I’m actually not multiple days late with this Trailer Weekly but just right on time! I haven’t had dinner yet though … but that’s more so because I can’t make up my mind what to have. Ideally soup (which is comfort food in my book) with dumplings (gyoza, mandu, momos, whichever) but I haven’t got any dumplings and I’m not about to start making any from scratch on a Sunday night at 10 p.m. (if I had wonton wrappers, maybe). Ramen would do as well, but no ramen noodles in the house either so I think it’ll end up being a soup concoction involving some sort of Asian noodles, seaweed and miso. No tofu though, boohoooo. I really wish, by the way, corner shops would carry tofu (I eyed some halloumi cheese today, vaguely hoping it might turn out to be a block of soy, but of course it wasn’t). Anyhow, before I get too deep into my food contemplations, better I go cook something and leave you to peruse this week’s Trailer Weekly selection.
- 「体温」(Taion/Body Temperature, Japan, 2011) – Dir. by Ogata Takaomi. Although the film was made in 2010 and featured in a number of film festivals, including the Fantastic Film Fest and Raindance, in 2011, it was only released in Japan in late February. It is a strange one, that’s for sure: Rintaro, a lonely and socially awkward factory worker, owns a life-sized sex doll called Ibuki, with whom he shares every aspect of his life: he treats her like a real person, dresses her, takes her on outings and, of course, uses her for sex. One day he runs into Rinko, a night club hostess, who looks exactly like his doll. They begin to spend time together and begin a relationship. A quote from the Fantastic Fest: ”BODY TEMPERATURE is a subtle film that walks a thin line between outrageousness and earnestness. The core relationship is inherently absurd yet the film takes the man’s love for the doll seriously. There are comical moments but they are subtle. The film’s commitment to its characters and the story make the creepy moments —and there are a whole lot of creepy moments— that much more powerful.” (quote)
- 「白夜行」(Byakuyakou/Into the White Night, Japan, 2010) – Dir. by Fukagawa Yoshihiro. Murder mystery time. Based on a previously adapted novel by Higashino Keigo (there is a 2006 dorama with the same title and a 2009 Korean film called 백야행 – 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 /Baekyahaeng – Hayan Eodoom Sokeul Geolda/White Night), Detective Sasagaki (Funakoshi Eichiro) is investigating the murder of a pawn shop owner that has been declared suicide for the lack of evidence. Over time – the story spans two decades – he becomes increasingly suspicious of Yukiho (Horikita Maki), the daughter of the main suspect, and Ryouji (Kora Kengo), the son of the pawn shop owner, as more and more deaths happen around them.
- 백야행 - 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 (Baekyahaeng – Hayan Eodoom Sokeul Geolda/White Night, South Korea, 2009) – Dir. by Park Shin-woo. The Korean adaptation of Higashino’s novel, starring Han Seok-kyu, Son Ye-jin and Ko Soo. Watch and compare.
- 「ハードロマンチッカー」(Hado Romanchikka/Hard Romanticker, Japan, 2011) – Dir. by Gu Su-yeon. I noticed this one probably quite a while back – it appeared on a number of festival programmes – but kind of shied away from it because it’s a gangster/action movie and, apparently, spectacularly violent. Not really my kind of thing. But then when I stumbled over it again recently I realised that Matsuda Shota has the lead role. He is always fabulous but particularly so when he plays super-intense characters, which he certainly does here. Indeed, as a gangster/delinquent bad boy that gets sucked deeper and deeper into the dark life, he might just burn a hole into the screen methinks. Plus, he’s sporting hideously awesome white-blond hair here.
- 天水圍的夜與霧 (Tiānshuǐwéi de yè yǔ wù/Night and Fog, Hong Kong, 2009) – Dir. by Ann Hui. More murder and killing (coincidence, really! I did not plan this for the Trailer Weekly!) in this final film in a trilogy from the wonderful Hong Kong director Ann Hui, which lovehkfilm.com considers a “surprising follow-up to The Way We Are” but “harrowing and genuinely involving” (quotes). Based on real events, the story is about Ling, an immigrant from Mainland China, who is married (with two children) to a somewhat older Hong Kong man. Their marriage is a deeply troubled one, causing Ling to flee to a woman’s shelter and even return to her homeland for some time. When she meets with her husband again, things take an even more tragic turn. Definitely a tough watch, this one.
- 「リアル 完全なる首長竜の日」(Riaru Kanzen Naru Kubinagaryu no Hi/Real, Japan, 2013) – Dir. by Kurosawa Kiyoshi. I have been enjoying Sato Takeru in the currently airing dorama「とんび」(Tonbi/Kite) these weeks, which, I get the impression, hardly anyone is paying attention to despite the fact that it’s a simply wonderful (very tug-at-your-hearstrings) family drama. Riaru Kanzen Naru Kubinagaryu no Hi is Sato’s first film project for 2013 and the only film on today’s Trailer Weekly that hasn’t yet been released. Although we’ve only got a teaser for it so far, I think it looks interesting. Sato plays Koichi, who has been friends with Atsumi (Ayase Haruka) since childhood. As adults they become lovers, but their relationship soon faces some difficulties as Atsumi attempts suicide and falls into a coma. Before you think this is going to a typical melodramatic romance, hold off – the film actually veers into sci-fi territory: Using a new medical procedure, Koichi enters the subscience of his girlfriend (creepy!), where she ask him to find a childhood drawing of a plesiosaur that holds the key to a suppressed memory. Honestly, I have no idea where this film is going – the teaser gives us guns, the aforementioned plesiosaur and a morphing city (?) – but I’m happy to wait and see. Even more so because there is the bonus point of Sometani Shota in the supporting cast. Plus Odarigi Joe and Nakatani Miki, which can’t hurt either.
No bonus bits today. Need to have food!
After-Dinner Update: Here’s a bonus – Toda Erika in the dorama「SPEC（スペック」, eating super-servings of both steamed and fried gyoza. Oh yeah.