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 ]
Says filmmaker Toshiaki Toyoda about his movie, Monsters Club:
This is the story about a young man living in a cabin in remote place outside of urban culture and away from all things. Living by himself in the winter covered mountains, we see the emotional survival of the person depicted. I was really thinking about the Unibomber in America. The Unabomber was quite strict, he did not bomb everywhere but was rather making a statement and was thinking about how to make things a little bit different, asking maybe, the question of the people and a question to the people living in a world of egoism. We've got the pyramid in our society. You have the top and then the bottom. I have been asking people: how are we going to survive in this pyramid world?! [ source ]
After we posted the positive reviews on Hard Romanticker, it's inevitable that we mention Monsters Club, since it stars Eita Nagayama, another top Japanese actor who figured prominently in our Top 30 Hottest Japanese Actors.
The reviews are mainly positive, and Twitch posted this:
Monsters Club follows Ryoichi (Eita), a young, cultured man who retreated into a life in the wilderness. A little hunting cabin hidden in a snow-covered mountain becomes Ryoichi's humble shelter from the world. From his cabin, Ryoichi sends bombs and angry letters to CEOs of various corporations as an attempt to repel the advancing modern life. The film is quite a feat, especially considering how the movie was achieved in such a short time period and such an improvisational manner. Slow, steady shots help emphasize a haunting, isolated feeling as we witness Ryoichi unraveling in front of our eyes. The sparse, beautiful landscape of the film grows increasingly unnerving as a mysterious monster enters Ryoichi's periphery. [ source ]
Other reviewers also gave positive reviews to the movie, Flixist noted:
There's something meditative and poetic to the imagery of Monsters Club. Writer/director Toshiaki Toyoda supposedly shot the entire film in two weeks without a script, which I find rather fascinating. For all of its lingering and smoldering and silences, there's a certain tightness to Monsters Club. The dialogue and visuals seem well considered and graceful rather than slapdash, the latter often a sign of films done on the fly. This might have to do with its extremely short run time of 71 minutes. It feels packed, and becomes somewhat stunning once ghosts from Ryoichi's past come to visit. The most striking may be the ghost that looks like a meringue in clown make-up. [ source ]
And finally from 2012moviesUK:
Monsters Club is a beautiful film. Everything about it, from the sparse guitar driven score, the patient cinematography to the emotional performance is awe inspiring – and the film rightly deserves to be judged upon its own merits. Yet also, from the methodology and approach represented in the telling of this tale, I feel that Japanese cinema now has its first glimpse of a chance to change the way in which seemingly unrelated genres might continue. As much as I am looking forward to Tsutomu Hanabusa's Sadako 3D, I don't think it can be counted on to revitalise cinema, genre or otherwise.
Within Monsters Club, within the simple story of a man exploring who he is in both the context of capitalist society and the context of his family, there is a chance to move forward. [ read more ]
View selected photos from the movie:
Have you seen this movie? Are you a fan of Eita Nagayama? 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.