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Fantasia 2012: If ‘Hard Romanticker’ is in love with anything, its hardcore violence

Hard Romanticker

Directed by Su-yeon Gu

Written by Su-yeon Gu

Japan, 2011

There are not many nations whose film industries carry as much unabashed violence about them than Japan. Some other countries come close, and virtually all countries at least a few violent films, yet when it comes to the Japanese, well, they simply take the cake. On occasion this is due to their reliance on the fantastical, which somehow gives them carte blanche to create the most far-fetched, gory scenarios possible. One need only refer to Takashi Miike’s cult classic Ichi the Killer as a prime example. Other examples are what cinefiles would describe as more ‘hard core.’ These films are based in reality (while not necessarily being completely realistic), thus making the violence a little more discomforting, a little more gut wrenching. Su-yeon Gu’s film, Hard Romantciker, firmly stands in the latter category and has no qualms
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Fantasia 2012: If ‘Hard Romanticker’ is in love with anything, it’s hardcore violence

Hard Romanticker

Directed by Su-yeon Gu

Written by Su-yeon Gu

Japan, 2011

There are not many nations whose film industries carry as much unabashed violence about them than Japan. Some other countries come close, and virtually all countries at least a few violent films, yet when it comes to the Japanese, well, they simply take the cake. On occasion this is due to their reliance on the fantastical, which somehow gives them carte blanche to create the most far-fetched, gory scenarios possible. One need only refer to Takashi Miike’s cult classic Ichi the Killer as a prime example. Other examples are what cinefiles would describe as more ‘hard core.’ These films are based in reality (while not necessarily being completely realistic), thus making the violence a little more discomforting, a little more gut wrenching. Su-yeon Gu’s film, Hard Romanticker, firmly stands in the latter category and has no qualms
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘The Flowers of War’ is an uneven but interesting Chinese WWII film

The Flowers of War

Directed by Zhang Yimou

Screenplay by Heng Liu

China, 2011

A select few of China’s most revered filmmakers have, at given moments in their careers, chosen to make headway in the English-language cinema landscape, their sights aimed more specifically at the United States and Hollywood. John Woo’s stint was less than memorable, with Face/Off being his most successful attempt (and few would argue that it is any better than what he made in Hong Kong either before or after his American career). Wong Kar Wai, after making a name for himself with nearly 20 years of great films, headed West as well to make My Blueberry Nights with mixed results to say the least. Zhang Yimou, known mostly for his wuxia-style epics Hero and House of Flying Daggers, does not go to quite the same lengths, preferring to keep his latest film set in China,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘The Flowers of War’ With Christian Bale

Chicago – In our latest foreign-language edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the Golden Globe-nominated foreign-language film “The Flowers of War” starring Christian Bale from the director of “Hero”!

“The Flowers of War” from director Yimou Zhang also stars Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Paul Schneider, Shigeo Kobayashi, Atsurô Watabe, Dawei Tong, Tianyuan Huang, Bai Xue, Takashi Yamanaka, Shawn Dou, Kefan Cao and Hai-Bo Huang from writer Heng Liu based on the novel by Geling Yan. The film opens in Chicago on Jan. 20, 2012.

To win your free pass to the advance Chicago screening of “The Flowers of War” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just answer our question below. That’s it! This advance screening is on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2011 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. Directions to enter this HollywoodChicago.com Hookup and win can be found beneath the graphic below.

The movie poster for
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

67th Venice Film Festival Out-of-Competition List Includes The Town, I’m Still Here, and Machete

67th Venice Film Festival Out-of-Competition List Includes The Town, I’m Still Here, and Machete
Along with the list of films playing in-competition, the Venice Film Festival has announced which films are playing out-of-competition this year. The movies include Ben Affleck’s The Town, Casey Affleck’s Joaquin Phoenix documentary I’m Still Here, Martin Scorsese’s Elia Kazan documentary A Letter to Elia, John Turturro’s Passione, Julie Taymor’s The Tempest as the closing night film, and Robert RodriguezMachete as the opening night film. It’s an eclectic bunch of flicks and they’re just a small sampling of the movies playing out-of-competition. Hit the jump to check out the full list.

The 67th Venice Film Festival will run from September 1 – 11th.

Ben AffleckThe Town

USA, 120′

Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively

Casey Affleck – I’M Still Here

USA, 108′ (documentary)

Joaquin Phoenix

Marco Bellocchio – Sorelle Mai

Italy, 110′

Alba Rohrwacher, Donatella Finocchiaro, Elena Bellocchio, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio

Piergiorgio Gay
See full article at Collider.com »

Shun Oguri and Masami Nagasawa to star in live-action “Gaku” adaptation

Back in January, the magazine Big Comic Original revealed that Shinichi Ishizuka's mountain-climbing manga "Gaku: Minna no Yama" would be turned into a live-action film to be released sometime in 2011. No further details had been available until earlier today, when Toho officially announced the project to the media.

