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Two In Tents: Akihiko Shiota's "Wet Woman in the Wind"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Akihiko Shiota's Wet Woman in the Wind (2016), which is receiving an exclusive global online premiere on Mubi, is showing from November 24 - December 24, 2017 as a Special Discovery.Much like Hollywood, the Japanese film industry goes to the well as often as possible once it hits a lucky strike. Such was the case with the so-called Roman Porno films of the 1970s, an infamous genre of sexploitation primarily identified with Japan’s oldest major studio, Nikkatsu. Financial trouble necessitated a popular, inexpensive product, and these softcore numbers were just the ticket. This may have been the studio where Kenji Mizoguchi and Shohei Imamura made films early in their careers, but by 1971 the Roman Porno factory was in full swing, producing quick, cheap, titillating product for an audience hungry for female toplessness and a great deal of convulsive thrusting.
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Rage (2016) by Lee Sang-il

Lee Sang-il has always had a different, unique approach in his films, as the fact that he is Zainichi Korean allows him to combine elements from both Japanese and Korean cinema. This trait became obvious in “Villain”, but it is in “Rage” that it finds its apogee.

“Rage” was part of the program of the New York Asian Film Festival,

The intricate story is based on the homonymous novel by Shuchi Yoshida, (who also wrote the book that “Villain” was based upon), and uses a gruesome murder, that receives much publicity as it is investigated by the police, as its base, before it splits into three different settings.

The first one takes place in Chiba where Yohei Maki rescues his daughter Aiko, from a life as a sex worker. As both of them try to heal from the wounds of the past and to face public prejudice, Aiko starts having
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

'Japan Now' to Showcase Four Local Actresses at Tokyo Film Fest

'Japan Now' to Showcase Four Local Actresses at Tokyo Film Fest
The Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) will showcase films starring local actresses Sakura Ando, Yu Aoi, Hikari Mitsushima and Aoi Miyazaki in its Japan Now section.

Ando came to the attention of audiences in Sion Sono's Love Exposure (2008) and starred in 100 Yen Love, Japan's foreign-language Oscar entry in 2015. Mitsushima also appeared in Love Exposure, as well as Death Note (2006).

Aoi made her debut in Shunji Iwai's All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001) and won best supporting actress at the Japan Academy Prize awards for Hula Girls (2007). Miyazaki has appeared in numerous films, including Chronicles of My...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Tokyo festival announces four 'Muses' for 30th anniversary edition

  • ScreenDaily
Tokyo festival announces four 'Muses' for 30th anniversary edition
Sakura Ando, Yu Aoi, Hikari Mitsushima and Aoi Miyazaki to be feted.

Tokyo International Film Festival is highlighting the work of four Japanese actresses – Sakura Ando, Yu Aoi, Hikari Mitsushima and Aoi Miyazaki – in this year’s Japan Now section.

The highlight, ‘Muses of Japanese Cinema’, is one of the special programmes that the festival is planning to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The four actresses have won acclaim in recent years for the high standard of their work, collaborations with renowned directors and increasing international status.

Ando won multiple awards for 2015 releases 0.5 mm and 100 Yen Love, while Aoi’s credits include Over the Fence (2016) and Japanese Girls Never Die (2016).

Mitsushima gained worldwide attention in Sion Sono’s Love Exposure (2009) and recently starred in Traces Of Sin (2017). Miyazaki’s recent credits include Sang-il Lee’s Rage (2016) and Yasuhiro Yoshida’s Birthday Card (2016).

In addition to screenings of films featuring the selected actresses, Tokyo will host
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Actress Quartet in Focus for 30th Tokyo Film Festival

Actress Quartet in Focus for 30th Tokyo Film Festival
Four female talents have been selected to star in the Japan Now section of the Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival is this year celebrating its 30th edition.

Actresses, Sakura Ando, Yu Aoi, Hikari Mitsushima and Aoi Miyazaki, will fly the flag for the home nation. The festival describes the quartet as “the muses of Japanese cinema,” and said that they had been selected for “the powerful sparks they generate on screen, their collaborations with directors, and their increasing international stature.” Previously the section has been dedicated to (male) directors including Masato Harada and Shunji Iwai.

Sakura Ando has appeared in Sion Sono’s “Love Exposure” and Yang Yonghi’s “Our Homeland.” Yu Aoi marked her feature film debut with Shunji Iwai’s “All About Lili Chou Chou,” and won awards with her role in Lee Sang-il’s “Hula Girls.” Hikari Mitsushima gained worldwide attention for her performance in Sion Sono
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Godzilla Resurgence' Wins Big at 40th Japan Academy Prize Awards

'Godzilla Resurgence' Wins Big at 40th Japan Academy Prize Awards
Godzilla Resurgence (Shin Godzilla) was the big winner, with seven victories, at the 40th Japan Academy Prize awards on Friday, beating out Makoto Shinkai's anime Your Name, which took three awards.

