Tokyo International Film Festival celebrates its 30th Edition; Tommy Lee Jones is Jury President; Yamada Ryosuke’s Fullmetal Alchemist is opening film!

The 30th Edition of Tokyo International Film Festival starts October 25 until November 3, 2017, at Roppongi Hills, EX Theater Roppongi and other venues in Tokyo. Film Festival screening tickets will be on sale from October 14. Heading the competition jury this year is Hollywood actor Tommy Lee Jones, with filmmaker Martin Provost, Iranian director/writer Reza Mirkarimi, Chinese actress/director Zhao Wei, and Japanese actor Masatoshi Nagase as members of the jury.

In the Competition section, 15 films were selected from among 1,538 titles from 88 countries and regions. There are two Japanese films up for the major festival prizes, including Zeze Takahisa’s The Lowlife and Ooku Akiko’s Tremble All You Want.

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Sometani Shota, Emoto Tasuku, and Ishibashi Shizuka team up for Sato Yasushi’s Kimi no tori wa utaeru – And Your Bird Can Sing!

From author Sato Yashushi who gave us The Light Shines Only There, Over the Fence, and Sketches of Kaitan City comes the latest live-action adaptation of another of his work entitled “And Your Bird Can Sing”. Described as the author’s “true debut into the literary world, (which) was nominated for the 86th Akutagawa Prize”, it is about the “triangular relationship between three 21-year-olds”.

Playing the three major characters are Sometani Shota, Emoto Tasuku, and Ishibashi Shizuka. Miyake Sho will direct the new film.

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Actors Transformation: A Visual ‘study’ of contrasting characters – Shota Sometani and Yuya Yagira [Part 1, Vol. 1]

When an actor successfully transforms himself into a character – not only showing different physical attributes but also displaying a distinct personality, moviegoers are in awe. Of course, credit goes to the makeup and special effects artists who helped in the transformation. But still, the actor gets a round of applause for pulling it off. 

Most movie bloggers mention Christian Bale (The Machinist), Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers’ Club) and Charlize Theron (Monster) among the most notable, but there are a great number of Asian actors who have made impressive transformation themselves. There was even a Chinese actress who pulled off her teeth to make a performance as realistic as possible.

Tadanobu Asano, one of Japan’s best actors, play some high-profile roles that require equally difficult transformation – as Kakihara in the ultra-violent Ichi, the Killer, as Temudjin (Genghis Kahn) in Mongol and as Samurai Hyozo Tashiro in Gohatto, among others.  

Continue reading “Actors Transformation: A Visual ‘study’ of contrasting characters – Shota Sometani and Yuya Yagira [Part 1, Vol. 1]”

Does it matter if they cast the right actor on Live-action adaptations? A list of the best and worst casting choices! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]

Does it matter if the powerful production committees in Japan cast the right actors in our favorite manga, anime or light novels? The question appears either valid or invalid to fans since no one could do anything about it anyway, but still – what have we got to lose? 

 

It is equally relevant to say that – some of us – can also make accurate ‘predictions’ as in the case of Kento Yamazaki and Ryunosuke Kamiki grabbing some noted roles of late. I say it’s delightful since it only means ‘we get it!’ And the people in these committees do too! Though I question their choices most of the time. The fact remains that the members of these committees and not artists or filmmakers, but are businessman and they are tasked to make sure that the funds put into these films will earn them a reasonable ROI (return on investment).

Let me get back to that later.

Continue reading “Does it matter if they cast the right actor on Live-action adaptations? A list of the best and worst casting choices! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]”

Casting News + Scoop! [Nov 17-22] The Latest in Japanese live action adaptation [Kento Yamazaki’s Hyoka] + Shota Someya’s Kukai + Mayu Matsuoka and Revisiting the works of Kenichi Matsuyama!

The latest casting news and buzz from Japan reveal the massive shift that continues with the extended exposure of Masaki Suda and Kento Yamazaki and the rise of Kentaro Sakaguchi. But Shota Sometani steals the thunder with ‘Kukai’ – how about that! On the girl’s side, Mayu Matsuoka’s acting award at TAMA New Wave serves notice of her ascent to the top – even without an asadora to her credit. Alice Hirose who was almost on ‘semi-hiatus’ has two projects up her sleeve, eclipsing her younger sister Suzu. 

