Press Conference: A Woman And War Director And Cast Talk About Their Controversial War Crimes Movie

A Woman and War (Senso No Hitori No Onna), the debut film from director Junichi Inoue is a bold political statement. As I noted in my review, it criticises the crimes Japan committed overseas during the second world war by following the lives of three damaged people in a struggling Tokyo during the final stages of the war. Noriko Eguchi, who has worked on many independent feature films and is a regular on Japanese television screens, plays a former prostitute who is unable to experience pleasure while making love. Masatoshi Nagase has been acting for 30 years and has worked with Jim Jarmusch on Mystery Train and with director Yoji Yamada on My Sons and The Hidden Blade. Here he plays a disenchanted writer sure...

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Heart, Beating In The Dark

A young couple meet their older selves running from their dark pasts.

Sunichi Nagasaki’s earlier film of the same name, the grungy, experimental tale of a young couple on the run after killing their child, gets a reworking 20 years on, as fresh actors reprise the roles of the central characters with a number of twists.

Toru (Shoichi Honda) and Yuki (Noriko Eguchi) are hiding out in a flat lent to them by Toru’s ex-flame, Ritsuko (Kaori Mizushima), and over one night, holed up in a forbidding, cold and confined space, go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Haunted by...
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Video Home Invasion: Third Window: Nakashima, Sono, and Satoshi

One of the wonderful things about independent home video labels is that they are able to champion individual filmmakers in a way that major studios have no interest in doing.  Arrow Video has taken an interest in giving Argento, Romero, and Fulci their due; while Severin Films had their sights set on making the films of Jess Franco, Walerian Borowcyzk, and Joe D'Amato the credit they deserve.  Third Window Films is also determined to help bring some of their favorite directors some exposure, even if the Western world hasn't yet discovered them.  When I spoke to Third Window's Adam Torel, he gave me three names of filmmakers/auteurs that he really stood behind with his label, and those three are Tetsuya Nakashima, Sion Sono, and Miki Satoshi.  The first two should be names not unfamiliar to many Twitch readers, Nakashima's Kamikaze Girls and Sono's Love Exposure, among others, are some
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Japan Cuts 2010: Electric Button (Moon & Cherry) Review

[Our thanks to Chris Bourne for the following review.]

Yuki Tanada's 2004 erotic comedy/drama Electric Button (Moon and Cherry) is part of this year's Japan Cuts section "Best of Unreleased Naughties." This means, of course, the best unreleased (in Us) Japanese films of the 2000s, but Electric Button is naughty in a very different way.

Tanada's film has been described as a distinctly female perspective on the Japanese genre of pinku eiga ("pink film"), which is a brand of soft-core sex film, but this isn't quite accurate. Yes, there is copious sex in the film, but it isn't as explicit or programmatic as in regular pinku eiga, the conventions of which usually demand five sex scenes per hour at roughly ten-to-fifteen minute intervals.

Electric Button is closer to another genre of Japanese sex film called roman porno, which was similar to pink film but had a more literary, artistic bent and felt less formulaic than many pink films.
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Complete Shinsedai Festival Lineup And Schedule Announced!

A moment here to say a very public well done to Shinsedai Festival organizers Chris MaGee and Jasper Sharp. The complete festival lineup and schedule have been announced today and it's a stellar, diverse lineup of titles. Here's the announcement of the second block of titles:

The anticipation has been building for the past few weeks, but now we are very proud to announce the full line-up and screening schedule for the 2nd annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival taking place at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. Joining the already announced screenings of Kenji Mizoguchi's silent classic "The Water Magician" (with live musical accompaniment by Toronto's Vowls), the Canadian Premiere of Gen Takahashi's police epic "Confessions of a Dog" and the Toronto Premiere of the ward-winning concert documentary "Live Tape" are:

Kakera: A Piece Of Our Life (Toronto Premiere/ Opening Night Film): Haru (Hikari Mitsushima) is a
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Trailer for Kota Yoshida's debut "Coming with My Brother"

Now that Kota Yoshida’s latest film Yuriko’s Aroma has made the rounds, two of his older works, “Coming with My Brother” and “Zo no Namida” are getting a a second shot at domestic distribution.

Coming with My Brother was Yoshida’s first feature-length film. It was produced in 2006 and eventually netted him the Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. Sometime before the event, Kota suffered a cerebral infarction and was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered he had also developed a cerebral anyeurism. After a long rehabilitation process from both ailments, he’s recently returned to pick up where he left off two years ago as an up-and-coming film director specializing in mildly perverse erotic comedy.

In the aptly-titled film, Noriko Eguchi and Nahana play two friends named Nao and Saki who share an apartment in the suburbs of Tokyo. On Nao’s 25th birthday,
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Yosuke Eguchi and Yu Aoi to star in “Yogashiten Coin de Rue”

Earlier today, it was announced that Yosuke Eguchi and Yu Aoi will co-star for the first time in Yogashiten Coin de Rue, a new film directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa (Dear My Love). The title is a mixture of Japanese and French meaning “Corner Pastry Shop”.

Eguchi will play Tomura, a legendary pastry chef who was renowned for his sweets before suddenly dropping out of industry circles 8 years ago. Since then, he’s been giving lectures to confectionery school students while authoring a guidebook as a pastry critic. However, he’s declined all invitations to showcase his abilities at several prestigious shops.

Aoi will play a cake-maker’s daughter who traveled from Kagoshima to Tokyo to chase after a boyfriend. She gets a job at a popular Tokyo shop called “Pastry Coin de Rue” which is run by Yoriko (Keiko Toda) and her husband Julian (Nathan Berg). While there, she gets
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Trailer for "Yuriko no Aroma" starring Noriko Eguchi

Here’s the trailer for Kota Yoshida‘s Yuriko no Aroma, which is being described as an “ero-morous comedy”.

Yoshida’s debut film, “Onee-chan, Otouto to Iku” received the Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. Unfortunately, he suffered a stroke and collapsed right before the ceremony. This film marks his comeback to directing.

Plot: As an aromatherapist, 30-year-old Yuriko (Noriko Eguchi) uses various scents and her skilled hands to heal people of their fatigue. However, she holds a secret which she can’t reveal to anyone: she can’t help but get sexually excited whenever she smells the sweat of 17-year-old Tetsuya (Shota Sometani). To make matters worse, Tetsuya is the nephew of the aroma salon’s owner (Jun Miho). Meanwhile, a client named Ayame (Saori Hara) claims to want to learn about aromatherapy, but instead uses the lesson as an opportunity to press her large breasts up against Yuriko.
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