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Tokyo: Shinzo Abe, Meryl Streep kick off festival

Tokyo: Shinzo Abe, Meryl Streep kick off festival
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe jostled for the spotlight with Meryl Streep at the opening night of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

Fresh off his surprise turn as Super Mario at the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics, Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe once again pulled the red carpet out from under the stars at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff).

Standing between cinematic legend Meryl Streep and Death Note actor Kenichi Matsuyama, Shinzo Abe kicked off the opening of the 29th edition of the festival by praising Streep for her portrayal of late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 2011’s The Iron Lady.

“’I have done battle every day of my life’, that’s a line I clearly remember from the film,” the conservative lawmaker told Streep.

Abe later wise-cracked, saying that he wanted to see the latest installment of the Godzilla series, but his wife Akie regretfully informed him that the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker coming to DVD

The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker

A film by Yoshihiro Nakamura (Fish Story, Golden Slumber)

Starring: Eita (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, Memories of Matsuko)

Gaku Hamada (Fish Story, Space Brothers)

Ryuhei Matsuda (Nightmare Detective, Blue Spring, Gohatto)

Japan / 2007 / 110 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour / 35mm

Out on DVD January 11th, 2013

DVD Special Features:

35 minute ‘Making Of’, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer

College student Shiina (Gaku Hamada from Fish Story) has just moved into his new flat in Sendai. Meets his new neighbour Kawasaki (Eita from Hara Kiri: Death of a Samurai) Excluding both the tremendous physical and psychological differences between both characters, an unexpected friendships grows up out of a mutual interest in Bob Dylan.

The rigid and predictable Shiina is dragged by the magnetism of Kawasaki’s looney world of anarchy and creativity. Kawasaki’s crazy ideas, like his paranoia about pet
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Win Battle of the Pacific on DVD

This past Monday (June 11th) saw the UK DVD release of Hideyuki Hirayama's war drama Battle of the Pacific (Japanese: Taiheiyou no kiseki: Fokkusu to yobareta otoko), and we have three copies of the film to give away to our readers courtesy of the fine folk at Arrow Films.

Read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter this competition...

Four months after the hostilities of WWII officially ceased, Capt. Sakae Oba (Aka The Fox) and a loyalist band of Japanese soldiers entrenched themselves on Mt. Tapochau and continued fighting a guerrilla campaign. Meanwhile, a U.S. officer, determined to flush out him out of his mountain hideaway, sets about his seemingly simple objective.

Strengthened by several hundred civilians who refuse to enter camps or follow suicide directives, Oba and his people fight on, unable to come to terms with an unthinkable defeat.

With epic battle scenes reminiscent of Tora!
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

DVD Review: 'Battle of the Pacific'

★★☆☆☆ Japanese director Hideyuki Hirayama offers audiences Battle of the Pacific (2011) - a flawed, but at times moving, account of a group of Japanese soldiers in Saipan at the end of WWII who continue to fight on even after their emperor has surrendered. Hiayama's film is better known amongst Asian audiences as Oba: The Last Samurai, a title that more accurately summarises the plot.

Read more »
See full article at CineVue »

DVD Review: Battle of the Pacific

Battle Of The Pacific

Stars: Sean McGowan, Daniel Baldwin, Treat Williams, Matthew R. Anderson, Yutaka Takenouchi | Written by Takuya Nishioka, Gregory Marquette, Cellin Gluck | Directed by Hideyuki Hirayama

Four months after the hostilities of WWII officially ceased, Capt. Sakae Oba (aka The Fox) and a loyalist band of Japanese soldiers entrenched themselves on Mt. Tapochau and continued fighting a guerrilla campaign. Meanwhile, a U.S. officer, determined to flush out him out of his mountain hideaway, sets about his seemingly simple objective. Strengthened by several hundred civilians who refuse to enter camps or follow suicide directives, Oba and his people fight on, unable to come to terms with an unthinkable defeat.

Much like Clint Eastwood’s Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, Battle of the Pacific is a war movie told from the perspective of both sides of the battle – in this case the Japanese and the American’s.
See full article at Nerdly »

Battle Of The Pacific – DVD Review

As Us forces sweep across the Pacific towards the end of WWII, the island of Saipan becomes a stronghold for a small but resolute band of Japanese soldiers under the leadership of Captain Oba, aka The Fox. Although vastly outnumbered, they dig in, unaware of (and ultimately refusing to believe) the fate that is befalling their countrymen elsewhere.

*****

Clint Eastwood tackled the idea of telling the same story from two different perspectives in his widely lauded Flags Of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Battle Of The Pacific tries the same job but within the confines of a single film and in fairness, relatively successfully so. Although the director is credited as Hideyuki Hirayama, he used two entirely separate filming units for the respectively Us and Japanese-focussed segments in order to better communicate their different mind-sets.

