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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Dark Side of The Light (2016) Review

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“Dark side of the light provides a very tangible framing of (…) [the] disturbing irrationality [of abuse] and the denial of justice this irrationality introduces. This  is Sakamaki’s greatest triumph.”

Introduction

While Sakamaki Ryota has already been active as a director from 2001, he has always stayed under the radar domestically as well as internationally. But that might change with Dark side of the light, his most recent cinematographical product which won two awards, best Horror Feature Film and best actress, at the Tabloid Witch Awards.

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Introduction Interview Jun Tanaka.

For our first interview, we sit down with the director of Bamy, Jun Tanaka. Throughout the interview, we talk about his decision to make a fiction movies, the difficulties of working with a small budget, the importance of fate and ghosts, his influences, … etc. This interview proves to be a very interesting read into the mind of a promising Japanese director.

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First of all, thanks to Jun Tanaka to have taken the time to answer my questions. The interview was conducted bilingually and the English translation of the interview will be published in the coming week. The decision to publish the Japanese version has a simple reason; the signifiers he uses are his own. As such we can only a fully appreciate Tanaka’s answers in the language he was born in.

Our review of Tanaka’s first feature film Bamy can be found here.

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“Bamy is a fresh and compelling narrative, […] framing the unsettling unheimlich so sensible on the silver screen. […] we can’t wait till Tanaka’s cinematographical style comes into full bloom.”

Introduction

Even though one might say the golden age of J-horror is already behind us, as features like Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998), Ju-on (Takashi Shimizu, 2000), and Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001) seem to have been made in a distant past, the genre will never die. For some, the genre needs a new injection of creativity, instead of rehashing the same tropes. With Bamy, the directorial debut of Jun Tanaka, Tanaka provides his own take on the J-horror genre, approaching it from the angle of the red string of fate (unmei no akai ito). Can Bamy be considered a fresh wind in the genre?

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