Yutaka Matsushige - News Poster


Critically Acclaimed Animation ‘Miss Hokusai’ Comes To Us Theatres

Miss Hokusai, opened to more than 80 theaters in the U.S. last week. Since its opening, AnimeNewsNetwork reports that the film has racked in $105,459 in U.S. box office gross.

Distribution company GKids and production company Production I.G are hopeful that the critically acclaimed animated gem can reach more audiences outside Japan.

Miss Hokusai boasts historical themes, emotional arcs, and stunning animation. Since it premiered in Japan last May 2015, the film has bagged the Best Animated Feature award in several illustrious festivals including the Asian Pacific Screen Awards, the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, as well as the Fantasia International Film Festival. Miss Hokusai was also nominated for Animation of the Year by the Japan Academy Prize Association.

Miss Hokusai is directed by Keiichi Hara (from Summer Days with Coo and Colorful) and is inspired by Hinako Sugiura’s manga Sarusuberi. Yutaka Matsushige (from Last Life in the Universe
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

[Review] Miss Hokusai

From the moment an electric guitar’s riff introduces heroine and painter Katsushika Ōi (Anne Watanabe) in 1814 Edo, Japan, Keiichi Hara‘s Miss Hokusai clearly wants us to know that this girl is beyond her time. The musical anachronism tells us as much, but so does the haughty way in which Ōi dismisses the gauche advances of a would-be suitor and the way her voice-over narration signals a self-assuredness not typically attributed to women of her time. The film’s final scene suggests it again, reintroducing the guitar leitmotif while the same, confident narration tells us that Ōi married once but lived her final days untethered to men. As her voice subsides, Edo transforms, via time-lapse, into the Tokyo that we know today, showcasing the modernization of which the real-life Ōi was one of the early figures.

Taken together, these narrative bookends pronounce the spirited independence of this young woman
See full article at The Film Stage »

Travel Back to Japan in 1814 in Us Trailer for Animated 'Miss Hokusai'

"That nutty old man is my father." GKids has debuted a trailer for the animated film called Miss Hokusai, which opened in Japan in 2015 and played at numerous film festivals last year. The film is about the life and works of Japanese artist and ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai, also known as Tetsuzo, as seen from the eyes of his daughter, Katsushika O-Ei. You all know his work because Hokusai painted the very famous piece known as "The Great Wave off Kanagawa". The voice cast includes Anne Watanabe as O-Ei, Yutaka Matsushige as Hokusai, plus Kumiko Asô, Gaku Hamada and Kengo Kôra. Not only is it cool to see a story about Hokusai, but it's lovely to see it told from the perspective of his daughter, who was dedicated to making sure her father could produce this art. I love catching up with animated films like this. Take a look. Here's
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

‘Miss Hokusai’ Trailer: Keiichi Hara’s Animated Film Explores an Artistic Father-Daughter Relationship

‘Miss Hokusai’ Trailer: Keiichi Hara’s Animated Film Explores an Artistic Father-Daughter Relationship
There’s this nutty old man who painted a huge Dharma on a huge sheet of paper and draws sparrows on tiny rice grains. Some may know him as Hokusai the painter, but his daughter, O-Ei, knows him as Tetsuzo.

A new trailer for Keiichi Hara’s animated coming-of-age tale, “Miss Hokusai,” has just been released, courtesy of Gkids and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G. The film follows the remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history’s most famous artists.

As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai (voiced by Yutaka Matsushige), his daughter O-Ei (Anne Watanabe) toils diligently inside his studio. The latest trailer shows her as she begins to work on her own masterful portraits – sold under the name of her father – which are coveted by upper crust Lords and journeyman print makers alike.

Read More: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Miss Hokusai’ Review

Cast: Anne Watanabe, Michitaka Tsutsui, Yutaka Matsushige, Kumiko Asô, Shion Shimizu, Gaku Hamada, Kengo Kôra | Written by Miho Maruo | Based on the manga by Hinako Sugiura | Directed by Keiichi Hara

Choosing to depict an artist’s life in a form close to their own can be a tightrope walk. Miss Hokusai dares to examine the work and lives of two Japanese artists in the form of anime, but this turns out to be a natural fit: the broad brushstrokes of its principals stand in harmonious contrast to the considerably less stylised but no less lovely animation of the film. It’s a shame that this is the only aspect of the film that really strikes a chord.

