2015 London Film Festival

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2015 London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival is celebrating its 59th run this year, from October 7th to 18th. 238 films from 71 countries were chosen to be screened around central London for 12 days. Among those films in the lineup, there are many numbers of films that originate from Asia, and 9 of them are Japanese. From rather expected Cannes-favorite auteur films to box-office hit animations, varieties of Japanese films will be publically screened in London this fall.

After screenings at Cannes and Toronto, An, Our Little Sister and Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld are heading to London together as representatives of this year’s Japanese cinema. Honorably premiered as the opening film of Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Naomi Kawase’s An is a touching tale of Japanese bean jelly maker. Hirokazu Kore-eda reexamines auteur’s usual theme of family relationship in Our Little Sister, based on a comic by Akimi Yoshida. As a leading Japanese cult filmmaker, Takashi Miike invites us to the ferocious madness of a conflation of yakuza and vampire in Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld. In addition to three masterful works that are running around the festival circuit this year, London introduces a filmmaker/comedian Takeshi Kitano’s latest film to the populace: Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen, 17th feature film by Kitano, revives elderly retired yakuza on screen.

Other titles include two animation films, one of the biggest summer box-office hit, The Boy and the Beast by Mamoru Hosoda who directed an acclaimed Summer Wars, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie was There, a latest title from Studio Ghibli; a backstage nightmare of an actress, Ghost Theater directed by Hideo Nakata, a visionary J-horror master; A Locarno winner, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour, an exhilarating drama of thirty-something women; and Love and Peace, a punk rock orgy of Sion Sono.


Please visit the festival website for additional information.

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2015 Toronto Film Festival

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2015 Toronto Film Festival

The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 10th to the 20th and the line-up of films programmed has already been announced. Amidst the many films that are at the festival, there is a healthy selection from Asia with six Japanese productions and three international co-productions that involve Japanese talent in the pool.

Festival attendees will be more than aware that four of these titles have been on the festival circuit for most of the year since Journey to the Shore, An, Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld, and Our Little Sister  are high profile films have that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in April. Of particular interest to any festival-goer with an interest in drama will be the Journey to the Shore, an award-winning film that scored its director Kiyoshi Kurosawa the Best Director prize when it screened at Cannes. It is a tale of a widowed piano teacher who is reunited with the spirit of her husband after an absence of many years. The two go on a physical as well as spiritual and psychological trip discovering where her husband went. The festival site describes the film as “a moving and enthralling work by a true master of contemporary cinema.”

There are a handful of brand new films that have had little to no exposure in the West such as The Whispering Star, a dystopian sci-fi film cooked up by Sion Sono for an art installation. The story involves a humanoid robot named Yoko (played by Sono’s wife, Megumi Kagurazaka) who pilots a spaceship shaped like a Japanese bungalow and travels the galaxy to give packages to humans in abandoned cities on remote planets. Shot in different locations in evacuated zones of Fukushima with non-professional actors who live in the area, the film presents ruminations on human nature but despite the dystopian label it is said to be playful and funny.

Arguably the most exciting title at the festival is the family friendly anime The Boy and the Beast, the latest anime from Mamoru Hosoda. The film follows on from Hosoda’s last feature The Wolf Children by blending the supernatural with the everyday in a story where a lonely and unhappy boy on the run from his family loses himself in Tokyo’s Shibuya district and finds a world inhabited by beasts. The Boy and the Beast has been a hit in Japan and it has already been licensed for distribution in Europe and America for 2016.

For more information on the festival and the films on offer, check out the festival site.

 

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2015 New York Film Festival

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2015 New York Film Festival

Film society of Lincoln Conter has announced the official line up for its main slate section this year’s New York Film Festival, running 25th September - 11th October. The selection includes Journey to the Shore, a new film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa starring Tadanobu Asano and Eri Fukatsu, won the prize for best director at 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The festival also will show Ran, a masterpiece of the director Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 film at rivivals selection.  

