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Nippon Connection 2010: The Blood Of Rebirth Review

17 April 2010 8:24 AM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

[Our thanks go out to Chris MaGee and Marc Saint-Cyr at the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow for sharing their coverage of the 2010 Nippon Connection Film Festival.]

In 2005 director Toshiaki Toyoda was poised to take his career to the next level. At that point only 35-years-old Toyoda had already gained a reputation as one of Japan's most promising filmmakers. Throughout films like "Pornostar (a.k.a. "Tokyo Rampage")", the Taiyo Matsumoto manga adaptation "Blue Spring", and the masterful ensemble prison break film "9 Souls" he showed that he could combine tongue-in-cheek comedy with brutal drama, but by mid-decade he was ready to release a film that would place him alongside the likes of international festival favorites Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hirokazu Kore-eda. "Hanging Garden" was an unblinking look at the disintegration of the Japanese family starring Kyoko Kozumi and Itsuji Itao as parents who demand 100% honesty from each other and their children, but who end up holding damaging secrets from each other. Not since Yoshimitsu Morita's "The Family Game" had a filmmaker presented such a damning llok at the core of Japanse society. »

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