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 ]
I watched Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata a few weeks ago and this gave me the drive to look up his previous films. I still have to watch Pulse and Cure but I already agree with the kind of acclaim film critics and moviegoers bestow upon the filmmaker. Says Twitch:
A long time leader of Japan's industry and one of the most critically acclaimed directors of recent years, Kurosawa has a rare ability to bridge commercial and arthouse cinema. Cure is the most obvious example, of course, but Bright Future and Pulse pulled off the same trick. Kurosawa's most recent feature - 2008's Tokyo Sonata - screened to much love in Cannes, after which you would think it would be simple for him to do whatever he wanted next. You'd be wrong. Since Tokyo Sonata Kurosawa's sole credit is a single episode of television. It's not that he hasn't been trying to get films made - there were rumblings he was developing a creature feature at one point - they just, well, haven't been made. [ read more ]
So it is quite a thrill to learn about his return to filmmaker via Kanzen naru Kubinagaryu no Hi.
Jefusion discussed the plot:
It centers around a love story between Koichi (Takeru Sato) and Atsumi (Haruka Ayase) who are childhood friends, and eventually become lovers. Atsumi is under comatose state after a suicide attempt, and Koichi tries to wake her up by using "sensing" which is a new technique in neurosurgery to communicate and enter the mind of a person who is in a coma. While peering through Atsumi's subconscious, she asks Koichi to look for a picture that she drew a long time ago. [ source ]
Additional good news is the casting of favorites Joe Odagiri and Miki Nakatani, with Shota Sometani, Keisuke Horibe, Yutaka Matsushige, and Kyoko Koizumi also playing roles.
The movie will be released early summer of 2013. There are also plans of entering the movie in the 66th Cannes Film Festival to be held in May 2013.
Joe Odagiri has a lot of excellent movies (Sway, Tokyo Tower, My Way) to boast, as well as, Miki Nakatani who played the lead role in Memories of Matsuko. Shota Sometani is already known in the international scene via Himizu. I really am excited with the casting!
On Tokyo Sonata, this is what the director have to say [ This is part of the interview conducted by Twitch ]
Guillén: Tokyo Sonata is much more subtle in its deployment of the fantastic than your previous films. Music-wise you've long been noted for your rumbling, ominous atmospheric scores. The music in Tokyo Sonata is quite different than anything you have done before. It's almost carnivalesque. What induced that?
Kurosawa: Originally I had thought—because Tokyo Sonata was not a horror film or a genre film—that it would not have any music at all. I thought I would just have the full piano piece at the end. But well after I had finished editing the film, a long time after, I realized I wanted some music so I had music composed. I can't recall exactly what I asked the composer to do, but I think what I asked him for was the music of a very close tomorrow. Not futuristic music but a kind of future that could happen tomorrow. [ read more ]
Are you a fan of Kiyoshi Kurosawa? What are his movies that you like the most? Let us know what you think!
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
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.
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.