from the highly entertaining Linda Linda Linda (2005), A gentle Breeze in the village (2006) and The Matsugane Potshot Affair (2007), for which he won the award for Best Director at the 32nd Hochi Film Award, and the Midnight Diner drama series – the first season can be watched on Netflix.

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Noise (2017) Review

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“A slow, subdued but very powerful narrative about the importance of human connection and the far-reaching subjective effects modern Japanese capitalistic society can have on the subject (…) that will long linger in the spectator’s mind.”

Introduction

Noise, the debut feature film of Yusako Matsumoto, is some sort of a passion project. When he was sixteen years old, the incident known as the Akihabara Massacre motivated Matsumoto to research indiscriminate killings: he wanted to know why people committed such crimes.

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監督との話し合い: Masaaki Yuasa [日本語]

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Introduction

With the release of The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl and Lu Over the Wall – both were screened at Fantasia Film Festival, 2017 has already been a very busy year for Masaaki Yuasa. To celebrate both releases, we sit down with Yuasa to talk about his past, the present and the future.

[This interview is in Japanese. The English translation will be published in the coming weeks]

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Swaying Mariko (2017) Review

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“[It] may at times feel rough around the edges, but Koji Segawa crafted a strange, compelling and (..) slightly confronting slice of life narrative (…) that [shows] that it is never good to leave things unsaid – and that only communication between subjects can mend a relationship and can safe subjects from the no-good position they fundamentally are.”

Introduction

While in Japan, Tanaka Jun, director of Bamy, invited me for a evening of drinking, eating and film discussion. Also invited was Matsumura Shingo, the director of Love And Goodbye and Hawaii. But before our meeting Tanaka asked if another director friend of his could join our meeting. Of course, we said yes and that is how we met Koji Segawa, the director of Mothwoman (2008) and Kogeonna Warau (2011).

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