Satoshi: a move for tomorrow (2016) Review

bannersatoshi.png

“Matsuyama Kenichi’s splendid performance turns the narrative into a very moving character study of Satoshi Murayama, but, above all, into a beautiful love-letter to the art of Shogi.”

Introduction

Shogi might already have been featured in many manga and anime, but, given the popularity of Shogi, it might be surprising that it took so long for someone to create a biopic about a famous player (narra-note 1). Well, the wait is over. Satoshi: A Move For Tomorrow, based on the nonfiction novel Satoshi no Seishun (2000) by Yoshio Osaki, concerns the short life of Shogi prodigy Satoshi Murayama (June 15, 1969-August 8, 1998), who struggled with nephrotic syndrome from childhood onward and, in the end, also with cancer.

Continue reading

Advertisements

監督との話し合い: Kenji Yamauchi [日本語]

bannerkenji

Introduction

Our third guest for Talks with directors is Kenji Yamauchi, director of Being Mitsuko (2011), her father my lover (2015) and, of course, At the Terrace (2016). We’re grateful that Kenji Yamauchi took the time to sit down with us to discuss various aspects of his work. He talks about how he got interested in cinema, his inspirations, the differences between theater and cinema and his future project.

Continue reading

Memoirs of a murderer (2017) review.

mermoirsmurderedbanner.png

“As long as one doesn’t expect to find any deep psychological truths on the nature of the serial killer in the narrative or a deep character study of a murderer as such, [the narrative] proves to be as thrilling and satisfying as the original was.”

Introduction

When Jung Byung-gil released his first mainstream feature confession of murder, he probably never expected his movie to become so popular and that it would become an award-winning movie – it won the thriller competition of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival for instance.

Continue reading

Japanese girls never die (2016) review

BannerJapanesegirls2.png

While (…) [the] narrative lacks some (…) provocative punch (…) the political protest message (…) is [nevertheless] sincerely felt.

Introduction

From time to time, ominous signs underline the various problems the Japanese society has to cope with. Men aren’t showing interest in relationships with women – the opposite is equally true – and the ongoing low birthrate that is produced thereby made 2017 the first year in which the Japanese population actually shrunk. On a more deeper societal level, sexual harassment is still prevalent, with one third of the woman reporting some form of sexual harassment in 2016.

Continue reading

Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (2017) Review [Screening at Fantasia Film Festival]

teichiibanner.png

“A pleasant and often funny ride exploring high-school life in the Showa era, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t raise above the standard affair, and the comedy, as over-acting so typically of Japanese comedy is present, remains something of an acquired taste.”

Introduction 

When it comes to adaptations to the silver screen, Mangaka Usamaru Furuya is not doing that bad. In 2016 his horror comedy manga Litchi☆Hikari Club found his way into movie theaters. And now with Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High a second manga by his hand is given the live-action treatment.

Continue reading

Museum (2016) review [Screening at Fantasia Film Festival].

bannermuseum.png

“And while a deeper exploration of Haruka and Shouta’s subjective perspective could have made Sawamura’s quest for redemption even more powerful, Museum does provide the tension, the thrills and the plot twists any great thriller narrative should have.”

Introduction 

If one looks at Keishi Ootomo oeuvre, one concludes that he loves to adapt manga narratives to the silver screen. He already brought the wildly popular manga Rurouni Kenshin to the silver screen – Rurouni Kenshin (2012), Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (2014), and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014), and has just finished his filmic translation of the manga San gatsu no Lion following the story of a young shogi-player.

Continue reading

Almost coming, Almost dying (2017) Review [screening at Fantasia Film Festival].

Banneralmostcoming.png

“An expressive narrative about feelings of shame, sexuality, and the fear of death. (..) Not (…) extremely polished, but Kobayashi has delivered an exercise in form to show that he is ready to tackle on bigger projects. “

Introduction

In Japan, the land of the million stories, manga stories can be as strange and unorthodox as the writer want them to be. This narrative freedom creates a space where a multitude of creative approaches to telling a narrative are made possible. One such manga is “Kumoman” by Manabu Nakagawa, which recounts in a quirky drawing style and with an expressive inventiveness the experience and the shame he endured after being struck down by a stroke in a massage parlour when he was about to come.

Continue reading