Initially, this seems to be a strategy doomed to failure. For the first
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Japan Cuts 2011: Sword Of Desperation Review

If you're a fan of chanbara dramas--those sensitive, occasionally weepy samurai films that pop up every year or so--then you've probably already seen director Hideyuki Hirayama' Sword of Desperation. Well, if not the actual film, then some configuration of it in this subgenre populated with reluctant, but expert swordsmen, unrequited love, and feudal intrigues that threaten to destroy the salt-of-the-Earth poor and the noble middle class. I won't knock Sword of Desperation for over-familiarity--it's a genre that done well, I love and when done expertly, I'll allow to break my heart a little bit. I think Yôji Yamada's Twilight Samurai is the peak of the form. And now that I'm starting to talk about other films, I realize that I should really say something about...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Full trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama's "Oba: The Last Samurai"

The official website for Hideyuki Hirayama’s upcoming World War II film Oba: The Last Samurai has been updated with a full trailer.

Inspired by a novel authored by former U.S. soldier Don Jones, the film focuses on a Japanese captain named Sakae Oba, aka “Fox” (Yutaka Takenouchi) who leads on of the last remaining units in Saipan. Oba and his troops employed guerrilla tactics to hold out against overwhelming odds before finally surrendering in December 1945, 3 months after Japan had surrendered to Us forces.

Other cast members include Toshiaki Karasawa, Takayuki Yamada, Tomoko Nakajima, Mao Inoue, Yoshinori Okada, Sadao Abe, Hideyuki Hirayama, and Bengal. Sean McGowan, Treat Williams, and Daniel Baldwin play American soldiers.

Toho will be releasing “Oba: The Last Samurai” in Japan on February 11, 2011.

Thanks logboy and cinemaasia.
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

New trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama's "Shin-san: Tanko-machi no Serenade"

A new 1-minute trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama’s Shin-san: Tanko-machi no Serenade has been uploaded to the film’s YouTube channel. The new trailer is not all that different from the original trailer, but the film itself seems worth re-mentioning.

Plot: In 1963, Michiyo Tsujiuchi (Koyuki) returns to her coal mining hometown in Fukuoka with her elementary school-aged son, Mamoru. One day, Mamoru is being harassed by a group of rowdy kids when he’s suddenly rescued by a notorious tough boy named Shinichi, aka Shin-san. Shin-san’s parents died when he was young, leaving him to be neglected and treated like a nuisance by his remaining relatives ever since. When Shin-san meets Michiyo, her kindness gives him the feeling of a mother’s love for the first time in years and he develops a fondness for her that remains as he grows up. Based on a novel by Tomoki Tsujiuchi.
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

New trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama's "Shin-san: Tanko-machi no Serenade"

A new 1-minute trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama’s Shin-san: Tanko-machi no Serenade has been uploaded to the film’s YouTube channel. The new trailer is not all that different from the original trailer, but the film itself seems worth re-mentioning.

Plot: In 1963, Michiyo Tsujiuchi (Koyuki) returns to her coal mining hometown in Fukuoka with her elementary school-aged son, Mamoru. One day, Mamoru is being harassed by a group of rowdy kids when he’s suddenly rescued by a notorious tough boy named Shinichi, aka Shin-san. Shin-san’s parents died when he was young, leaving him to be neglected and treated like a nuisance by his remaining relatives ever since. When Shin-san meets Michiyo, her kindness gives him the feeling of a mother’s love for the first time in years and he develops a fondness for her that remains as he grows up. Based on a novel by Tomoki Tsujiuchi.
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

TV spot for "Oba: The Last Samurai"

Here’s the first Japanese TV spot for Hideyuki Hirayama‘s upcoming World War II film Oba: The Last Samurai.

As reported by Tokyograph back in May, the film stars 39-year-old Yutaka Takenouchi as a Japanese captain known as “Fox” who fights relentlessly against American forces near the end of the war, even though defeat is all but assured.

The story was inspired by a novel authored by former U.S. soldier Don Jones which focused on Japanese captain Sakae Oba. Oba led one of the last remaining units in Saipan and employed guerrilla tactics to hold out against overwhelming odds before finally surrendering in December 1945, 3 months after Japan had surrendered to Us forces.

Other cast members include Toshiaki Karasawa, Takayuki Yamada, Tomoko Nakajima, Mao Inoue, Yoshinori Okada, Sadao Abe, Hideyuki Hirayama, and Bengal. Sean McGowan, Treat Williams, and Daniel Baldwin play American soldiers.