Filming is currently underway under the direction of Osamu Katayama (Heat Island) and is expected to wrap in July. Actor Shun Oguri (Crows Zero) will play a mountain rescue team volunteer named Sanpo and Masami Nagasawa (Magare! Spoon) will co-star as a new team member named Kumi. The film's budget is said to be around 1 billion yen (~$10 million Usd).

Although shooting began only a few days ago, Oguri began training under a professional mountain guide way back in December -- in part, to overcome his fear of heights. Nagasawa, who had to sacrifice 12 inches of length from her hair for the role,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Fantastic Fest Review: Love Exposure

It turns out that selling this film to you, dear reader, is not a matter of convincing you that a movie about an expert upskirt picture taker is worthwhile. It's also not a matter of convincing you that an epic love story that explores cults and Japanese sub-cultures is worthwhile. It's a simple matter of convincing you that sitting down to watch a 4-hour movie isn't excruciating. Once you get over those hurdles, what awaits on the other side is a fantastic film about love, life, religion, belief and family made by an expert filmmaker at his best. Yu (Takahira Nishajima) is a young Catholic whose father Tetsu (Atsuro Watabe) has become a priest after his wife dies. Demanding his son repent his sins, and with no real sins to repent, Yu begins lying and then begins committing actual sins in order to have something to report back - the main sin of taking upskirt photos becoming
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Fantastic Fest 2009: Love Exposure

Love Exposure Directed by Shion Sono Sion Sono's new film covers a lot of territory. It's a romance, a revenge tale, a heartbreaking tragedy, a truly zany comedy, a blood-splattered action romp, a conspiracy thriller, and a twisted coming of age tale. Granted, the film has room to breathe: it runs for a breezy (I'm not being entirely sarcastic) 237 minutes. But if you're audacious enough to make a film this long, it had better be cohesive and riveting, and, despite the frequent genre-bending, Sion Sono succeeds admirably in both respects. Love Exposure is a deviant triumph. The hero of this tale is adolescent boy Yu Tsunoda (Takahiro Nishijima), whose father took the vows of Catholic priesthood following the death of Yu's mother. The film kicks off with young Yu's promise to his dying mother to find his "Virgin Maria," with the unspoken caveat that he will love no other woman beforehand.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi) | Review

Director: Shion Sono Writer(s): Shion Sono Starring: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Ando, Makiko Watanabe, Atsuro Watabe Clocking in just shy of four hours, Love Exposure spends an obscene quantity of time building the back-story of the film’s protagonist, Yu (Takahiro Nishijima)…and gratuitously focusing on panty shots…but I’ll get back to that later. Yu’s mother dies while he is just a child. Before she dies, Yu’s mother gives him a statue of the Virgin Mary. Yu’s father becomes a Catholic priest, but then his fancy is tickled by another woman. Overburdened by the guilt of his own actions, Yu’s father forces Yu to confess on a daily basis. Yu’s dilemma is that he is a good person with little or nothing to confess. At first he makes up sins, but his father sees right through him; so Yu is
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

Trailer for Atsuro Watabe's beautiful Echo Of Silence

Actor Atsuro Watabe's directorial debut looks like a fragmented contemplation of loss, but not in the normal sense. Beautifully shot and filled with memories, there seems to be little dialogue and it's nothing short of stunning.

In a small town of Hokkaido, Yunni, Fusako Kurokawa (Saki Takaoka) lives quiet life with her Father. Life here is very simple, but it is good enough and she is happy enough. Days go on as usual. With some coincidence, she meets this man one day, Wataru Kadokura (Atsuro Watabe) a man who cannot speak. A very peaceful "time" now becomes part of her daily lives as this strong emotion suddenly takes place in her simple quiet life.

One day, Fusako falls from a horse at her work place, a stable. Luckily she suffered no severe injuries and goes back to her daily life. Beloved family and friends around her, as they have always been.
See full article at QuietEarth »

Wall-E closes Tokyo Fest

Director Andrew Stanton’s Wall-E will close the 21 st Tokyo Film Festival on October 26 th. The film will release in Japan in December with Disney distributing it. John Woo’s expensive period piece Red Cliff will open the festival.

Other movies making the news is the Atsuro Watabe debut feature in which he will star as well Kotaba no nai fuyu ( Echo of Silence). It will premier at the festival on October 18 th. The film will star Watabe as a man who cannot speak who interacts with a woman who has lost her memory. A theatrical release for the film is still to...

