Director Keishi Otomo, whose brilliant Rurouni Kenshin trilogy was probably one of the best anime/manga adaptations to hit our screens in the last decade, exhibits an equal amount of mastery over thriller genre mise-en-scène in his latest film Top Secret: Murder in Mind, but it seems in this case he perhaps needed a better screenplay writer. Or maybe Japanese action cinema just has to more seriously consider spanning manga/anime adaptations across more than one movie as a default setting, … (read more)
It’s been a while since I last saw a film coming out of Japan that I have found truly inventive, truly exciting and truly satisfying. Perhaps not since Love Exposure, the 4-hour masterpiece from Sion Sono, way back in 2008. So I can’t express how grateful I am to the Japanese Film Festival for the opportunity to see The Brain Man, the latest film from Tomoyuki Takimoto, director of JFF 2011’s crowd favourite Star Watching Dog.
Any … (read more)
Hanamizuki is a personal favourite of mine amongst all the films that I have seen at this year’s Japanese Film Festival. It is perhaps not as accomplished in various aspects as a few of the others, but it has managed to touch me and tug at my heartstrings in a way that no other films have done.
Based on the lyrics of a moving love song by Yo Hitoto (played in full at the end of the film), this story … (read more)