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Starfish Hotel (2006)

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It might surprise to realise that the director/writer/producer of Starfish Hotel, starring the likes of Koichi Sato (Aegis, When the Last Sword is Drawn), Kiki (Vital) and Akira Emoto (Scrap Heaven), is a Brit. It’s certainly surprising considering the film seems to have a wholly Japanese aesthetic – gorgeous and exact, with the kind of subtle surrealism more at home in the sedate moments of a Miike film, or a Tsukamoto. Under the … (read more)

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Vital (2004)

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It might have been easy to descend into a creepy, stomach churning genre film when the main narrative device of the story is a cadaver, but somehow that’s exactly what Shinya Tsukamoto’s 2004 film Vital isn’t. Instead, and it sounds strange to say, it is something of a love story, a subtle, sedated ode to loss and the process of grieving that is at times both vaguely discomforting and quietly beautiful.

In yet another solid performance of minimalist effort, … (read more)

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