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7 items from 2016


Scorsese, Spielberg, Keanu Reeves, and More Praise a Titan In Trailer for ‘Mifune: The Last Samurai’

21 September 2016 2:07 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

There may be no actor who so forcefully brings budding film lovers into world cinema as Toshiro Mifune, the Japanese wild man who redefined period epics and still puts most action stars to shame. Given the (very) rarified place he occupies in cinema, his enshrinement via documentary is an inevitable thing. While Steven Okazaki didn’t get there first, his Mifune: The Last Samurai appears to have done it well.

With the likes of Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa regular Kôji Yakusho on hand for interviews — as well as narration from Keanu Reeves — the film appears to follow a standard career-and-life walkthrough, admirers and co-workers alike singing his praises while clips and archival photos move us along. (A less-than-glowing review, one of the only published thus far, indicates as much.) So be it: any excuse to revisit his work, even in bite-sized form, is always welcome, and some »

- Nick Newman

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Trailer Watch: Mifune: The Last Samurai

21 September 2016 12:27 PM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

“Mifune’s performance is layered, complex. He studied the movement of lions. He’s like a caged animal,” says Martin Scorsese in the (above) trailer for Mifune: The Last Samurai, the new documentary about Toshiro Mifune, the greatest actor from the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema. Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Steve Okazaki and narrated by Keanu Reeves, Mifune: The Last Samurai features rare archival footage and interviews with Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Koji Yakusho as well as Mifune co-stars Kyoto Kagawa, Haruo Nakajima and Yoshio Tsuchiya. Mifune appeared in nearly 170 films, including Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Red Bear. The film […] »

- Paula Bernstein

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Celluloid Dreams licenses 'Mifune: The Last Samurai' to Strand

11 September 2016 11:15 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The sales company has struck a deal with Strand for Us rights to Steven Okazaki’s documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai.

The film screened at the Venice and Telluride and is narrated by Keanu Reeves with interviews including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Koji Yakusho as well as Mifune co-stars Kyoto Kagawa, Haruo Nakajima and Yoshio Tsuchiya.

Celluloid Dreams has also closed deals for all German-speaking territories with Koch Media and for France with La Rabbia.

Mifune was the greatest actor from the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema who appeared in nearly 170 films.

Some of his most memorable works were in his collaborations with director Akira Kurosawa during the 1950s and 1960s and the documentary focuses on his work on Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne Of Blood andRed Beard. »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Tetsuya Nakashima’s The World of Kanako

10 September 2016 11:46 AM, PDT | AsianMoviePulse | See recent AsianMoviePulse news »

Tetsuya Nakashima, one of the greatest contemporary Japanese filmmakers takes up, once more, the subject of bullying in the school environment, although in a much different fashion than “Confessions,” adapting Akio Fukamatsi’s novel, ” Hateshinaki Kawaki (Kawaki is the original title of the film).

When gorgeous and excellent student Kanako disappears, her mother, Kiriko, asks her ex-husband, Akikazu, to locate her. However, things take a turn for the worse since Akikazu is an ex-cop, who has actually been an irresponsible delinquent all of his life, is now determined to search relentlessly for his daughter. And the word relentlessly, to Akikazu, means that he is willing to act violently towards her classmates, her psychiatrist and the professor in charge of her classroom, all of which are women. During his, filled with alcohol and psychiatric pills, research, he discovers that his daughter has nothing to do with the angelic creature he and »

- Panos Kotzathanasis

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Classic Japanese Movie Review: Shall We Dance? , a beautiful music drama from 1996!

5 September 2016 10:35 PM, PDT | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

1996 came the all time classic from Japan "Shall We Dance?" That was inspired by the classic dance scene from the 50s movie "Anna and the King" but also gave inspiration to the Richard Ghere movie with the same title.    Story: Shohei Sugiyama (Koji Yakusho) is an successful account, married with beautiful Masako Sugiyama (Hideko Hara) and has a beautiful daughter Chikage Sugiyama (played by Ayano Nakamura). Despite a good home and a nice family, Shohei is still unhappy, he has no hobbies, and often prefer to be lonley. One day he see another lonely woman staring outside her window. Who is she? And why do all the people who visit her look happy and dancing? One of them is his boss Tomio Aoki...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »

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New to Streaming: ‘Midnight Special,’ ‘A War,’ ‘The Treasure,’ ‘Le Amiche,’ and More

10 June 2016 6:32 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Boy and the Beast (Mamoru Hosoda)

Two worlds collide once young Kyuta (Shôta Sometani) and warrior Kumatetsu (Kôji Yakusho) meet in Mamoru Hosoda‘s The Boy and the Beast. The former was recently orphaned after his mother’s death (she had divorced his father years ago and her family refuses to get in touch with him), currently working his way towards becoming a solitary street »

- The Film Stage

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[Review] The Boy and the Beast

2 March 2016 2:49 PM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Two worlds collide once young Kyuta (Shôta Sometani) and warrior Kumatetsu (Kôji Yakusho) meet in Mamoru Hosoda‘s The Boy and the Beast. The former was recently orphaned after his mother’s death (she had divorced his father years ago and her family refuses to get in touch with him), currently working his way towards becoming a solitary street urchin full of dark rage aimed at the human race for causing him such pain. The latter is a candidate to replace the Beast Kingdom Jutengai’s lord—a fighter of immense power but little discipline who probably won’t stand a chance against his opponent Iozan (Kazuhiro Yamaji). One needs a father and the other an apprentice. One to learn strength and love while the other discovers humility and patience’s immense value.

It’s all pretty familiar—at the beginning. The film’s first half can get tedious as a result. »

- Jared Mobarak

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7 items from 2016


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