7 items from 2016
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Journey to the ShoreSTORY75%ACTING80%DIRECTION80%VISUALS75%MUSIC75%POSITIVESArt-house film at its bestGreat script, direction and actingVery beautiful technical, although in minimalistic and realistic fashionNEGATIVESNot for fans of mainstream cinema or action films2016-05-0777%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)75%
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Director award in Cannes, this film confirms Kurosawa’s place as a master of drama films, after his already established status in the horror genre.
Mizuki, a young piano teacher, returns home after work and sets about her regular, melancholic routine. Eventually, Yusuke, her dead husband appears in the apartment unexpectedly, a fact that does not seem to scare or surprise her.Instead, she acts as if she expected his return, gets him something to eat, and begins asking about the three years since his death. Subsequently, she embarks with him on a journey through all of the places he has wandered, »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
More that 1,100 of similar soft-core productions were released in theaters during the 70’s and 80’s by Nikkatsu, which helped to launch the careers of filmmakers like Masayuki Suo (Shall we Dance?, The Terminal Trust), Takashi Ishii (Gonin), Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Tokyo Sonata, Journey to the Shore), Yojiro Takita (Departures), Koji Wakamatsu (Endless Waltz, United Red Army, Caterpillar) and many more.
The main reason so many directors chose the particular genre was due to the complete artistic freedom given to the them after they have met four criteria:
The film must have a required minimum quota of sex scenes (supposedly a sex scene every five minutes, although this rule was never strictly met) The film must be approximately one hour in duration. It must be filmed on 16 mm or 35 mm film within one week. The film must be made on a very limited budget (about $35,000)
The films were commecially successes and »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
Not since “Bad Boy Bubby” has plastic wrap been put to such scary use on screen as it is in “Creepy,” Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s nail-biting thriller dominated by a psychopath who exerts a malevolent hold on his neighbors. Ostensibly a character study of skin-crawling weirdness, the film finds the Nipponese chiller-maestro exploring his favorite themes of familial discord and communication breakdown. But while some critics have hailed the pic as a return to Kurosawa’s earlier “straight” horror films, like “Pulse” or “Cure,” it in fact represents a conscious move away from past phantasmagoric stylizations to evoke the horrors of modern existence in plain sight and form. The result should creep into nearly every niche for Asian genre films.
Kurosawa shares writing credits with quirky indie helmer Chihiro Ikeda in this adaptation of Yutaka Maekawa’s award-winning mystery novel. As with “Penance,” working from an original literary source has helped »
- Maggie Lee
With the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival wrapping up this week, we’ve highlighted our five favorite films from the slate. Make sure to stay tuned in the coming months as we learn about distribution news for the titles. Check out our favorites below, followed by our complete coverage, and one can see the winners here.
Creepy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
One has to appreciate Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s winking self-awareness in calling his new feature Creepy. It’s as if the Coen brothers released a film entitled Snarky, or Eli Roth named his next stomach-churner Gory. Kurosawa, who’s still best known for Cure (1997) and Pulse (2001), two rare outstanding examples of the highly variable J-Horror genre, instills a sense of creepiness into virtually anything he does, regardless of subject matter. His latest, which sees him return to the realm of horror after excursions into more arthouse territory, certainly lives up to its name »
- TFS Staff
One has to appreciate Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s winking self-awareness in calling his new feature Creepy. It’s as if the Coen brothers released a film entitled Snarky, or Eli Roth named his next stomach-churner Gory. Kurosawa, who’s still best known for Cure (1997) and Pulse (2001), two rare outstanding examples of the highly variable J-Horror genre, instills a sense of creepiness into virtually anything he does, regardless of subject matter. His latest, which sees him return to the realm of horror after excursions into more arthouse territory, certainly lives up to its name and has a lot of fun doing so.
In the excellent, mood-setting opening, we’re introduced to Koichi (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a brilliant detective with an ill-fated fascination for psychopaths. As he interrogates a young and cheerfully remorseless serial killer, he can barely contain his excitement at being able to probe such a compelling subject. His smug over-confidence results »
- Giovanni Marchini Camia
Grammy Award nominee Christina Milian has joined the cast of Fox's The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Magenta. Milian will play the castle's compliant maid, who, along with her brother, Riff Raff, plots a secret plan to return to their native planet of Transsexual. Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful) has already been cast has Riff Raff.
Previously announced cast members include Laverne Cox (Dr. Frank-n-Furter, Orange Is the New Black), Victoria Justice (Janet, Victorious), Ryan McCartan (Brad, Liv and Maddie), Adam Lambert (Eddie, Glee), Staz Nair (Rocky, Game of Thrones), Annaleigh Ashford (Columbia, Sylvia, You Can't Take It With You, Masters of Sex) and Tim Curry, the original Frank-n-Furter, who returns as the show's Criminologist Narrator. It isn't known how many other major characters are left to be cast. Fox hasn't announced when the remake may debut on the network.
A reimagining of the cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show »
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa is set to unveil two films in 2016 (the other snagged our #80 slot on this list). One of these is Creepy, an adaptation of a celebrated novel by Yukata Maekawa. What’s most exciting is the film marks Kurosaw’s return to genre filmmaking, where he made his indelible mark with such items as the genuinely eerie Cure (1997) and Pulse (2001). Kurosawa often blend existential ennui into supernatural or sci-fi narratives, which don’t always seem to spellbind. This latest is a mystery thriller about an ex-detective asked by an old colleague to look into a six year old missing person’s case. Meanwhile, he also moves into a new residence with his wife, and their next door neighbor consists of a man, his ailing wife, and their teenage daughter. One day, the daughter jumps into the detective’s »
- Nicholas Bell
7 items from 2016
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