So here we are with this week’s randomicity, which some of you seem to so appreciate. It’s a day late (ごめん!) but I was feeling a bit mopey yesterday and couldn’t be quite bothered to finish it. I’m still munching away on cherries though, even more so since the cherryman tells me that the season is nearly over (next week will likely be the last one). So, gotta eat them now or never. I’m also still mulling over the clothes-for-the-wedding/SLR questions and have watched a few films this week, which I must all stay mum about as they are for the upcoming Raindance Film Festival. I have been writing short synopses (for the festival catalogue), but am also working on reviews for a few of them. While that, plus uni, plus my part-time jobs have been keeping me busy, I hope I’ll have a review of some other film for you this week – we’ll see.
Meanwhile, here’s your weekly dose of totally random trailers:
- 「Homesick」 (Homesick, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Hirohara Satoru
Mark Schilling wrote a delightful review of Homesick in the Japan Times last week, making me just very excited about this film. Kenji, age 30, still lives at home – though the rest of his family has moved out. The mother’s whereabouts have long since been unknown, the father resides in the country-side inn he runs, while Kenji’s younger sister is globetrotting. Alone, suddenly unemployed and utterly bored, Kenji is waterbombed by three neighbourhood children one day. He fights back and henceforth becomes their playmate, losing himself in the carefreeness of childhood while reality – that he must finally grow up – looms over him. I so know I will like this one.
- 「おと・な・り」(Oto-na-ri/Romantic Prelude, Japan, 2009)
Dir. by Kumazawa Naoto
The English title is not particularly enticing, nor an accurate rendering of the original one, which more literally translates as “next to” – though romantic prelude might equally give an indication of what the film is about: Satoshi, a photographer, takes off to Canada to escape his life and moves in next door to Nanao, a woman who has no romantic life as she is too busy working at a flower shop. Satoshi and Nanao have never met in person, but know of each other’s existence through the sounds they hear through the thin wall connecting their apartments. I have no idea how far the film pushes the idea, but I wouldn’t mind the never-meeting-in-person until the very end as it is certainly an intriguing concept to play with (if done right, of course).
P.S. Just remembered: おと (oto) also means sound… Not sure about the な (na) and the り (ri) or なり (nari)… but, point being, there seems to be some wordplay in this title.
And a post-Twitter conversation update: The Japanese DVD release (region 2) comes with English subtitles. Not that cheap at £32 though.
- 「天国はまだ遠く」(Tengokuhamadatōku aka Tenmada/Faraway Heaven, Japan, 2008)
Dir. by Nagasawa Masahiko
Chizuru is a young female office worker – like many others. Her life is unfulfilling, so she decides to flee somewhere faraway from the city and commit suicide. Her suicide attempt however fails, and she awakens in a guest house, where a whole other, much quieter life starts for her. Love the poster – the flower detail really makes it.
- 孫子從美國來 (Sūnzi cóng měiguó lái/Grandson from America, China, 2013)
Confession: I couldn’t find a trailer, but wanted to include this anyway. (=^･ｪ･^=)
Dir. by Qu Jiangtao
I was browsing through the catalogue of the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival as I was researching one of the films that screened at the event, stumbling across Sūnzi cóng měiguó lái. Lao Yang was once a shadow puppeteer, but is quietly living out his days in the Chinese countryside. Then, one day, his son appears, with an American fiancée and her six-year old child from another marriage in tow. Lao Yang’s son and the fiancée however do not stick around, leaving behind a young boy that the old man must now care for: a boy with a language and culture completely distinct to his own. I can see that puppetry might come in handy here…
- 「少年H」(Shonen H/A Boy Called H, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Furuhata Yasuo
I came across this film via an interview with Oguri Shun posted on Psycho-drama the other day. Oguri has a supporting role in the story, which is set around World War II and focuses on Seno Hajime, better known as “H”. I’m not particularly into historical films, but the trailer looks interesting enough, hinting at the hardship that H’s family must go through as the war begins – including some images that seem to suggest that the spirited H himself has to become a soldier despite his young age.
- 「パルムの樹」(Parumu no Ki/A Tree of Palme, Japan, 2002)
Dir. by Nakamura Takashi
I haven’t got a trailer for Parumu no Ki either, only a short clip. There is in fact a trailer available, but it comes with a hideous English voiceover, so no way that I’m linking that here. There’s also another trailer, but YouTube tells me it’s not viewable in my country. Great. Things like that annoy me, because of course right next to the hideous-voiceover trailer and the we-don’t-want-you-to-watch-it Japanese trailer, you’ll find links on YouTube for the full film, not very legally at all. *sigh*
Anyhow, I heard about this one thanks to another “Name That Drama” instalment on Dramabeans, where one of the commenters was looking for a Japanese animation with a robot on a journey to find his heart. It’s apparently a reinterpretation of the tale of Pinocchio. The scores on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes are dismal, but a reviewer on Amazon calls it an “eternally misunderstood masterpiece” (and the review average there is 4/5 stars). I have never come across it on any must-watch anime lists (or even heard of it before today), but I will watch and judge for myself with this one.
- An interview with Chinese film director Jia Zhangke – him, whose films are on my list-of-shame….
- The Korean Film Festival in Australia (better known as KOFFIA) released its programme for its August-to-September run in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The best bit: they are hosting a pajama party for the screening of 나의P.S.파트너 (Naui P.S. Pateuneo/My PS. Partner, 2012, billed as Whatcha Wearin’ on the programme). Having been favourably inclined towards pajama events at least since the library sleepover we had at my Taiwanese school in fifth grade and certainly since all the pajamming in「ラブシャッフル」(Rabu Shaffuru/Love Shuffle, 2009), I’ve got my fingers crossed the London Korean Filmfest will copycat this idea.