Godzilla Resurgence won best picture, while Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi jointly took the best director award for their work together on the Toho reboot of the iconic monster franchise.

In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni), won the best animated award in an upset win over mega-hit anime Your Name, which won technical awards and best soundtrack.

Best actress went to Aoi Miyazaki for...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

29th Nikkan Sports Film Awards

The 29th ceremony took place on December, 28 at the New Otani Hotel, in Tokyo and the list of winners is:

Best Film: 64: Part 1 (Takahisa Zeze)

Best Director: Makoto Shinkai (Your Anme)

Best Actor: Koichi Sato (64: Part 1)

Best Actress: Rie Miyazawa (Her Love Boils Bathwater )

Best Supporting Actor: Satoshi Tsumabuki (Rage, Museum)

Best Supporting Actress: Aoi Miyazaki (Rage, If Cats Disappeared from the World)

Best International Film: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

New Face Award: Kasumi Arimura (Nanimono, Natsumi’s Firefly)

Yujiro Ishihara Award: Dangerous Cops: Final 5 Days (Toru Murakawa)

Toru Murakawa Kasumi Arimura Rie Miyazawa
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Toronto Film Review: ‘Rage’

Returning to the aftermath-of-a-crime ensemble terrain of his well-received 2010 “Villain,” which was also adapted from a novel by Shuichi Yoshida, Sang-il Lee’s “Rage” is an astute mixture of multi-strand drama and murder mystery that engrosses for two solid hours. Unfortunately, at that point it collapses into a last-act puddle of bathos — in which virtually every major character must have a hysterical sobbing or just-plain-hysterical scene to unleash all hitherto suppressed emotions. This climactic sentimental overkill may go down well with Japanese audiences, but will only hobble an otherwise worthy film’s prospects farther afield.

A grisly crime scene at the beginning raises expectations for a serial-killer story that does not, in fact, emerge. Nonetheless, police remain fixated on the shocking slaying of an ordinary suburban married couple in their home, with few clues to go on beyond the killer etching the titular word in blood on a door. They do have a primary suspect,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ken Watanabe Stars in Japanese Thriller, Rage

With the Toronto International Film Festival just around the corner, the debut trailer for Japanese superstar Ken Watanabe’s latest offering, Rage (Ikari), has landed with an almighty splash.

Directed by Lee Sang-il (Unforgiven, Hula Girls), Rage tells a the story of a single brutal murder whose complex and sinister threads reach deep into the lives of a number of different people across three different cities in Japan. The trailer below sets the tone of the film, with shots of cryptic messages painted in blood onto the wall effectively off-setting the colorful backdrops of Japan’s southern islands and vibrant nightclubs.

Joining Ken Watanabe (Inception, The Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima) are a number of up and coming Japanese acting talents, including Aoi Miyazaki (The Great Passage, Wolf Children), Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Assassin) and Mirai Moriyama (The Drudgery Train).

This will be
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Wgtc Trailer Roundup #1 – Arrival, Hands Of Stone, Moana And More

Wgtc Trailer Roundup #1 - Arrival, Hands Of Stone, Moana And More 1 of 28

Click to skip Welcome To Wgtc's Trailer Roundup!

Welcome to the very first edition of Wgtc's weekly Trailer Roundup, where we'll be bringing you all the hottest movie and television trailers, clips, TV spots and more!

In this edition, we cover Morgan, Mechanic: Resurrection, American Horror Story, Arrival and Macgyver, among others. Take a look through and check back next week for more.

Arrival Trailer #1

Release Date: November 11th, 2016

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Hidden Figures Trailer #1

Release Date: January 13th, 2017

Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Rules Don't Apply Trailer #1

Release Date: November 23, 2016

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Haley Bennett, Lily Collins, Steve Coogan, Alden Ehrenreich, Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris

Same Kind Of Different As Me Trailer #1

Release Date: February 3rd, 2017

Cast: Renée Zellweger, Jon Voight, Djimon Hounsou

Moonlight Trailer #1

Release Date: October 21st,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Junji Sakamoto’s A Chorus of Angels

Junji Sakamoto's A Chorus of AngelsSTORY75%ACTING75%DIRECTING75%VISUALS86%SOUND85%POSITIVESGreat story and directionSayuri Yoshinaga's performanceMagnificent cinematography and soundNEGATIVESA bit too melodramatic at moments2016-03-2879%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)64%

Another excellent sample of Japanese filmmaking, “A Chorus of Angels” implements all the distinct characteristics of the country’s cinema, while excelling at the technical department, with magnificent sound and cinematography, and the awards from the Japanese Academy for Best Music Score, Cinematography and Lighting being utterly justified.

