Fly Me to the Saitama (2019) - News Poster


Tokyo Film Festival: Makoto Tezuka Probes Past and Present in ‘Barbara’

  • Variety
Tokyo Film Festival: Makoto Tezuka Probes Past and Present in ‘Barbara’
The son of the late Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the “the god of manga” in Japan for his innovative and enduringly popular comics, Makoto Tezuka (also known as Macoto Tezka) long ago escaped his father’s looming shadow, carving out a career as a film and animation director. At the same time, he has been a guardian of his father’s legacy, supervising the release of his work and holding a stake in Tezuka Productions, the animation house his father founded.

Tezuka has recently been enjoying a professional resurgence, with a remastered version of his 1985 debut feature – the pop musical comedy “The Legend of the Stardust Brothers” – playing the international festival circuit. Also, his new film, the fantasy/romance “Tezuka’s Barbara,” will premiere in competition at the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival.

Based his father’s cult manga “Barbara,” the film features Fumi Nikaido (“Fly Me to the Saitama
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Interview with Hideki Takeuchi: “The slightest error could have triggered a massive outrage”

Born 1966 in Chiba, Hideki Takeuchi joined Fuji TV in 1990 and directed his first drama series, “The Ugly Duckling”, 1996. His drama “God, please give me more time” (1998) won the Best Director Prize at the 18th Television Drama Academy Awards. Until today, he has produced 19 television dramas, including the otaku cult series “Densha Otoko” (2005).

Following the success of the drama, the Japanese director made his feature film debut with the cinematic spin-off “Nodame Cantabile” in 2009. Since then, he produced box office hits like “Thermae Romae” (2012) and “Color me True” (2018).

On the occasion of Japannual Film Festival , Hideki Takeuchi came back to the roots of his cinematic oeuvre to talk about his newest feature, “Fly Me to the Saitama“.

Since we are in Vienna, let me take up the opportunity first to ask you about the work that you have done here?

I came to Vienna 10 years ago to shoot “Nodame Cantabile” (2009). For the movie,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Camera Japan Festival is Going to Amsterdam (3-6 October)

Camera Japan Festival 2019

Amsterdam 3-6 October

After a great start in Rotterdam, Camera Japan is now packing up and heading to Filmtheater Kriterion in Amsterdam. On their website, you can read programme and event descriptions, watch film trailers, and buy tickets for films and workshops. You can also download the all-important blokkenschema, the handy overview of films and events designed to help you put together the perfect schedule for Camera Japan.

In addition to the film programme, there are three workshops at Camera Japan in Amsterdam. The calligraphy workshop on Saturday October 5 is already sold out, but on Sunday, there are places left on Orimaki’s origami workshop on how to make lovely kusudama paper balls. Also on Sunday, Suzuki Takahide will teach you all you ever wanted to know about powdered green tea in his matcha workshop.

The Camera Japan Audience Award – The preliminaries

After counting all the votes
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Film Review: Little Miss Period (2019) by Shunsuke Shinada

The titular hero of this movie, Seiri-chan, is the menstrual cycle; “seiri” means literally period and “–chan” is the Japanese suffix for cute girls and children (and pets), hence the English “Little Miss Period”. The original source of the film is a manga that in record time has been whipping up a storm of consensus within Japanese female audiences of all ages.

“Little Miss Period” is screening at Camera Japan 2019

First appeared as a web manga before moving into printed form for major publisher Kadokawa’s “Monthly Comic Beam”, Seiri-chan, surprisingly, is the brainchild of a man, Ken Koyama, who seems to have researched thoroughly his target audience. His anthropomorphized menstrual cycle is a giant heart-shaped “pink thing” with disturbingly wide-open eyes, big sensual lips, red pants and a medical cross as a nose. Moreover, the beast is armed with a humongous syringe, ready to withdraw massive amounts of blood out of her preys,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Japannual Film Festival brings Japanese cinema back to Austria

The third edition of the Japannual Film Festival takes place from 1st to 6th of October in Vienna. This year, the festival celebrates the 150th anniversary of Austrian-Japanese diplomatic relations with an excellent selection of films, showing the highlights of the bygone year. Besides the modern cinema, Japannual features two movies of the infamous director Koji Wakamatsu accompanied by the short films of video artist Yuri Muraoka.

The opening film “Blue Hour” (2019), a multi-layered comedy about a sudden family visit, is the first feature by female director Yuko Hakota and was already celebrated at the Nippon Connection Festival for its portrayal of strong female characters.

Strong female characters can also be seen in Kosai Sekine’s “Love at Least” (2018) and Momoko Fukuda’s “My Father, My Bride” (2019). Both directors will be present at the festival and so it the actress Shuri, who gives an intriguing performance of a mentally ill
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‘Another Child’, ‘Han Dan’ among 2019 New York Asian Film Festival competition entries

‘Another Child’, ‘Han Dan’ among 2019 New York Asian Film Festival competition entries
Vietnamese star Veronica Ngo to receive Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema.