Set in 19th-century Edo (later known as Tokyo), Miss Hokusai centers on talented young artist O-Ei and her father, the Hokusai of the film’s title, also a painter but with far greater success.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Miss Hokusai review: “The film feels alive.”

Miss Hokusai review: A fantastical biopic of the daughter of one of Japan’s most famous artists. Miss Hokusai review

Miss Hokusai review by Luke Baldock. Even if you don’t know your Rene Magritte from your Neil Buchanan, there are some pieces of art out there that everybody recognises. One such piece is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, which adorns all sorts of Japanese souvenirs, posters, and has been integrated with pop-culture references by many an illustrator. The creator of this incredible piece was Katsushika Hokusai (Yutaka Matsushige), who was exceptionally prolific and gave us everything from beautiful vistas, demonic creations, and illustrations for erotica. Less known was his daughter, and protagonist of Miss Hokusai, O-Ei (Anne Watanabe). Although O-Ei became a successful artist in her own right, she also aided, touched up, and some say even created, some her father’s work.

Miss Hokusai is a personal tale
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Can’t Miss Movies At Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival 2015

The 19th annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Reel Asian) is set to run from November 5 – 15, 2015 in Toronto and Richmond Hill. The festival highlights contemporary Asian cinema as well as work from the Asian Diaspora. Reel Asian also features a series of industry events in areas such as pitching and screenwriting to help guide and inspire creative minds.

After meticulously going over every synopsis, trailer, and bio that this year’s festival has to offer, I’ve put together a list of several can’t miss films at Reel Asian 2015.

Seoul Searching

During the 1980s, the Korean government instituted a policy which created summer camps aimed at enticing the country’s gyopo (foreign born) teenagers to visit their motherland. The plan seemed to be a win-win; parents could send their kids away on the Korean government’s dime, the kids would gain a first-hand cultural experience, and the country
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Film Review: ‘Miss Hokusai’

Film Review: ‘Miss Hokusai’
The annals of Western art are woefully sparse when it comes to female painters, which is just one of perhaps a dozen reasons that “Miss Hokusai” comes as such a refreshing anomaly among anime exports. Adapted from a woman-made manga (“Sarusuberi”) by a female screenwriter, this intriguingly atypical toon eschews such common ingredients as fantastical creatures (though there are a few supernatural twists) and schoolboy sexism in favor of attempting to capture the inner dynamics of an early-19th-century artistic family, focusing on ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai’s relatively obscure daughter, O-Ei, a fellow painter about whom just enough is known that the film is free to invent the rest. The fest-friendly subject could be a tricky sell to international auds, but shines as an example of one creative soul paying tribute to another.

Though hardly a household name, the elder Hokusai (referred to as Tetsuzo by his inner circle
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Kabukicho Love Hotel’

A lot less raunchy than its title might suggest, but not without a few racy interludes, “Kabukicho Love Hotel” is a mostly successful multi-strand drama set over the course of a single night in Tokyo’s red-light district. Although the outcomes of some stories are a little too sentimental, the film is populated by interesting characters involved in intriguing situations. Directed with a knowing eye by former “pink film” kingpin Ryuichi Hiroki, this lengthy but never dull riff on the “Grand Hotel” formula is ideal fest fare and ought to click with domestic auds when it’s released locally in January 2015.

Signaling that the movie will have more to do with heavy hearts than with heaving hips, Hiroki opens with a bittersweet portrait of singer-songwriter Saya (Atsuko Maeda, formerly of pop-idol outfit AKB48) and her mop-top boyfriend, Toru (Shota Sometani). It’s clear the two are in love but the sex has stopped,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hong Kong Film Review: ‘Monsterz’

Hong Kong Film Review: ‘Monsterz’
A malevolent misfit with a deadly stare dukes it out with the only person immune to his mind-control powers in “Monsterz,” a middling remake of the 2010 South Korean fantasy-thriller “Haunters.” Opting for a more somber tone than that of the comicbook-style original, Japanese horror kingpin Hideo Nakata (“Ring,” “Dark Water”) executes some nifty setpieces and packs plenty of excitement into the final reel, but there’s a fair amount of flab for audiences to negotiate en route to the payoff. Limited regional exposure, slots at fests with appropriate sidebars, and a respectable ancillary life appear likely. Local release via Warner Bros. is set for May 30.

