Tag: japanesecinema

Japan Cuts 2018 Interview: BLEACH Director Sato Shinsuke on Shinigami, Samurai, and Special Effects

In the crowded world of movie adaptations of Japanese manga, Director Sato Shinsuke has carved a high place for himself, helming critically-lauded live-action versions of Gantz, I Am A Hero, 2016’s Death Note, and Inuyashiki.  Sato-san set himself quite a...

Japan Cuts Interview: Cut Above Award Winner Kirin Kiki on Living Life and Art on Her Own Terms

In a career that spans over half a century, Kirin Kiki is the epitome of the late-blooming rose.  From wild, comedic parts early in her career, to the wry, scene-stealing elder roles that won her awards later in life, Kirin-san...

Japan Cuts 2018 Interview: HANAGATAMI Star Kubozuka Shunsuke on a Story of Youth During Wartime

Hanagatami, the latest work from director Obayashi Nobuhiko, is a fever dream of youth during wartime.  Solidly surreal and sweating with sexual tension, the auteur cast his story of teenagers with actors in their twenties, thirties and forties.     At...

Japan Cuts 2018 Interview: KUSHINA Director Hayami Moët, Star Hirota Tomona and DP Muramatsu Ryo Create a Secret World of Women

An invasion of a secret world of women sets the stage for high tension in Director Hayami Moët’s Kushina, what you will be.  At Japan Cuts, director Hayami, star Hirota Tomona, and cinematographer Ryo Muramatsu spoke with LMD about the...

Japan Cuts 2018 Interview: THICKER THAN WATER Director Yoshida Keisuke Talks Sibling Rivalry

In director Yoshida Keisuke’s Thicker Than Water, sibling rivalry lasts far beyond the playground.  At Japan Cuts, director Yoshida spoke with LMD about family ties, jealousy, and sadistically teasing the audience.   The Lady Miz Diva:  As with most of...

Japan Cuts 2018 Interview: Actor/Filmmaker Saitoh Takumi on Life on Both Sides of the Camera With BLANK 13 and RAMEN SHOP

Beginning his career as a model at age 15, Saitoh Takumi has made his mark as an actor, singer, photographer, radio host, and blog writer.    Because he wasn’t busy enough, Saitoh graced the Japan Cuts film festival with a...

Japan Cuts 2018 Interview: DREAM OF ILLUMINATION Director Sawada Thunder, Star Takagawa Yuya, Producer Kitaki Kazuyuki on a Changing Japan

Atmospheric and haunting, director Sawada Thunder’s Dream of Illumination, tells a story of a Japan that is changing, whether it wants to, or not.  At Japan Cuts, Director Sawada, star Takagawa Yuya, and Producer Kitaki Kazuyuki, spoke to me about...

New York Asian 2018 Interview: SEKIGAHARA Director Harada Masato on Filming History Through a Modern Eye

For someone whose filmmaking career began in the 1970s, including such amazing fare as Kamikaze Taxi, Bounce KO Gals, Kakekomi, and The Emperor in August, director Harada Masato is showing no signs of slowing down.    At the New York...

New York Asian 2018 Interview: Breaking Taboos with DYNAMITE GRAFFITI's Director Tominaga Masanori and Star Emoto Tasuku

The New York Asian film Festival 2018 is underway, and its opening salvo is a dive into the porn mag industry of the 1970s and 80s.  Director Tominaga Masanori and actor Emoto Tasuku spoke with LMD about DYNAMITE GRAFFITI, chronicling...

Interview: The Legendary Nakadai Tatsuya on Counterculture Cinema and Japan's Current Nationalism

At 83 years young, Nakadai Tatsuya is one of the lions of the Golden Age of Japanese cinema, still at the top of the bill after over 160 films.  Selling out his recent appearance at New York’s Japan Society, the...

MISS HOKUSAI: New Trailer for US Release of Production I.G.'s Latest

Set in 19th century Edo, Japan. Miss Hokusai blends the magical realism sensibility of Studio Ghibli with Ozu Yasujirô-like framing. Famed artist Tetsuzo, a.k.a. Hokusai Katsushika, and his grown daughter O-Ei form the basis of the tale, but it extends...

Japan Cuts 2016 Interview: Cut Above Award Winner Lily Franky on THE SHELL COLLECTOR

Novelist, illustrator, scriptwriter, radio host, and even as a singer, Lily Franky mastered many arts before his muse called him to become one of Japan’s most popular character actors.  Receiving Japan Cuts’ Cut Above award, Franky spoke with me about...

Japan Cuts 2016 Interview: THE ACTOR Director Yokohama Satoko on Walking the Tightrope Between Art and Entertainment

After her surreal exploration of country life, Bare Essence of Life (aka Ultra Miracle Love Story) screened at Japan Cuts in 2010, director Yokohama Satoko visits this year’s festival with The Actor, a triptastic peek into the mind and soul of...

Japan Cuts 2016 Interview: One Hitoshi on the Mysterious World of Mangaka with BAKUMAN

After his exuberant hit Love Strikes excited the 2012 festival, director One Hitoshi visited Japan Cuts with Bakuman, his rousing and heartfelt take on the mysterious, misunderstood world of the manga artist.  One spoke with me about CG battles and...

New York Asian 2016 Interview: Sakaki Hideo on KIYAMACHI DARUMA, VERSUS and the Rules of Bad Taste

In 2000, Sakaki Hideo made his mark on Japanese cinema by costarring as the ruthless yakuza in the seminal zombie actioner, VERSUS.  Since then, Sakaki has worked steadily in both features and television.  He comes to the New York Asian...

Preview: Japan Cuts 2016, As Dynamic as Ever

Japan Cuts, Japan Society's annual festival of contemporary Japanese cinema, turns 10 this year. What the value of a film festival is may seem easy to talk about in terms of age and program focus. It  can also be hard...

New York Asian 2016 Interview: Ayano Go on Acting, Awards and Otaku

After making his bones on the acting scene for a dozen years, appearing in films by esteemed directors like Sabu, Takashi Miike and Sion Sono, Ayano Go has finally had a breakthrough. His dramatic range and innate ability to transform...

New York Asian 2016 Interview: TWISTED JUSTICE Director Shiraishi Kazuya Talks Corrupt Cops and Comedy

With an attraction to capturing the seamier side of life, director Shiraishi Kazuya came to the New York Asian Film Festival with his darkly comic tale of a corrupt cop, Twisted Justice.  Director Shiraishi spoke with me about his star,...

"Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective": 5 Highlights From a Fantastic Oeuvre

"Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective," screening at Japan Society through December 6, offers a long-overdue (re)introduction to a fascinating and innovative filmmaker, one of the few of his generation still active. He's best known for his 1977 cult classic House, but...

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: Kudoh Youki Talks Working With Jim Jarmusch And THIS COUNTRY'S SKY

From her days as a teenage pop idol, to her unforgettable turn in Jim Jarmusch's landmark, Mystery Train, and being one of the few saving graces in Memoirs of a Geisha, Kudoh Youki has blazed a trail in the international...