Kim Yoon-seok’s Another Child from South Korea and Huang Chao-liang’s Han Dan from Taiwan are among seven entries that will vie for the Uncaged Award for best feature film in the 2019 New York Asian Film Festival main competition.

Rounding out the competition entries are: Moon Sungho’s 5 Million Dollar Life (Japan), Katsumi Nojiri’s Lying To Mom (Japan), Kenneth Lim Dagatan’s Ma (Philippines), Yi Ok-seop’s Maggie (South Korea), and Wu Nan’s Push And Shove (China). The festival runs from June
See full article at ScreenDaily »

North America’s Largest Showcase Of Japanese Cinema June 6 – June 27, 2019 At The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Centrepiece Highlight

World Premiere of “Dance With Me”

Director Shinobu Yaguchi, Lead Actress Ayaka Miyoshi in attendance

Opening Night

North American Premiere of Masayuki Suzuki’s mystery thriller, “Masquerade Hotel

Special Guests:

Star of “Love’s Twisting Path” – Mikako Tabe

Director of award-winning “Born Bone Born” – Comedian Toshiyuki Teruya “Gori”

Director Tatsushi Omori – “When My Mom Died, I Wanted to Eat Her Ashes” and “Every Day a Good Day

Star of “The Gambler’s Odyssey 2020” – Takumi Saitoh

The samurai, of the cinematic variety, are set to descend on Toronto this summer. They are joined by reluctant sake brewers, yakuza assassins, tea ceremony sages, deadly mahjong-playing robots, dashing hotel detectives, and calculating masters of “corporate kabuki”.

Now in its eighth year, the 2019 Toronto Japanese Film Festival brings Toronto audiences 28 of the finest contemporary Japanese films recognized for excellence by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences and the Japanese Film Academy.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

“Still Human” Triumphs at Udine Far East Film Festival 21. Here all the Winners

Udine Far East Film Festival‘s audiences and Black Dragon pass holders crown Hong Kong the winner of the 21st edition.

“We live on the other side of the world and we were worried that our film wouldn’t be understood. But the world speaks a single language: the language of love…”

These were the words of excited and radiant young actress Crisel Consunji on the triumph of Hong Kong film “Still Human” at the Far East Film Festival 21, as she shared the stage and the applause of the Teatro Nuovo with director Oliver Chan and monumental protagonist Anthony Wong (already winner of a Golden Mulberry Award for Outstanding Achievement).

The public were in no doubt about the winner, and neither were the Black Dragon pass holders, who gave “Still Human” the Critics Award. In second place came Chinese black comedy “Dying To Survive”, and in third position Korean blockbuster “Extreme Job””.

See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film Review: Fly Me To The Saitama (2019) by Takeuchi Hideki

After the “Thermae Romae” (2014) & “Thermae Romae II” (2016) extravaganza, director Takeuchi Hideki is back on his familiar ground of live action manga adaptation with “Fly Me To The Saitama”. If you thought the Thermae Romae saga or his 2018’s fairy tale “Tonight, At The Movies” was crazy, well … watch this one and think again!

Fly Me To The Saitama” screened at Udine Far East Film Festival

It is more than 40C in Kumagaya, capital city of Saitama, the Prefecture that is the northern neighbour of Tokyo, and you can literally fry an egg on the concrete. For the Sugawara family, it is a big day as proud Saitanese Dad is driving with Mum and Daughter to the latter’s engagement party. The young woman is looking forward to getting married, especially because the couple has plans to go to live in Tokyo and escape the provincial stigma that hangs on Saitama
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film News: Japan’s Hot Film ‘Fly Me to Saitama’ Opens 8th Asian Pop-up Cinema, Mar. 12, 2019

Chicago – Right out of the gate, the Asian Pop-Up Cinema (Apuc) of Chicago proves they are one of the top cultural connections in the city. Season Eight opens on Tuesday, March 12th with “Fly Me to Saitama,” one of the hottest films in Japan, with three consecutive weeks as a top box office draw. The film is an uproarious comedy satire – adapted from a Manga comic book series – about the prefecture identities of Japan, warring around the notion that Toyko is the center of the Japanese universe. Director Hideki Takeuchi will appear on behalf of the film, for more details and tickets, click here.

“Fly Me to Saitama” refers to the land-locked Japanese prefecture (like our states) of Saitama, where many people come from but no one likes to claim (“I’m from Toyko”). The film works on two levels, as a radio story that a family is listening to
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Preview Feature: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season Eight

Chicago – One of the most successful ongoing film festivals is Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (Apuc). Facilitated by founder and veteran film programmer Sophia Wong Bocchio, the fest anticipates Season Eight with another amazing line-up of films from Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and South Korea.

The format for the Spring 2019 Apuc is going through a change … instead of spreading films out to once a week, there will be multiple films each week, equalling a shorter calendar season. Many of the weeks will focus on one country, and as always there will be opportunities to meet the filmmakers and participate in post screening discussions (Patrick McDonald of is on board to host Q&As March 27th and 28th). And besides the Chicago screenings taking place at AMC River East 21, the Heritage Museum of Asian Art, the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet studio
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