Toho will be releasing “Oba: The Last Samurai
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

TV spot for "Oba: The Last Samurai"

Here’s the first Japanese TV spot for Hideyuki Hirayama‘s upcoming World War II film Oba: The Last Samurai.

As reported by Tokyograph back in May, the film stars 39-year-old Yutaka Takenouchi as a Japanese captain known as “Fox” who fights relentlessly against American forces near the end of the war, even though defeat is all but assured.

The story was inspired by a novel authored by former U.S. soldier Don Jones which focused on Japanese captain Sakae Oba. Oba led one of the last remaining units in Saipan and employed guerrilla tactics to hold out against overwhelming odds before finally surrendering in December 1945, 3 months after Japan had surrendered to Us forces.

Other cast members include Toshiaki Karasawa, Takayuki Yamada, Tomoko Nakajima, Mao Inoue, Yoshinori Okada, Sadao Abe, Hideyuki Hirayama, and Bengal. Sean McGowan, Treat Williams, and Daniel Baldwin play American soldiers.

Toho will be releasing “Oba: The Last Samurai
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Full trailer for "Hisshiken Torisashi" starring Etsushi Toyokawa

Toei has released a longer trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama‘s Hisshiken Torisashi, the latest in a long line of film adaptations of stories by the late Shuhei Fujisawa. This particular film is based on a short story taken from Fujisawa’s “Hidden Blade” series, a compilation of stories which involve a character (not always the protagonist) mastering a secret sword technique to be unleashed on his enemies later on.

Etsushi Toyokawa stars as Kanemi Sanzaemon, a skilled swordsman and the tending president of the Unasaka clan. Three years ago, he dealt with a case of misgovernment by murdering a former prostitute named Renko (Megumi Seki) who was abusing the influence she had gained by becoming the mistress of a powerful daimyo (Jun Murakami). However, he received a lenient punishment for his actions and was eventually allowed to return to his duties within the clan.

After the death of his wife
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama's "Shin-san: Tankou-machi no Serenade"

Well it took a while, but here’s the trailer for Hideyuki Hirayama‘s “Shin-san: Tankou-machi no Serenade”, an adaptation of a novel by Tomoki Tsujiuchi.

This project has been a pretty tough one to follow. It was originally announced simply as “Shin-san” and filming took place throughout all of Kyushu back in the Fall of 2008. However, distributor Goldrush Pictures never came up with a release plan and the completed film sort of got trapped in limbo. In the meantime, the title was changed to “Boku no, Suki na Hito.”, then changed again to it’s current title.

Plot: In 1963, Michiyo Tsujiuchi (Koyuki) returns to her coal mining hometown in Fukuoka with her elementary school-aged son, Mamoru. One day, Mamoru is being harassed by a group of rowdy kids when he’s suddenly rescued by a notorious tough boy named Shinichi, aka Shin-san. Shin-san’s parents died when he was young,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Trailer For Handsome Samurai Drama Hisshiken Torisashi

Because the world can never have enough well crafted samurai dramas, Hideyuki Hirayama is here with Hisshiken Torisashi.  Nippon Cinema have just turned up the first teaser and plot synopsis:

Etsushi Toyokawa stars as a skilled swordsman named Kanemi Sanzaemon who kills the mistress of a powerful daimyo for abusing her political influence within the fictional Unasaka domain. This eventually leads to a violent confrontation in which he utilizes a "bird-catching" sword fighting technique. Meanwhile, his niece Satoo (Chizuru Ikewaki)--who is not blood related--harbors a secret love for him.

Check the teaser at Nippon Cinema!
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Nippon Connection 2009: Feast your eyes on the complete program!

From April 15th to 19th, Frankfurt transforms into the center of the Japanese film world when the Nippon Connection 2009 opens its doors once again. After giving us a first look at the highlights of the largest festival for Japanese film worldwide, the official site has now been updated with the full program that includes more than 150 feature and short films.

Nippon Cinema 20th Century Boys (Niju seiki shonen), R: Yukihiko Tsutsumi, J 2008

www.20thboys.com All Around Us (Gururi no koto), R: Ryosuke Hashiguchi, J 2008

www.gururinokoto.jp Detroit Metal City, R: Toshio Lee, J 2008

www.go-to-dmc.jp Genius Party Beyond, R: Masahiro Maeda, Koji Morimoto, Kazuto Nakazawa, Shinya Ohira, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, J 2008

www.genius-party.jp/beyond Genius Party, R: Atsuko Fukushima, Shoji Kawamori, Shinji Kimura, Yoji Fukuyama, Hideki Futamura, Masaaki Yuasa, Shinichiro Watanabe, J 2007

www.genius-party.jp/genius01 Gs Wonderland, R: Ryuichi Honda, J 2008

www.gs-w.jp Hells Angels,
See full article at Affenheimtheater »

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