(more...)
See full article at Reel Suave »

Inugami

People fall in love with the wrong people all the time. But Miki Bonomiya, a character played by Yuki Amami in Masato Harada's "Inugami", sets a record for really bad choices. It would reveal too many surprises to explain the forbidden nature of her two romances. Let's just say they produce disturbing dreams, family ghosts, stark tragedies, mysterious fogs and angry forest gods in a remote mountain village on the island of Shikoku.

Drenched in Japanese mysticism and a plot that teeters on the ridiculous, "Inugami" is too marginal to enjoy much exposure outside its native country other than at film festivals. But evocative, moody art direction and graceful, sweeping camera movements do please the eye. It is playing in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Working from the book by Masako Bando, writer-director Harada plops us down in an enchanted village, where generations of women in the Bonomiya family watch over an urn that contains the Inugami, which are wild dog gods. The appearance of a 25-year-old schoolteacher, Akira (Atsuro Watabe), not only stirs feelings in the heart of the spinster Miki but also riles the gods in the urn. Soon, nightmares plague the villagers, and deaths take place. With each tragedy, Miki grows younger, arousing village animosity and triggering vows of revenge against her accursed family.

Harada plays the supernatural tale amid lush forests of ancient cedar trees and a traditional house, where Miki makes exquisite paper using the old-fashioned method of mixing plants, water and glue. Junichi Fujisawa's camera seeks high places from which to spin above or swoop down on these ill-fated people.

The movie is quite a ride, but all that is likely to haunt the minds of moviegoers are the dark and glorious settings. Amami and Watabe's passion and couplings have erotic charge, and the actors make the incredible feel credible. But one must possess a deep love of Eastern mysticism to get anything else out of this fantasy-horror-thriller.

INUGAMI

An Asmik Ace Entertainment production

Producer: Masato Hara

Screenwriter-director: Masato Harada

Based on the book by: Masako Bando

Director of photography: Junichi Fujisawa

Production designer: Hisao Inagaki

Music: Takatsugu Muramatsu

Editor: Soichi Ueno

Color/stereo

Cast:

Miki Bonomiya: Yuki Amami

Akira Nutahara: Atsuro Watabe

Takanao Bonomiya: Kenichi Yajima

Momoyo Bonomiya: Kanako Fukaura

Seiji Doi: Eugene Harada

Rika Bonomiya: Myu Watase

Running time -- 105 minutes

No MPAA rating

Inugami

People fall in love with the wrong people all the time. But Miki Bonomiya, a character played by Yuki Amami in Masato Harada's "Inugami", sets a record for really bad choices. It would reveal too many surprises to explain the forbidden nature of her two romances. Let's just say they produce disturbing dreams, family ghosts, stark tragedies, mysterious fogs and angry forest gods in a remote mountain village on the island of Shikoku.

Drenched in Japanese mysticism and a plot that teeters on the ridiculous, "Inugami" is too marginal to enjoy much exposure outside its native country other than at film festivals. But evocative, moody art direction and graceful, sweeping camera movements do please the eye. It is playing in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Working from the book by Masako Bando, writer-director Harada plops us down in an enchanted village, where generations of women in the Bonomiya family watch over an urn that contains the Inugami, which are wild dog gods. The appearance of a 25-year-old schoolteacher, Akira (Atsuro Watabe), not only stirs feelings in the heart of the spinster Miki but also riles the gods in the urn. Soon, nightmares plague the villagers, and deaths take place. With each tragedy, Miki grows younger, arousing village animosity and triggering vows of revenge against her accursed family.

Harada plays the supernatural tale amid lush forests of ancient cedar trees and a traditional house, where Miki makes exquisite paper using the old-fashioned method of mixing plants, water and glue. Junichi Fujisawa's camera seeks high places from which to spin above or swoop down on these ill-fated people.

The movie is quite a ride, but all that is likely to haunt the minds of moviegoers are the dark and glorious settings. Amami and Watabe's passion and couplings have erotic charge, and the actors make the incredible feel credible. But one must possess a deep love of Eastern mysticism to get anything else out of this fantasy-horror-thriller.

INUGAMI

An Asmik Ace Entertainment production

Producer: Masato Hara

Screenwriter-director: Masato Harada

Based on the book by: Masako Bando

Director of photography: Junichi Fujisawa

Production designer: Hisao Inagaki

Music: Takatsugu Muramatsu

Editor: Soichi Ueno

Color/stereo

Cast:

Miki Bonomiya: Yuki Amami

Akira Nutahara: Atsuro Watabe

Takanao Bonomiya: Kenichi Yajima

Momoyo Bonomiya: Kanako Fukaura

Seiji Doi: Eugene Harada

Rika Bonomiya: Myu Watase

Running time -- 105 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites