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Departures (2008) More at IMDbPro »Okuribito (original title)


2010 | 2009 | 2008

9 items from 2010


The Notable Films of 2011: Part One

13 December 2010 7:39 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Back for its third year (see the 2010 edition) and bigger than ever, today kicks off the first in a fifteen-part look at the various cinematic releases hitting the U.S. in 2011. Each 'part' contains brief descriptions and editorial opinion/analysis of varying length covering twenty films. Expect the remaining ones to go up between now and the first major releases in mid-January.

Like all cinematic lists set within a timeframe, there's some overlap. Some films here have already opened worldwide but have yet to hit the U.S., some upcoming films you'd expect to be here aren't because they're either still in development or have already announced 2012 release dates, some were on last year's list but got delayed so have been included again (but with all new analysis).

I confined my list to films that have either set 2011 release dates or had begun/completed production, and only films that have »

- Garth Franklin

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The Notable Films of 2011: Part One

13 December 2010 7:39 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Back for its third year (see the 2010 edition) and bigger than ever, today kicks off the first in a fifteen-part look at the various cinematic releases hitting the U.S. in 2011. Each 'part' contains brief descriptions and editorial opinion/analysis of varying length covering twenty films. Expect the remaining ones to go up between now and the first major releases in mid-January.

Like all cinematic lists set within a timeframe, there's some overlap. Some films here have already opened worldwide but have yet to hit the U.S., some upcoming films you'd expect to be here aren't because they're either still in development or have already announced 2012 release dates, some were on last year's list but got delayed so have been included again (but with all new analysis).

I confined my list to films that have either set 2011 release dates or had begun/completed production, and only films that have »

- Garth Franklin

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Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Venice Film Festival 2010

3 August 2010 8:32 PM, PDT | Filmofilia | See recent Filmofilia news »

Controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike is a very busy man these days.

13 Assassins

Two new projects for him this year, Zebraman 2 and something that’s already being described as “an epic samurai bloodbath” and the reason why we’re here today movie titled 13 Assassins.

When you’re that busy, then you definitely deserve to have a movie playing In Competition at the Venice Film Festival 2010.

The film is a remake of Eiichi Kudo’s 1963 black-and-white Japanese movie of the same name, and the story follows:

“Esteemed samurai Shinzaemon Shimada is secretly commissioned to terminate the evil Lord Naritsugu after his bloody rise to power. Assembling an elite group of samurai, Shinzaemon plots to ambush the Lord on his annual journey home from Edo.

The courageous samurai know it’s a suicide mission because the Lord is closely protected by a deadly entourage led by Shinzaemon’s nemesis, the ruthless Hanbei. »

- Fiona

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Japan Cuts 2010: Zero Focus Review

11 July 2010 7:00 AM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

I remember watching the 1961 black and white version of Zero Focus a long time ago thinking, 'this needs an update.' The Hitchcockian premise was very intriguing: a man disappears during his business trip leaving his young wife distressed and confused. She travels to the snow country up north to find the missing husband and digs up some ugly past while dead bodies turning up around her. But it was visually bland and lacked any kind of suspense. So it was a nice surprise to see the remake on this year's Japan Cuts line-up.

The film is an epic. It begins with stock footage of the destroyed post-war Japan, then seamlessly moves into the economic-boom era of the 50s with impeccable periodic detail. Director Isshin Inudo here crafted a sumptuous picture of the bygone era Japan seldom seen in contemporary films.

The year is 1957. A naïve, young wife Teiko (Ryoko Hirosue »

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Roger Ebert’s Ebertfest 2010: Pink Floyd The Wall, Apocalypse Now Redux

21 April 2010 8:38 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Alan Parker’s Pink Floyd The Wall (top); Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (middle); Masahiro Motoki in Yojiro Takita’s Oscar-winning Departures (bottom) The 2010 edition of Ebertfest, Roger Ebert’s film festival of overlooked (and not-so-overlooked) movies, kicked off at 7 p.m. this evening with a screening of Alan Parker’s (not-at-all) overlooked Pink Floyd The Wall. (I’m no fan of the film; I was told that to you need to be on acid to appreciate its artistry. I have no intention of ever taking up that suggestion.) Ebertfest 2010 highlights include Roy Andersson’s totally overlooked (in the United States, at least) You, the Living, which consists of dozens of vignettes featuring average people and their oftentimes comic/bizarre problems; Lee Isaac Chung’s Rwanda-set [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Recommendation: Okuribito (Departures) 2008