Details

Based on Kazumi Yumoto’s 2010 novel, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest film begins with a young widow named Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu), who has been emotionally flattened and muted by the disappearance of her husband Yusuke (Tadanobu Asano). One day, from out of the blue or the black, Yusuke’s ghost drops in, more like an exhausted and unexpected guest than a wandering spirit. And then Journey to Shore becomes a road movie: Mizuki and Yusuke pack their bags, leave Tokyo, and travel by train through parts of Japan that we rarely see in movies, acclimating themselves to their new circumstances and stopping for extended stays with friends and fellow pilgrims that Yusuke has met on his way through the afterworld, some living and some dead. The particular beauty of Journey to Shore lies in its flowing sense of life as balance between work and love, existence and nonexistence, you and me.


Ticket sales destail: http://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2015/films/journey-to-the-shore/

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Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival LA

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Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival LA

American fans of Japanese fashion, art, anime, cosplay and design will get to celebrate these things at the 2015 Moshi Moshi Festival which will run at the Magic Box at the Reef LA on August 01st – 02nd. The festival, inspired by the popular TV program and website Moshi Moshi Nippon, promises two days of Harajuku-inspired shopping, activities, panels, music LIVE DAM Karaoke and other activities.

It has been announced that the Japanese models AMIAYA (twin models Ai and Aya) will be attending.  Originally from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, AMIAYA first gained notoriety modelling in magazines like Zipper, Nylon and CUTiE. Their 2010 style book “AYA AMI BOOK” was a best seller, solidifying their role as fashion trendsetters. As J-Pop artists, AMIAYA has released a series of singles and the full-length album Tokyo Pop.

Other guests announced for the festival include Ayumi Seto and Ema*Eri who will all take to the mini stage for a special fashion show, with Hiyoko Nishimura manning the decks for a solid DJ showcase, in addition to other live entertainment.

On top of seeing glamorous guests, shopping and singing, there will be booths on site to showcase fashion brands Pure, Aymmy in the batty girls, jouetie and others.

Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival 2015 in Los Angeles will take place on Saturday, August 1st and Sunday August 2nd at The Reef Magic Box on 1933 South Broadway Street in Los Angeles, California. For more information about Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival in Los Angeles, visit their website at http://www.moshimoshi-nippon-la.com

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2015 Tokyo Film Festival

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2015 Tokyo Film Festival

This year’s Tokyo Film Festival announces a closing film Terminal directed by Tetsuo Shinohara, starring Koichi Sato and Tsubasa Honda. This also unveiled additional venues including Shinjuku district where “Gozilla” Toho Cinema has recently opened and new 3 sections: Panorama, Japan Now, Japanese Classics. This year’s festival jury president has appointed Bryan Singer, the director of The Usual Suspects and others will be unveiled.

“This year is a special year as the milestone since the festival has started 30 years ago in 1985. While we respect Cannes and Venice, which have longer histories than TIFF, we would like to maintain “Tokyo taste”. TIFF is a significant platform in which Japanese films gain exposure from overseas. To enhance the role, we reestablished sections this year to display the diverse works of Japanese cinema. To attract wider audience we will expand the festival area and number of screenings and hold special events that everyone can enjoy,” says Yasushi Shiina, director general.

28th Tokyo Film Festival will take place 22th to 31th October.

Official website: http://2015.tiff-jp.net/en/

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2015 Tokyo Film Festival

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2015 Tokyo Film Festival

This year’s Tokyo Film Festival features Mobile Suit Gundam as a special animation program, following last year’s program The world of Anno. The festival shows first theatrical-released Mobile Suit Gundam directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, a few dozen of TV works as well as short one.

The TV animation series have set to be broadcasted in April 1979 and the first theatrical film released in 1980. Since then, Gundam is getting recognition with franchise commodities Gunpula - plastic models and the impact has continue to spread both in domestic and international audience.   


Mobile Suit Gundam Japanese Original Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkkXssxQi-4

Image provided by Tokyo Film Festival

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2015 New York Asian Film Festival

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2015 New York Asian Film Festival

The 14th edition of the NYAFF has a diverse selection of films from East Asia and Japan makes a big impact with the programs “New Cinema from Japan” and “The Last Men in Japanese Film,” a joint tribute to the late actors Ken Takakura and Bunta Sugawara.

