Tag: japan

Sitges 2021 Review: BELLE

At this stage of his career, I think it's pretty safe to say that Mamoru Hosoda has firmly established himself as one of the best contemporary Japanese animation directors. And he's also no stranger at Sitges, where he has won...

New York 2021 Review: DRIVE MY CAR, Surviver's Guilt, Loneliness and Human Connection

Based on a short story by famed Japanese author Murakami HarukI, from the collections Men Without Women, the film is a skillfully adapted and directed tale of human connection and redemption.

Fantastic Fest 2021 Review: BABY ASSASSINS, Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Akari Takaishi and Saori Izawa star in a killer action comedy, directed by Hugo Sakamoto.

Review: STAR WARS: VISIONS, Undeniably Cool, Undeniably Awesome

The essential anthology series begins streaming Wednesday, September 22 on Disney+.

PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND Interview: Director Sion Sono Talks

In the days of classic Hollywood, directors worked like journeymen, often completing as many as two to three films a year. These days, a successful filmmaker would be lucky to get one made every three years. Yet somehow, for the...

Review: PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND, Leave Sanity at the Door

Nicolas Cage. Sofia Boutella. Sono Sion. Need we say more? Yes.

Fantasia 2021 Review: SATOSHI KON, THE ILLUSIONIST

Watching Pascal-Alex Vincent's summation of Kon Satoshi's work and life and untimely death made me more than a little bit sad. Not because the film is a poor tribute or account of one of the leading lights of Japanese filmmaking,...

SHIROBAKO THE MOVIE Sets U.S. Theatrical Release

Anime fans in the United States now have reason to anticipate August 10. That's when Shirobako The Movie will be unleashed upon discerning theaters nationwide. I freely admit that I know nothing about the manga or anime series, but the...

Interview: RIDE OR DIE's Mizuhara Kiko and Sato Honami Test Cinema Sexuality, Gender Norms

  A combustible erotic tale of two opposites drawn together by a shocking act, Netflix’s Ride Or Die is determined from its outset to push envelopes.    Starring Japan’s It Girl, Dallas-born model, fashion designer/entrepreneur, Mizuhara Kiko, and former Gesu...

Review: A GIRL MISSING, Freedom of Expression

Tsutsui Mariko stars in director Fukada Kôji's piercing character study, now streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Review: ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND, Indie Spirit, Bold Artistry

Director Kenji Iwaisawa's marvelously simple film is virtually a one-man master class in animation and musical independence.

Rotterdam 2021 Review: THE WITCHES OF THE ORIENT Celebrates and Experiments With Sports Proficiency

Julien Faraut's 2018 documentary In the Realm of Perfection worked with the recorded footage of a sporting event to speak about philosophy, image creation, editing and the impetus behind proficient sportsmen and women like John McEnroe, the "protagonist" of the...

Review: EARWIG AND THE WITCH, Agency, Control, and Just a Little Magic

Miyazaki Goro directs Studio Ghibli's first 3DCG animated feature, now streaming on HBO Max.

Busan 2020 Review: SPEED OF HAPPINESS Delivers Soothing Snapshot of a Unique Profession

Documentary filmmaker Park Hyuck-jee, known for the charming documentary With or Without You, is back with his latest non-fiction work, his first to be invited to Busan. Set in the mountainous Oze region of Central Japan, the pleasurable and satisfying...

NOT QUITE DEAD YET Trailer: Bringing Back Dad From the Dead

It's a comedy about bringing back dad from the dead! "The feature debut of TV ad director Shinji Hamasaki." according to Mark Schilling in The Japan Times, Not Quite Dead Yet (original title: Ichido Shinde Mita ) released in Japanese...

New LUPIN III: THE FIRST Teaser Only Faintly Recalls Miyazaki

A new teaser for Lupin III: The First only faintly recalls Miyazaki Hayao's 1979 feature film adaptation, but perhaps that is intentional. Released in Japanese cinemas in December 2019, the film has been acquired by GKids for distribution in the...

Review: WEATHERING WITH YOU, Bringing Sunshine on a Dark Day

Shinkai Makoto's followup to the smash-hit 'Your Name' takes an even more fantastical approach to a coming-of-age tale.

Toronto 2020 Review: UNDER THE OPEN SKY Showcases Another Exceptional Yakusho Koji Performance

At the midpoint of Under The Open Sky, Mikami Masao, the ex-convict at the heart of the story, observes, “Prison is the one place they do not throw you out for bad behaviour.” After several on again off again prison sentences,...

Friday One Sheet: UNDER THE OPEN SKY

Three things stand out about this key art for Nishikawa Miwa's Post-Yakuza drama, Under The Open Sky: One, the small hints of pink go a long way. The small "cosmos flowers" figure into the actual film, physically and metaphorically (they...

Now Streaming: CASTLE IN THE SKY, Where Dreams Come True

Miyazaki Hayao directs a terrific animated adventure, now streaming on HBO Max.