19 February 2014

East Side Stories | 日本映画三昧

Earlier this month, there was an annual Japanese cinema event called "East Side Stories, Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth" organized by the Japan Foundation.

When I started living in the UK 8 years ago, the only Japanese films I could see in the cinema were classics such as Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, etc (and I took the opportunities to discover those masterpieces). But now there are more chances to see contemporary Japanese films to ease my homesickness.

This time 11 films showed at the ICA. Unfortunately the dates overlapped with my Paris trip, but I managed to see two of them.

今月の頭に、ジャパン・ファンデーション主催の日本映画上映イベント「East Side Stories, Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth」がありました。


今回はロンドンの映画館 ICA で 11 本も上映されたわけですが、残念ながら期間がパリ旅行とほぼ被っておりました。。でも、なんとか2本観てきましたよー。

Otakus in Love | 恋の門
Director: Matsuo Suzuki
Writer: Matsuo Suzuki
Stars: Matsuda Ryuhei, Sakai Wakana, Matsuo Suzuki

This comedy film pays homage to Japanese Otaku culture. 

The main character Mon (Matsuda Ryuhei) meets a cute girl Koino (Sakai Wakana) who turns out to be very into manga and dressing like a manga character. It was interesting that even though Mon himself was quite a geek (he creates "art" from stones which nobody understood), he was the one who gave us our viewpoint toward the Otaku world (his role was not unlike John Watson in "Sherlock").

It was raher a long film (114 min) but I just kept laughing throughout. The film itself was a bit like a comic so it could have been too cheesy if the direction had gone wrong (but it was spot-on!).


松田龍平演じる主人公、門は、酒井若菜演じるかわいらしい女の子、恋乃と知り合うわけですが、彼女、筋金入りのオタクなのです。 門自身もキャラが濃い(石で "芸術" 漫画を製作するも、誰にも理解されず。。)にも関わらず、観客が濃ゆいオタク世界に対する視点を門と共有するようになってるのが面白い。


Capturing Dad | チチを撮りに
Director: Nakano Ryota
Writer: Nakano Ryota
Stars: Watanabe Makiko, Yanagi Erisa, Matsubara Nanoka

This film is also a comedy and about two young sisters who live with their mum. Their dad left them for another woman 14 years ago and they haven't seen him since.

One day, there was a phone call from their uncle telling them that their dad was in his death bed. Their mum asked them to see him and take a picture of him. But when they arrived at his town, he'd already passed away and their half brother was waiting for them...

The actresses played these sisters in a very natural and low- key way. The film almost felt like a documentary.

 I loved the quirky ending!





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