Based on the short story “Ni-jyu Nian Go no Shyukudai” from the “Oufuku Shokan” collection by Kanae Minato (Confessions), the film revolves around Haru Kawashima, a retired school teacher, who currently works as a librarian, the six students (3 boys and 3 girls) she had when she was teaching in a remote village in Hokkaido 20 years before, the chorus they have assembled, an accident that brought their relationship to demise, and a number
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Toho launches sales on 'Rage' at Efm

  • ScreenDaily
Toho launches sales on 'Rage' at Efm
Exclusive: Japanese suspense drama stars Ken Watanabe.

Japanese studio Toho is launching sales on Lee Sang-il’s [pictured] suspense drama Rage, which features a stellar cast including Ken Watanabe, at the Efm.

Based on a novel by Shuichi Yoshida, the film revolves around three couples who become suspicious of people they have recently befriended, following a brutal double murder in a Tokyo satellite city.

In addition to Watanabe (The Last Samurai), the strong ensemble cast also includes Kenichi Matsuyama (Norwegian Wood), Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Assassin), Mirai Moriyama (Love Strikes), Go Ayano (The Light Shines Only There), Suzu Hirose (Our Little Sister) and Aoi Miyazaki (Eureka).

Currently in post-production, the film is being lined up for a summer 2016 release in Japan. Lee Sang-il previously worked with Watanabe on the Japanese version of Unforgiven and his credits also include Hula Girls (2006) and Villain (2010).

Toho’s slate also includes its new reboot of the iconic Godzilla franchise, Shin [link=tt
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Film Review: ‘The Boy and the Beast’

One lucky human will decide which of two anthropomorphic (m)animals — unruly ursine Kumatetsu or his well-behaved, half-boar rival Iozen — gets to rule an exclusive parallel realm in “The Boy and the Beast,” the latest hyper-imaginative anime marvel from “Wolf Children” director Mamoru Hosoda. While Studio Ghibli maestro Hayao Miyazaki shifts his attention to CG and short-form toons, Hosoda (who’d been attached to direct “Howl’s Moving Castle” at an early stage) nobly forges ahead with the labor-intensive art of hand-drawn animation, serving up an action-packed buddy movie that strategically combines several of Japanese fans’ favorite ingredients: conflicted teens, supernatural creatures and epic battles. Although only festival auds and genre devotees will show much interest abroad, locals have flocked to see how Hosoda has supercharged elements of “Digimon” (the series where he first gained notice) to deliver his highest-grossing domestic hit to date.

Whereas “Digimon” was rightly criticized for being an opportunistic “Pokemon” rip-off,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hk FilMart: Toho Shows Claws With Internet Fantasy Novel Adaptation ‘Cats’

Hk FilMart: Toho Shows Claws With Internet Fantasy Novel Adaptation ‘Cats’
Takeru Sato (“Rurouni Kenshin”) and Japanese actress Miyazaki Aoi (“The Chart of Love”) star in “If Cats Disappeared From the World,” a fantasy film that is an adaptation of a popular Internet novel. The film is the only new title being pitched at FilMart by Toho, Japan’s leading film conglomerate.

Akira Nagai (“Judge!”) directed and Kei Haruna (“Crying Out for Love in the Center of the World”) produced.

The story features a terminally ill postman who hears a devil telling him that he can live another day if he eliminates one thing from the world. The original novel was written by film producer Genki Kawamura and published on Line, the instant messaging application that is currently the largest social network in Japan.

Now in post-production, “Cats” shot in Hokkaido, Japan, and Buenos Aires. Toho will handle local Japanese distribution at an undetermined date next year, as well as representing international sales.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Japan's Toho brings 'Cats' to Filmart

  • ScreenDaily
Japan’s Toho Company is launching sales on If Cats Disappeared From The World at Hong Kong Filmart.

Directed by Akira Nagai (Judge!), the film stars Takeru Sato (Ruroni Kenshin) and Aoi Miyazaki (The Great Passage, The Chart of Love).

Screenwriter Yoshikazu Okada (Be With You) is adapting the story from the bestselling novel by Genki Kawamura, producer of films such as Trainman, Parasyte and Confessions.