The kicks off in arresting style on a rainy day in 1993. After removing a blindfold from her young son, a distressed mother (Tae Kimura) is badly beaten by her enraged husband (Masaki Miura). His demand that they abandon the monster they’ve produced is cut
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Outrage Beyond – Takeshi Kitano (Trailer 2013)

Takeshi Kitano is back!! Watch the Red Band Trailer of Outrage Beyond the long waited sequel of Outrage (2010).

The great Japanese director Takeshi Kitano returns to the big screen with the genre that gave him international recognition and made him one of the best Asian filmmakers.

Outrage Beyond

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Screenwriter: Takeshi Kitano

Cast: Beat Takeshi (Takeshi Kitano), Toshiyuki Nishida, Tomokazu Miura, Ryo Kase, Hideo Nakano, Yutaka Matsushige, Fumiyo Kohinata

Music: Keiichi Suzuki

Photography: Katsumi Yanagijma

Production: Japan | 2012

Original Title: Autoreiji Biyondo

Duration: 110 minutes

Rated: R

Ôtomo (Beat Takeshi) now a free man seek to live his life away from the yakuza world but during his imprisonment, things have changed. The Sanno family – who destroyed Ôtomo´s family – has become too powerful and the old-guard members felt that the young leaders are risking the whole business because of their extreme greed. Knowing this situation, Kataoka -an anti-gang detective decides
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Venice 2012: Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond

When it comes to Venice Film Festival, Japanese director Takeshi Kitano is definitely not a stranger. I’m sure you all remember his Hana Bi from 1997 (for which he recevied the Golden Lion), or 2003 Zatoichi project (Silver Lion statue).

Well, guess what, Kitano is now back In Competition with his completely new project, titled Outrage Beyond. And, in case this sounds like it has something to do with Kitano’s Outrage movie from last year’s Cannes film festival – relax, you’re not tripping – it’s just a sequel to the original story…

So, this time we have the Sanno crime family all grown into a huge organization, expanding its power into politics and legitimate big business. The Sanno’s upper ranks are now dominated by young executives, and the old-guard members are penting up resentment while being pushed to the sidelines.

This vulnerable spot in the Sanno hierarchy is
See full article at Filmofilia »

First Full-Length Trailer for Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond

  • HeyUGuys
Renowned Japanese writer-director-actor Takeshi Kitano (Dolls, Zatoichi) returned to the big screen back in 2010 with his yakuza film, Outrage.

Debuting to great reviews at Cannes two years ago, Kitano is heading to Venice and Toronto next month with the sequel, Outrage Beyond, and now the first full-length trailer has been released – it’s in the original Japanese, with no subtitles, but it still looks awesome regardless of whether or not you understand exactly what is going on.

“As the police launch a full-scale crackdown on organized crime, it ignites a national yakuza struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West. What started as an internal strife in Outrage has now become a nationwide war in Outrage Beyond.”

Kitano is directing from his own script, and stars (as Beat Takeshi) alongside Ryo Kase, Tomokazu Miura, Toshiyuki Nishida, Hideo Nakano, Yutaka Matsushige, and Fumiyo Kohinata.

Outrage Beyond will
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Takeru Sato, Haruka Ayase To Star In Sci-Fi Romance From Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Takeru Sato and Haruka Ayase are set to star in Rearu kanzennaru kubinagaryu no hi for filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Toyko Sonata). The title of the film translate to ’s sci-fi drama The Day of the Real, Perfect Plesiosaur. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Rokuro Inui [Variety].

Sato will play a neurosurgeon who enters the dreams of his lover (Ayase) – who’s in a coma – to discover why she tried to take her own life. Miki Nakatani, Jo Odagiri, Yutaka Matsushige and Kyoko Koizumi also star.

It’s an intriguing no doubt, made more intriguing by Kurosawa’s involvement. The writer/director made a name for himself over the last 3 decades in Japan, producing everything from pink films in the 80s to the Internet-inspired horror film Pulse to heady, genre-mixing pieces like Toyko Sonata.

