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The 100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies - Psycho Drama has launched an ambitious project to compile 100 of the best modern-day Japanese movies from the last 2 decades or so. Featuring the best young actors of their generation - from Joe Odagiri, Takako Matsu and Tadanobu Asano, to Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Mao Inoue, Ryuhei Matsuda, Shun Oguri and Masanabu Ando to the current crop of exciting young talents - Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kento Yamazaki, Fumi Nikaido and Ai Hashimoto. [ click here ]

Another video clip featuring Satoshi Tsumabuki in Takashi Miike's For Love Sake.

SciFiJapan posted the production notes of the movie, and I'm posting the story below (Warning: Lots of spoliers ahead)

In the snowy mountains of the Japanese alps, little Ai's affluent parents allow her to go skiing alone for the first time. She loses control on the slopes but is saved at the last second by a brash little boy named Makoto. His forehead drips with blood — his scar, and their bond, is for life...

11 years later — the apocalyptic underground passageways of Shinjuku. Now in high school, Ai (Emi Takei) witnesses a gang rumble. A boy she's never seen takes them all on single-handedly and wipes them out. The scar on his forehead... It's Makoto (Satoshi Tsumabuki). Fate has reunited them. Hardened from years of rage, he sings from a heart already made of stone. Soon after arriving in Tokyo he's shipped off to juvenile detention.

Believing Makoto's troubled life was caused by their childhood incident, Ai is wracked with guilt. She pleads with her parents to rescue Makoto and have him transferred to elite Aobadai High School, where she attends. Ai dances and sings of her love for Makoto on the immaculate lawn of the school, but he remains unmoved. Ai's bespectacled classmate Hiroshi looks on, his burning love for her always unrequited.

Unable to push her parents to cover Makoto's tuition and housing costs, Ai ends up working at a sleazy "cafe" with a catwalk to earn money. Always pure of heart, Ai exclaims "It's my duty to help Makoto put his life back together. I love him!" But her efforts are in vain and Makoto is kicked out of Aobadai and transferred to the notorious gang-ridden wasteland of Hanazono High. Ever-devoted, Ai follows him into the midst of danger and Hiroshi in turn follows Ai.

Almost immediately, Makoto draws the ire and lust of two members of Hanazono's vicious girl gang, simultaneously infuriating the school's rapid aging disease-afflicted delinquent leader. With Ai caught in the middle, Hanazono is thrown into a whirlwind of jealousy and violence, punctuated by dynamic and engaging musical numbers. The truth of who holds the power at Hanazono and the reason for Makoto's journey to Tokyo are gradually revealed. Hurtling toward their destiny, Makoto is pulled into rescuing Ai once again... [ read more ]

On Tsumabuki: Versatile actor Satoshi Tsumabuki is a rare example of an actor comfortable and successful in both mainstream entertainment and challenging roles. As Makoto in FOR LOVE'S SAKE he effortlessly expresses inner emotional turmoil, cocksure attitude, latent sensitivity and convincing physical power in the film's furious fight scenes.

 

Thanks to eclecticella for the tip!

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East Winds Film Festival from October 31st-Nov 2nd

In partnership with Coventry University and Third Window Films, East Winds will be celebrating East Asian film and culture through a selection of 11 International, European and UK Premieres from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand, ranging from star-studded action blockbusters and chilling horrors to touching dramas and delightful comedies.

Alongside some pretty major titles such as the European Premieres of 'Partners in Crime', 'Z Storm', 'Record of Sweet Murder' and 'Teacher's Diary' (Thailand's Oscar submission) there are also many other UK premieres and 2 new Third Window genre titles: 'Greatful Dead' and 'The Lust of Angels' which will play.

More details at the Film Festival website

Essential Sites & Blogs

13oys and Men  - Promoting the awesome and talented young Japanese actors, with lots of screenshots and insights into the careers of top and upcoming young talents. 

Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.

Dorama Doll - a new blog that will feature recaps of selected Japanese dramas, most probably related to Johnny & Associates talents, with some great recommendations on what to watch if you're new to the J-drama scene.

Genkinahito's Blog - Reviews, news, box office results & some amazing insights into Japanese films, including manga and anime.

My Drama Tea - Honest and insightful reviews of Japanese drama, also reviews of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese dramas, with music news and movie reviews.

Ritsu No Dorama Land - J-dorama reviews with a difference, complete with recaps that really complements the review. 

One Take on Japan - A series of articles about the Japanese movie industry written by Don Brown, who makes English subtitles for Japanese films.

OtherWhere - Excellent and varied trailer showcase, insightful reviews of Japanese movies (both indies and mainstream), and a great resource for news on Studio Ghibli too!

The Corner of the Mind - Drama reviews (with detailed analysis of up and coming dramas via first impressions) and anime spotlights.

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