Saturday, 26 May 2012

Eiga Diary

Not sure how I've managed to let it slip by for so long without posting on films, my last film diary entry was back in July 2010, (!),  my film viewing has slowed down considerably over the past year or so, I'm not too sure as to why, perhaps viewer's block?. Although, when if making it back to Japan I'll have to renew my Geo and Tsutaya cards, there are plenty of films that I'd like to catch up with, firstly Koji Wakamatsu's movie on Mishima, which has Arata as Mishima, the movie recounts the days leading up to the authors seppuku, a movie that Wakamatsu has deliberated over making for a number of years. A film that received awards last year from the Mainichi Film Awards was Sketches of Kaitan City/Kaitanshi Jokei, directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, with an award winning soundtrack by Jim O'Rourke, the film is based on an unfinished novel by Yasushi Sato. Shinji Aoyama is a director whose films have always fascinated me so I'd be interested in catching up with his latest, Tokyo Koen/Tokyo Park. A film that I've read alot about is Heaven's Story directed by Takahisa Zeze, the film comes in at a mammoth 280 minutes, I've not checked to see if the DVD of this is available yet but definitely a film I'd like to see, there is an in depth synopsis and interview with the director available to download via the film's page at the Berlin International Film Festival webpage. The films of Sono Sion both shock and compel although aside from films like Cold Fish, Suicide Club, Love Exposure, etc, Sono produces many film exploring social issues, although the films mentioned in their way do comment on society at large, Himizu follows a family facing the strains of life after the recent earthquake and tsunami. Toshiaki Toyada is a director I'm still catching up with, and much to my bewilderment I've still yet to see both Blue Spring and Nine Souls, Monsters Club looks to be another intriguing movie that I'd like to add to the list of films that I'd like to see, Toyoda also has another movie recently out called I'm Flash set in Okinawa. After recently watching Summer Wars, I'm intrigued to see The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki which is due in July, the website is up, here's what I've viewed recently, (well over the past few months):-

About Her Brother - directed by Yoji Yamada
Happiness of the Katakuris - directed by Miike Takashi
Kakera - A Piece of Our Life - directed by Ando Momoko
Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! - directed by Daihachi Yoshida
Visitor Qdirected by Miike Takashi
Ikiru - directed by Akira Kurosawa
Red Angel - directed by Yasuzo Masumura
Goth - directed by Gen Takahashi
2/Duo - directed by Nobuhiro Suwa
Fish Story - directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura
TekkonKinkreet - directed by Michael Arias
Nausicaa - Valley of the Wind - directed by Hayao Miyazaki
The Face of Another - directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Harakiri - directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Confessions of a Dog - directed by Gen Takahashi
I Live in Fear - directed by Akira Kurosawa
Red Beard - directed by Akira Kurosawa
Drive - directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka, (Sabu)
Norwegian Wood - directed by Tran Anh Hung
Gozu - directed by Miike Takashi
Cold Fish - directed by Sion Sono
The Sea is Watching - directed by Kei Kumai
Metropolis - directed by Shigeyuki Hayashi 
Outrage directed by Takeshi Kitano
Guilty of Romance - directed by Sion Sono
Devils on the Doorstep - directed by Jiang Wen
Villain - directed by Lee Sang-il
Summer Wars directed by Mamoru Hosoda
High and Low - directed by Akira Kurosawa
Profound Desires of the Gods - directed by Shohei Imamura
Arrietty - directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl - directed by Katsuhito Ishii

Its been something of a revelation to finally get around to filling in some of the gaps of the films of Kurosawa that I've not seen, in many ways I wish that I had watched these films before watching his samurai or Jidaigeki films, or at least to have watched them intermittently, there are still many of Kurosawa's films that I've yet to see, I think Kurosawa is a director that I wish that I could go back and watch as many of his movies in chronological order as they were released as possible. Another director that I've just started to make in roads with is Miike Takashi, I'd only seen Ichi and Audition before and there's obviously a great many more films from this director that I'd like to track out and see, Visitor Q and Gozu are both films that I'm not going to forget in the near future. Among my future viewing plans I'm hoping to watch the essential recent releases of Shohei Imamaru's back catalogue, it sometimes seems that perhaps outside of Japan, Japanese film appreciation goes in circles, but I sincerely hope that both Akio Jissoji and Yoshida Yoshihige get the same overhaul of re-releases of their films as Imamura has received recently. At the moment it seems that my film viewing comes in bursts, I'll watch a number of films in a row and then let it pass without watching anything, something I'll have to try and remedy.

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