3 items from 2010
“Bare Essence of Life” (a.k.a. “Ultra Miracle Love Story”) is a unique slice of Japanese weirdness, helmed by female writer director Yokohama Satoko, who was previously responsible for the oddly titled comedy “German + Rain”. The film is another decidedly offbeat affair, headlined by popular actor Matsuyama Kenichi, recently in the hit “Death Note” series and “Detroit Metal City”, and who is soon to be seen in the blockbuster live action “Gantz” adaptation. A bizarre mix of romance, comedy, drama and existential ponderings, the film also stars actress Aso Kumiko, following up her role in Satoshji Miki’s delightful, and equally quirky “Instant Swamp”. The film is an authentically local production, taking place in the Aomori prefecture in Northern Japan, of which both Satoko and Kenichi are natives, with him speaking in Tsugaru dialect throughout. The actor plays Yojin, a mentally challenged farmer who spends his days working in »
- James Mudge
Yojin (Kenichi Matsuyama, best known as L in Death Note series) is a twenty five year old man-child living in a rural town in Aomori with his grandmother. He's not dumb. As he describes himself, his brain is wired differently. He is prone to outbursts and childish behavior. Yojin's daily routine begins with half a dozen alarm clocks and schedule written on the white boards in his room, as he forgets things frequently. He listens to his late grandfather's audiotape instructions on how to grow vegetables and follows through rather unsuccessfully and helps out his grandmother to sell her organic vegetables in town.
Everything changes when Matsuko (beautiful Kumiko Aso) arrives in town from Tokyo. She is a sullen kindergarten teacher who lost her boyfriend in a horrible car accident where his head was decapitated and never recovered. She came to Aomori to consult a medium to see if she can still communicate with him. »
Japan Society has posted the full list of films to be screened as part of their Japan Cuts Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema which will take place in NYC from July 1-16, 2010.
Here’s the list. The films marked with an asterisk will be co-presented with the 2010 New York Asian Film Festival.
About Her Brother (2010, North American Premiere, Dir. Yoji Yamada)
Accidental Kidnapper (2009, New York Premiere, Dir. Hideo Sakaki)
Alien vs. Ninja* (2010, World Premiere, Dir. Seiji Chiba)
The Blood of Rebirth* (2009, New York Premiere, Dir. Toshiaki Toyoda)
Boys on the Run* (2010, North American Premiere, Dir. Daisuke Miura)
Confessions* (2010, U.S. Premiere, Dir. Tetsuya Nakashima)
Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World (2004, New York Premiere, Dir. Isao Yukisada)
Electric Button, aka Moon & Cherry (2004, U.S. Premiere, »
3 items from 2010