As Sonata snagged the Un Certain Regard at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival,
See full article at The Film Stage »

'Tokyo Sonata' & 'Pulse' Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa Returns With Sci-Fi Drama 'The Day Of The Real, Perfect Plesiosaur'

Ask and you shall receive? Something like that anyway....It was just last month that we openly wondered about what was going on with Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who featured on our What Ever Happened To These 5 Foreign-Language Filmmakers? list, and lo and behold, he's back with a new feature. It has been four long years since "Tokyo Sonata," but going in front of cameras very soon is the fascinatingly titled "The Day Of The Real, Perfect Plesiosaur" ("Rearu kanzennaru kubinagaryu no hi"). No, we don't know what that means either, but the movie itself -- based on the book by Rokuro Inoi -- boasts a typically intriguing premise, telling the story of a neurosurgeon who goes into the subconscious of his coma stricken lover to find out why she attempted suicide. The director's regulars Miki Nakatani, Jo Odagiri, Yutaka Matsushige and Kyoko Koizumi will all feature with Takeru Sato and Haruka Ayase taking the lead roles.
See full article at The Playlist »

Behind the scenes clip released for Takeshi Kitano's "Outrage Beyond"

Today a new making-of video was released for Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond, the upcoming sequel to 2010’s Outrage.

In the new film, Sanno-kai—the major yakuza organization within the Kanto region and the main focus of the first film—butts heads with Hanabishi-kai from the Kansai region as police try to take them all down. Kitano (credited as Beat Takeshi as an actor), returns as crew boss and all-around dirty-job-doer Otomo, who was assumed dead at the end of the first movie.

The clip is split into 2 parts. The first part is titled “Otomo’s release” and shows Otomo exiting jail alongside crooked police detective Kataoka (Fumiyo Kohinata). New cast member Yutaka Matsushige is also in the scene as a detective named Shigeta.

The second part is titled “Kansai - Hanabishi-kai” and features two leaders of Hanabishi-kai, Nishino (Toshiyuki Nishida) and Nakata (Sansei Shiomi), alongside Chairman Fuse (Shigeru Koyama
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Cast of “Outrage Beyond” revealed, Otomo returns

The upcoming sequel to Takeshi Kitano's 2010 gangster film Outrage has been a tough one to figure, and fair warning -- the reason for that involves some spoilers from the original.

On Tuesday, a press event was held at Seimei no Mori Resort in Chiba Prefecture to present the cast of the second film, now titled Outrage Beyond. New additions Toshiyuki Nishida, Yutaka Matsushige, Katsunori Takahashi, Kenta Kiritani, and Hirofumi Arai were in attendance along with returning cast members Kitano, Tomokazu Miura, Ryo Kase, and Fumiyo Kohinata.

There has been some question about how a sequel might work, simply because the first film was a complete blood bath. Most of the main characters were killed and it ended with Kitano's character, Otomo, getting stabbed and then later being confirmed dead by Kohinata's character, a crooked detective named Kataoka.

Producer Masayuki Mori confirmed that Otomo is in fact alive, but was
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Shinji Higuchi working on kaiju TV drama “MM9”

Shinji Higuchi (44), known as the “Heisei special effects king” for his work on the Heisei era Gamera trilogy, is supervising the production of his first TV drama. The show is called MM9 (Monster Magnitude 9) and is set in an alternate version of modern-day Japan in which monster attacks are the norm and are treated as another form of natural disaster. The show is based on a story by sci-fi writer Hiroshi Yamamoto which was originally serialized in Tokyo Sogensha’s “Mysteries!” from 2005-2006 and published as a book in 2007.

The project was first hinted at through an April Fools joke which presented it as a “sci-fi epic” called XX9. Higuchi released a photo of the cast dressed up in traditional sci-fi outfits and wielding futuristic rifles.

The show centers around a special “living creatures” division of the Japan Meteorological Agency which predicts the appearance of monsters. When an attack does occur,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Shinji Higuchi working on new sci-fi epic (Update: Fake, Sorta)

Shinji Higuchi has had a long, varied career with no shortage of epics sprinkled throughout. From handling special effects for the Heisei era Gamera series to directing his own massive hits like Lorelei and Japan Sinks, it’s usually safe to assume anything he’s involved in will be done pretty big. That’s why, when a mysterious website went up late last week for his next film, tentatively titled “XX9”, people took notice.

Not very much at all is known about XX9 yet, but a promotional photo has been released as well as this very vague description:

“The tale of a group of saviors selflessly confronting an unprecedented emergency brought on by a mysterious living entity.”

Though the cast has yet to be announced officially, some can be identified from the photo. So far I think I spot Yutaka Matsushige at the top, Sarutoki Minagawa on the bottom right,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

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