If Cats Disappeared From The World follows a postman with a cat who finds out he has a brain tumor and is told by a devil that he needs to eliminate a variety of things from the world if he wants to live longer.

Currently in production, the film is produced by Kei Haruna (Crying Out Love In The Center Of The World).
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Wolf Children Blu-ray Review

Director: Mamoru Hosoda,

Starring: Aoi Miyazaki, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Takao Osawa, David Matranga, Haru Kuroki, Jad Saxton, Yukito Nishii, Micah Solusod, Amon Kabe, Alison Viktorin, Momoka Ono, Lara Woodhull, Takuma Hiraoka, Jason Liebert,

Running Time: 117 Minutes

Certificate: 12

When you consider that Mamoru Hosoda started his directorial career with Digimon, then it’s kind of surprising that the man is now considered the deserved successor to the Miyazaki throne. Hososa has already crafted two spectacular animations in the form of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, with his latest, Wolf Children, being every bit as remarkable as his previous work. Taking on a werewolf love story, the actual romance is dispensed with early on through tragic and ambiguous circumstances. This is a love story between a mother and her two children, as well as exploring the different paths children take in the course of their lives.

Hana is a
See full article at The Hollywood News »

A Chorus of Angels (2012) Movie Review

The past comes back to haunt and heal in Japanese drama “A Chorus of Angels”, directed by Sakamoto Junji (“Children of the Dark”) and based on the work by bestselling author Minato Kanae, whose “Confessions” was recently brought to the screen in stunning fashion by Nakashima Tetsuya. Adapted from the short story “Ni-jyu Nian Go no Shyukudai” from the “Oufuku Shokan” collection, the film revolves around the relationship between a former teacher and her now-grown up students, who are bound together by a dark secret. The film is particularly notable for the presence of actress Yoshinaga Sayuri, a legend in the industry and hugely popular since her teen roles back in the 1960s for the Nikkatsu studio, backed here by an impressive cast of younger talent, including Miyazaki Aoi (“In His Chart”), Mitsushima Hikari (“Love Exposure”), Koike Eiko (“Penance”), Mirai Moriyama (“The Drudgery Train”) and Matsuda Ryuhei (“Phone Call to the Bar
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

The Selfish Giant, Bad Grandpa, Ender's Game: this week's new films

The Selfish Giant | Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa | Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs | Ender's Game | Wolf Children | One Chance | Closed Circuit | Le Skylab | Muscle Shoals

The Selfish Giant (15)

(Clio Barnard, 2013, UK) Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder. 91 mins

In the tradition of Kes, or Fish Tank, this offers a child's-eye view of poverty that's too strong for real-life kids of the same age. Despite the fairytale origins, miracles are in short supply in this Bradford suburb, where two drop-out mates scavenge for opportunities. But the balance between harsh realism and mythical lyricism is beautifully struck, and the two leads really are miraculous.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (15)

(Jeff Tremaine, 2013, Us) Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll. 92 mins

Old-suited Knoxville and his "grandson" take to the road for Borat-style pranks.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (U)

(Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn, 2013, Us) Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte. 95 mins

Food/fauna surrealism part
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Film Review: ‘The Great Passage’

Film Review: ‘The Great Passage’
At once accessibly humanist and endearingly nerdy, suffused with a deep love of language and a quiet awe at the possibilities of human collaboration, “The Great Passage” tells a gently absorbing story about a team of editors who spend 15 years writing and compiling a new Japanese dictionary. Previously known for his quirky indie efforts “Sawako Decides” and “Mitsuko Delivers,” director Yuya Ishii takes a considerable step forward in terms of budget and ambition with this simple, sometimes sentimental yet wise and full-bodied comedy-drama, which movingly testifies to the ways in which dedication, focus and an extreme attention to detail can achieve something of lasting value.

Well attended at home, the film stands to court a measure of offshore attention after having been selected as Japan’s official Oscar selection in the foreign-language film category. And while its 133-minute running time could make it something of a tricky arthouse proposition, the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscars: Japan Nominates 'The Great Passage' in Foreign Language Category

Oscars: Japan Nominates 'The Great Passage' in Foreign Language Category
Tokyo – The Great Passage (Fune o Amu), starring Ryuhei Matsuda and Miyazaki Aoi, a love story about a dictionary compiler, will be Japan’s representative in the best foreign language film category at the 86th Academy Awards. The selection of the movie was announced on Thursday. Matsuda (Taboo) plays a struggling salesman who lands the job of editing a 240,000-word dictionary, the Daitokai -- The Great Passage of the English title. After falling for his landlady's daughter (Aoi), he is asked by the chief editor to write a definition of the word "love." Ishii, 30, is best known

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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