17 April 2010 2:12 AM, PDT | DearCinema.com | See recent DearCinema.com news »

Departures

Many viewers would be touched by the tale of an aspiring cellist, who accidentally becomes a mortician (an undertaker or a funeral director, to some) when he loses his dream job with a symphony orchestra. Many would even be stupefied by the ingenuity of the filmmakers to pick up a seemingly unique subject such as “encoffinment” as a subject for a feature film. Many others would be in awe of the Asian traditions that respect the dead, the elderly, and the institution of marriage until (and beyond!) “death do us part”. Many others would be equally intrigued by the Asian traditions that consider associating any profession relating to the dead as being somewhat demeaning and not worthy of public stature.

Director Yojiro Takita’s film is loosely based on Aoki Shinmon’s autobiographical book The Coffin Man, which was subsequently adapted for the screen by the scriptwriter Kundo Koyama. »

- Jugu Abraham

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Nippon Connection 2010: Dear Doctor Review

14 April 2010 6:13 PM, 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.]

Osamu Ino (Tsurube Shôfukutei), a small town doctor in rural Japan, has gone missing. Except for a white lab coat found in a nearby field there is no sign of the much loved physician. Police begin to investigate his disappearance, but very quickly they discover that the details of Dr. Ino's life just doesn't add up. First off the locals, mostly senior citizens, people who normally know everyone's business in town, can't agree on what exactly Dr. Ino's background is. Some are certain that his father was a factory owner from Osaka, others say Ino comes from a family of woodworkers in Kyoto. There's also the sense that his colleagues at the local medical clinic, nurse Akemi Otake (Kimiko Yo), young medical intern Keiskue Soma (Eita), as well as phramaceutical rep Saimon (Teruyuki Kagawa), weren't entirely convinced of Dr Ino's skills despite their deep admiration of him. They aren't the »

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[DVD Review] Departures

14 January 2010 7:34 AM, PST | JustPressPlay.net | See recent JustPressPlay news »

Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at last year's Oscars this off-shore indie sleeper is an achingly beautiful portrait of tender reconciliation from a culture where openly venting one's emotions is just not something that you do. Ten years in the making this gentle, drifting drama - the brainchild of it's leading man Masahiro Motoki - dares to question the value of its nation's ultra-conservative social approach and the chokehold people are expected to maintain on their feelings for the sake of appearance. Simply put, life's too short.

Crushed by the disbanding of his Tokyo opera and indebted over his expensive new instrument, disillusioned cellist Diago (Motoki) returns to his provincial home town with his adoring wife Mika (Hirosue) to live in the house his mother left him. Besieged by bad memories Diago finds himself haunted by gradually dissolving memories of the father who skipped out when he was still an infant. »

- Neil Pedley

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New On DVD and Blu-Ray This Week

12 January 2010 2:40 PM, PST | The Flickcast | See recent The Flickcast news »

2010 is in full swing and some really great movies are hitting store shelves this week for the first time and for the first time on Blu-ray. This week’s releases include Moon, Halloween II, Cliffhanger, Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut a Bitch, I Can Do Bad All By Myself and the Blu-ray release of The Hurt Locker (pictured above).

Check out this week’s releases:

Movies

Amreeka ~ Yussuf Abu-Warda, Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat (DVD)

Big Fan ~ Patton Oswalt, Michael Rapaport, Matt Servitto (DVD and Blu-ray)

Cliffhanger ~ Sylvester Stallone (Blu-ray)

Departures ~ Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue (DVD)

8 1/2 (The Criterion Collection) ~ Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale  (Blu-ray)

Halloween II (Unrated Director’s Cut) ~ Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie (DVD and Blu-ray)

I Can Do Bad All By Myself ~ Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson (DVD and Blu-ray)

In the Loop ~ James Gandolfini (DVD and Blu-ray)

The Hurt Locker ~ Ralph Fiennes, »

- Joe Gillis

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2010 | 2009 | 2008

9 items from 2010


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