Satoshi Miki’s Adrift In Tokyo ranks rather high on my to-see list of films. Why? Well, I have heard so many good things about it and it seems to be a fan and critic favourite, which to me is a sure sign of a good movie. While I am still waiting to tick that film off my list, I have had the chance to see the director’s new film, Ore, Ore, at this year’s Japanese Film Festival. My thoughts? … (read more)
The last film I saw from Japanese powerhouse director Takeshi Kitano was his wonderful update of Zatoichi in 2003. Since then, he’s made a trio of more personal films that some have described as his ‘surrealist autobiographical’ trilogy: Takeshis’, Glory to the Filmmaker! and Achilles and the Tortoise. This film marks his return to more commercial territory, the yakuza film, in which scheming mob bosses and ambitious young thugs do battle on the street.
Kitano plays Otomo, a … (read more)
The Sky Crawlers is by far one of the most subtle Mamoru Oshii films to date, and that’s really saying something. Oshii has never been what one would call explicit. He’s far too invested in the humanity of his characters, in the complexity of choice versus fate. If he also happens to have a bit of a thing for more loftily existential issues like artificial consciousness and the self-actualising development of technology, it’s really only an extension of this primary … (read more)
I was looking forward to Clint Eastwood’s new film Letters from Iwo Jima, the companion piece to his excellent Flags of Our Fathers. Unfortunately, Letters is a far lesser film than Flags. Produced in the Japanese language and screened with English subtitles, it is a serious attempt to give an honest view of the Iwo Jima campaign from the Japanese perspective. Apart from standout performances by Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya, the movie is crammed with stock … (read more)