Cinema of Japan

Orphan’s Blues, Jesus, Parallel World Love Story, Farewell Song, A Long Goodbye, Black Maiden: Chapter Q, Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso, Life on the Longboard 2nd Wave, Zubu nurete inukoro, Ninomiya Kinjirou Japanese Film Trailers

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Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you are all well!

I have just completed a 12-day work week and have two days off so I’m going to spend this weekend watching films. I went out with work colleagues/friends to a Chinese restaurant and a bar, the first time I’ve done that in months, and it felt good. I’ll be going out more now that proofing work has died down and film work has gone back to various things I have watched although I still have reviews and interviews from the Osaka Asian Film Festival to go. No films watched this week, just a review for Shinjuku Tiger and an interview with its director, Yoshinori Sato.

Here’s what’s released this weekend.

Orphan’s Blues Orphans Blues Film Poster

オーファンズ・ブルース  「O-fanzu Buru-su」

Duration: 89 mins.

Release Date:May 31st, 2019

Director: Riho Kudo

Writer: Riho Kudo (Screenplay),

Starring: Yukino Murakami, Takura Kamikawa, Nagiko Tsuji, Sion Sasaki,Tamaki Kubose, Yu Yoshii,

Website

This one has played at the Nara International Film Festival and the Tokyo International Film Festival and has received a strong review over at the Hollywood Reporter after taking the Grand Prize at the Pia Film Festival 2018.

Synopsis: A young woman named Emma lives by herself and works as a bookseller. Recently she has become forgetful. As her memory loss progresses she takes notes to record every little thing and she also becomes desperate. One day, she gets a painting from her childhood friend Jang, who has been long missing. They grew up together in an orphanage and he was her best friend and possibly more… Emma decides to search for him and encounters various people connected to him all while her memory continues to fade away…

JesusJesus Film Poster

僕はイエス様が嫌い 「Boku ha Iesu sama ga kirai」

Duration: 76 mins.

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Director: Hiroshi Okuyama

Writer: Hiroshi Okuyama (Screenplay),

Starring: Yura Sato, Kenichi Akiyama, Mari Hatsumi, Yuko Kibiki, Masayasu Kitayama, Chad Mullane, Kouichi Nihei, Hinako Saeki,

Website IMDB

Synopsis from the Japan Film Festival Ireland site: When nine-year-old Yura moves from the city to a small town, he immediately feels lonely and isolated in his new environment. All that changes during a school prayer session. Yura opens his eyes, and spots a small, silent Jesus Christ dancing on the altar. The miniature Jesus, who nobody else can see, quickly becomes a regular presence in the young boy’s life. He also starts answering Yura’s prayers – including one for a new friend. However, the miraculous changes in Yura’s fortunes don’t last forever. After events take an unexpected turn for the worse, he finds himself questioning how effective his prayers really are.

Parallel World Love Story Parallel World Love Story Film Poster

パラレルワールド・ラブストーリー  「Parareru Warudo Rabusutori」

Duration: 108 mins.

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Duration: Yoshitaka Mori

Writer: Lion Hitoshizuku (Screenplay), Keigo Higashino (Novel)

Starring: Yuta Tamamori, Riho Yoshioka, Shota Sometani, Michitaka Tsutsui, Rie Mimura, Hiroya Shimizu, Ron Mizuma, Nicole Ishida, Tomorowo Taguchi,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Takashi (Yuta Tamamori) and Tomohiko (Shota Sometani) have been close friends since university and both work together at a company which does brain research. One day, Tomohiko introduces his girlfriend Mayuko (Riho Yoshioka) to Takashi who is astonished because, when he was in university, he would see her riding a train everyday and became attracted to her. Things take a twist because, one day, Takashi wakes up and he is greeted by his girlfriend Mayuko. It’s like he has slipped into another reality, one where he and Mayuko live as a couple. It seems too perfect to be true and Takashi begins to have doubts and when Tomohiko disappears, he soon can’t discern if his memory is real or imaginary.

Farewell Song Farewell Song Film Poster

さよならくちびる  「Sayonara Kuchibiru」

Duration: 116 mins.

Duration: May 31st, 2019

Director: Akihiko Shiota

Writer: Akihiko Shiota (Screenplay),

Starring: Nana Komatsu, Mugi Kadowaki, Ryo Narita, Skinobu Shinoyama, Marika Matsumoto, Takaya Aoyagi, Makita Sports, Yukiko Shinohara,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Haru-Reo are an indie band made up of Haru (Mugi Kadowaki) and Reo (Nana Komatsu) and their roadie Shima (Ryo Narita). Just as they hit the height of their popularity they decide to break up and go on one last tour. During this period, the feelings that Haru has for Reo come out…

A Long Goodbye A Long Goodbye Film Poster

長いお別れ  「Nagai Owakare」

Duration: 127 mins.