Here are the top buzzes right this minute!

Kento Yamazaki and Alice Hirose will play Hotaro Oreki and Eru Chitanda respectively in the live-action adaptation of  Honobu Yonezawa novel, Hyoka (氷菓). The said manga was turned into anime in the Spring of 2012 by Kyoto Animation, the same animator who made Beyond the Boundaries (Kyōkai no Kanata) one of my favorites. 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Nov 17-22] The Latest in Japanese live action adaptation [Kento Yamazaki’s Hyoka] + Shota Someya’s Kukai + Mayu Matsuoka and Revisiting the works of Kenichi Matsuyama!”

PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 1 of 4 Parts]

When Kinema Junpou announced their 50 names of actors (under 30) to watch out for, the whole PD community was not surprised. I mean, most of the names have been featured on the site – one way or another. Just take a look at the top 30 hit list [ promising | hottest ] and you’ll notice that most of them are included in the Kinema list.

I’d love to open up the discussion on both those who are already part of our list and those who may be considered “under the radar” since I think we have some exciting names in the Kinema Junpou list that need some research. Here’s the rub: If you’re an editor exposed to all the buzz inside the Japanese entertainment industry, you obviously have the advantage (and disadvantage) since – I really believe – we on the outside has a more ‘objective” look. Then again, that’s debatable of course!

Let’s see…. so we have 50 names!

Continue reading “PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 1 of 4 Parts]”

Japan’s Best Actors – The Hottest List [Top 15; 2016 Edition]

During our first rankings, it was Satoshi Tsumabuki who ruled! Aside from winning Best Actor at the Japan Academy for Villain, Tsumabuki dominated the casting buzz – with back to back roles, including lead roles for My Back Page (with Kenichi Matsuyama), Smuggler and Fly With the Gold. A year later, it was Ryuhei Matsuda’s turn  – he also won Best Actor and had a string of amazing films. On our third year, it was Shota Sometani who dominated the rankings.

Sometani went on to top the rankings 2 years in a row, with Yuya Yagira closing in at 2nd place… This year is very different!

 

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Looking Back & Moving Forward: Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Sosuke Ikematsu, Ryunosuke Kamiki + Masaki Suda, Kento Yamazaki & Johnny’s Yuto Nakajima! [Part 1 of 4 parts]

Last August 2013, PsychoDrama ran a series of articles talking about Shota Sometani and Ryunosuke Kamiki and why they represent the best of their generation. They have a lot of things in common – they both started out as child actors, and while Kamiki also ventured into voice acting, Sometani is regarded as the more “accomplished” of the two. Of course, fans of Kamiki will argue about that. They were in the drama Kokoro no Ito, where Kamiki took the lead role, with Shota played a supporting part. Not really enough to conclude that an acting showdown took place, but fast forward to 2015, they were once again reunited via Bakuman and still no acting showdown. In a recent interview, both actors were reported to be very interested “to act together.” If that happens, we’re in for a celebration!

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In the span of 1 year, I have come to realize that Someya and Kamiki are not the only ones worthy of raves and recognition. Perhaps a more accomplished young actor was already making waves, yet his personal life took a downward turn, thus the hiatus – of course, we’re talking about Yuya Yagira. While it was many years ago that he won Best Actor at Cannes Fest, his recent work speaks volumes of his talent – Unforgiven, Crows Explode, Again, Aoi Honoo, a single episode appearance in Nobunaga Concerto and Gassoh.

Then there’s Sosuke Ikematsu with back to back movies, Pale Moon When I Sense the Sea and Vortex of Love not to mention being a child actor himself. He certainly made waves in 2014, and he ruled that year.

But this year, it’s a Masaki Suda year. I don’t know what sort of role he has yet to play, but he already made waves playing a woman (and beautiful at that), a comatose patient, an assassin/student, a Kamen Rider, an asshole chef apprentice and much more.

Continue reading “Looking Back & Moving Forward: Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Sosuke Ikematsu, Ryunosuke Kamiki + Masaki Suda, Kento Yamazaki & Johnny’s Yuto Nakajima! [Part 1 of 4 parts]”

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