The 2015 New York Asian Film Festival line-up offers the latest in Japanese cinema with a range of stories and subjects and showcases Japanese cinema’s ability to portray complex tales featuring female characters in the lead. This is certainly true of the works of award-winning filmmaker Daihachi Yoshida (Funuke, Show Some Love You Losers!, Pale Moon , Permanent Nobara) which will be screened at the festival.

On the more extreme and wild side of things are the imaginative genre exercises delivered by Sion Sono with his hip-hop musical Tokyo Tribes, and SABU’s latest tale, the fantastical supernatural romance Chasuke’s Journey.  There are many dramas, some released within the last few months like the two part crime mystery Solomon’s Perjury and Initiation Love both of which are based on best-selling novels.  Ryuichi Hiroki showcases his latest ensemble drama Kabukicho Love Hotel, and Nobuhiro Yamashita brings New York a gritty tale of music and memories with La La La at Rock Bottom. Other films include the sci-fi/ESP drama Nowhere Girl and Taksu, a more down to earth exploration of a relationship between a terminally ill man and his girlfriend falling apart while they visit his sister in Bali.

Japanese film legends Ken Takakura and Bunta Sugawara, both of whom passed away last November, will be the subject of the first joint tribute outside of Japan. The two actors are credited with defining a new, hardboiled masculinity in postwar Japan.  Some of the films in which they displayed their grit and cool will be screened including Abashiri Prison, Cops vs. Thugs, The Man Who Stole the Sun, Nihon Kyokakuden (Tales of Chivalry in Japan), and Wolves, Pigs and Men. This part of the programme will feature the brand new 2K remaster of Kinji Fukasaku’s 1973 classic Battles Without Honor and Humanity, screened for the first time in North America.

There are also many high-profile guests from Japan attending the festival with the actor Shota Sometani (Kabukicho Love Hotel, Himizu), mixing with veteran directors Daihachi Yoshida (Funuke Show Me Some Love You Losers!, Pale Moon, The Kirishima Thing), Ryuichi Hiroki (Yellow Elephant, Vibrator, Kabukicho Love Hotel), and SABU (Chasuke’s Journey, Postman Blues, Monday).

The 2015 New York Asian Film Festival takes place from June 26 to July 8 at the Film Society and July 9 to 11 at SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd Street).

 

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2015 Sydney Film Festival

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2015 Sydney Film Festival

Sydney Film Festival has selected Ryuichi Hiroki’s latest film Kabukicho Love Hotel, starring former AKB 48 (a well-known Japanese idol group ) Atsuko Maeda and a winner of Marcello Mastroianni Award Shota Sometani as a feature section. 

The festival is one of the world's longest-running film festivals, and is a major event on the New South Wales cultural calendar. The 12-day Festival screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animation from around the world in venues across the city running from 8th to 19th June this year. 

The international trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=10&v=7V7kXePB0gE

Sydney Film Festival: http://www.sff.org.au/

Image provided by Sydney Film Festival.

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2015 UK Release - Tokyo Tribe

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2015 UK Release - Tokyo Tribe

Eureka! Entertainment have announced the UK & Ireland theatrical release of Tokyo Tribe. Just when you thought Sion Sono’s (Why Don't you play in Hell?) unique brand of subversive cinema couldn’t get any more out there, he’s back to explode expectations once again as he ventures even further into uncharted cinematic territory with an ingenious hybrid of Yakuza gang action and hip-hop musical.

Based on a popular Manga series (Tokyo Tribe 2 by Santa Inoue) and told almost entirely in rap verse (by some of Japan's top rappers), Tokyo Tribe has to be seen to be believed. The aggressive assault of the beats and rhymes wreaks havoc as a massive ensemble cast shocks, excites, and incites an unparalleled sonic war!

UK Theatrical Trailer: http://youtu.be/3_0q0TbwzP8

Tokyo Tribe will be released in selected cinemas nationwide in the UK and Ireland on 22 May 2015.

Image provided by Eureka! Entertainment.

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