1 February 2015

Japanese Cinema and Encounters | 日本映画 3 本

Japanese cinema touring organized by Japan Foundation is something I look forward to every year. This year, I saw 3 films at ICA, London.

毎年楽しみにしている Japan Foundation 主催の日本映画上映イベント

Wood Job! | ウッジョブ!~神去なあなあ日常
Director/Writer: YAGUCHI Shinobu
Stars: SOMETANO Shota, NAGASAWA Masami, ITO Hideaki, Yuka

The first film was a forestry comedy based on a book by MIURA Shion. It was a laugh out loud film and I laughed my head off. Especially the lines were so funny!

After failing exams to enter university, Yuki happens to take a forestry course in a remote countryside where you can not get mobile signal. The life there was completely different from the one he had in a big city. Soon he gets tired of it and tries to run away... This film could've been a super sentimental drama but the director Yaguchi made it a very charming one. There was a very traditional festival scene at the end of the film in which the director made up a whole festival and I loved it.





My Little Sweet Pea | 麦子さんと
Director: YOSHIDA Keisuke
Writer: YOSHIDA Keisuke, NISHIHARA Ryou
Stars: HORIKITA Maki, MATSUDA Ryuhei, YO Kimiko, NUKUMIZU Yoichi, ASO Yumi

Mugiko is an "anime otaku" girl who works at an animation shop and lives with her brother. One day, their mum who left home years ago turns up out of the blue, and dies after a few days. Mugiko goes to her mum's hometown to bury her ashes where she learns her mum's past; she wanted to be a singer and she was an idol in the town. Mugiko didn't have any feeling towards her mum (or she had to ignore her feeling towards her). But people who know her mum when she was young,  gradually changes her attitude.

HORIKITA Maki performed Mugiko very well with her controlled acting.



Nobody to Watch Over Me | 誰も守ってくれない
Director: KIMIZUKA Ryoichi
Writer:  KIMIZUKA Ryoichi, SUZUKI Satoshi
Stars: SATO Koichi, SHIDA Mirai, MATSUDA Ryuhei, ISHIDA Yuriko, YANAGIBA Toshiro, SASAKI Kuranosuke

A fifteen year old girl Saori became a murder suspect's sister when her brother got arrested. A ditective Katsuura was ordered to protect the suspect's family from overwhelming media coverage and tries to take Saori to somewhere safe. But wherever they go, the media won't leave them alone and the information leaks on the internet. Katsuura decides to leave Tokyo and heads west... Saori becomes a murder suspect's sister all of a sudden. She gets confused and has difficulties catching up what's going on around her. SHIDA Mirai who played Saori left me a strong impression. Her big eyes showed all sorts of emotions without saying a word.

This film is based on Japanese reality where if your family member commits a crime, you as a family member will be punished socially. I felt the film was focused on character's emotions too much and was a bit too sentimental. If it had been more subtle then the film would have inspired me more.




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