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Director: Ryota Nakano

Writer: Ryota Nakano, Toshiya Ono (Screenplay), Kyoko Nakajima (Novel)

Starring: Yu Aoi, Yuko Takeuchi, Chieko Matsubara, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Yuito Kamata, Rairu Sugita, Tomoya Nakamura, Yukiya Kitamura, Akiko Kurano, Kurukmi Shimizu,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Shohei (Tsutomu Yamazaki) is a retired middle school principal who has just hit 70 and found out that he has Alzheimer’s disease. He tells his wife Yoko (Chieko Matsubara), eldest daughter Mari (Yuko Takeuchi), a housewife, and youngest daughter Fumi (Yu Aoi), a singleton seeking a path in life. The three women can only think of themselves and their own lives and are embarrassed for Shohei who is losing his memory but he still remembers what they have forgotten, precious family memories which are brought out as his memory fades and he regresses back to an earlier time.

Black Maiden: Chapter Q Black Maiden Chapter Q Film Poster

黒い乙女Q  「Kuroi Otome Q」

Duration: 116 mins.

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Director: Sakichi Sato

Writer: Sakichi Sato (Screenplay), Kyoko Nakajima (Novel)

Starring: Nana Asakawa, Kana Kita, Soko Wada, Yoko Mitsuya, Ryota Matsushima, Harumi Syuhama, Toshifumi Muramatsu, Natsu Ando, Ririne Sasano,

Website

Synopsis: The wealthy and kind Uda family has adopted an orphan girl named Mei (Nana Asakawa). She lives with them and gains a new sister in the shape of their other adopted daughter Rana (Kana Kita). When the Uda family’s business collapses, love becomes hate since they can only keep one of the daughters. Cue violence…

Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso Lupin the IIIrd Mine Fujiko no Uso Film Poster

LUPIN THE IIIRD 峰不二子の嘘  「Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso」

Duration: 56 mins.

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Director: Takeshi Koike

Writer: Yuuya Takahashi (Screenplay), Monkey Punch (Original Creator),

Starring: Miyuki Sawashiro (Fujiko Mine), Kanichi Kurita (Lupin III), Kiyoshi Kobayashi (Daisuke Jigen), Mamoru Miyano (Binkam), Tomoe Hanba (gene),

Animation Production: Telecom Animation Film

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: This is the latest in the “Lupin III” spin-off movies which focusses on the side characters. This one has Fujiko Mine calling the shots who gets involved in a heist that reveals a twisted family history…

Life on the Longboard 2nd Wave Life on the Longboard 2nd Wave Film Poster

ライフ・オン・ザ・ ロングボード 2nd Wave  「Raifu on za rongu bo-do 2nd Wave」

Duration: 112 mins.

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Director: Ichiro Kita

Writer: Ichiro Kita, Hiroko Kanasugi (Screenplay),

Starring: Hisashi Yoshizawa, Fumika Baba, Karina, Ken Tateishi, Hisako Ookata, Shigeru Izumiya, Nayu Matsubara,

Website

Synopsis: Kotaro Umehara is a middle-aged man who has quit his job and followed his passion for surfing off the coast of Tanegashima. He followed an old surfer like a disciple but when the old man dies, Kotaro and the old man’s daughter Mika come into conflict…

Zubu nurete inukoro Zubu nurete inukoro Film Poster

ずぶぬれて犬ころ  「Zubu nurete inukoro」

Duration: 100 mins.

Release Date: June 01st, 2019

Director: Takayoshi Honda

Writer: Fumiko Yamaguchi (Screenplay), Kenichi Yokota (Original Work)

Starring: Kenta Kiguchi, Souta Moriyasu, Takashi Nishina, Keiko Yagi, Kaho Harada,

Website

Synopsis: Souta Moriyasu plays a junior high school student who faces extreme bullying but thanks to haiku and the inspiration of a priest of True Pure Land Buddhism, he changes his life.

Ninomiya Kinjirou Ninomiya Kinjirou Film Poster

二宮金次郎  「Ninomiya Kinjirou」

Duration: 113 mins.

Release Date: June 01st, 2019

Director: Sho Igarashi

Writer: Michio Kashiwada (Screenplay), Michio Mitooka (Original Work)

Starring: Masashi Koda, Misato Tanaka, Atsushi Narita, Kyo Hasegawa, Makiya Yamaguchi,

Website

Synopsis: A biographical drama depicting a lesser-known half-life of Kinjiro Ninomiya, a legend in Japanese history who arose from a peasant family and profoundly changed the way of life of so many people, placing farming and community at the centre of his work as he rose through the ranks of society. One of the episodes depicted in this film is him fighting against conservative reactionaries and moneyed interests, he played a big role in staving off a famine that would have been borne by normal people.

Ira Ligar
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    Interview with Yoshinori Sato, director of the documentary “Shinjuku Tiger” [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2019]

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