Squeezing in the Trailer Weekly before the day is over. I’m still stuffing myself with cherries, I have been debating with myself whether to buy something new to wear at a friend’s wedding later this month (I don’t have anything that’s heat and wedding appropriate) and debating even more whether to finally invest in a digital SLR (a more difficult question, as that involves an even bigger chunk of money and means dipping into savings). I also just rewatched 빈집 (Bin-jib/3-Iron, South Korea, 2004) for the nth time as I had a friend over for dinner who wanted to see a movie, didn’t recognise much from my DVD pile and wanted a recommendation… which more often than not ends up being Bin-jip.
Now, trailers, trailers… number 3 has me particularly excited, others I’m not so sure about.
- 사이비 (Saibi/The Fake, South Korea, 2013)
Dir. by Yeon Sang-ho.
Yeon Sang-ho, the director of 돼지의 왕 (Daegieui wang/The King of Pigs, South Korea, 2011) is back with his sophomore feature-length animation, which apparently is just as dark as the first one. The subject matter is religious cults and faith, with Hancinema describing it as “[a]n animated thriller about the tension between a good-hearted person speaking falsely and an evil-natured person speaking truthfully, and of those that surround them”.
- 바르게 살자 (Bareuge salja/Going by the Book, South Korea, 2007)
Dir. by Ra Hee-chan
I doubt I would have ever noticed this film had it not been recommended by several people on Dramabeans. It’s a comedy about a bank robberies, where a traffic cop that goes by the book to the point that it exasperates his colleagues is asked to help catch the repeat-criminals by staging a robbery himself. What his employers don’t realise is that to ask the person who follows every word to the letter will result in a fake robbery more real than real ones… Sounds hilarious already. The film is a remake of the 1991 「遊びの時間は終らない」(Asobi no jikan wa owaranai).
- 「ジ、エクストリーム、スキヤキ」(Ji, Ekusutorīmu, Sukiyaki/The Extreme Sukiyaki, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Maeda Shiro
When I featured 「大木家のたのしい旅行 新」(Ohkike no Tanoshii Ryoko/A Honeymoon in Hell: Mr. & Mrs. Oki’s Fabulous Trip, Japan, 2011) on last week’s Trailer Weekly I didn’t notice that the screenplay had been written by Maeda Shiro. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, let me clue you in: he is the novelist that penned the stage play「生きてるものはいないのか」(Ikiteru Mono Wa Inai No Ka/Isn’t Anyone Alive?), which was later adapted to the screen under the direction of Ishii Gakuryu. Maeda was also the screenwriter for「横道世之介」(Yokomichi Yonosuke/A Story of Yonosuke, Japan, 2012). All these bits of information together make me very excited about his debut as a director – indeed, I think this is the film I’m most interested in from this Trailer Weekly: Ji, Ekusutorīmu, Sukiyaki is a tale about two people who were friends back in in college. The two men reunite after fifteen years and decide to go on a spontaneous trip, bringing along the girlfriend of one and the ex of the other. In the lead roles are Iura Arata and Kubozuka Yosuke, who last starred together in the often recommended 「ピンポン」 (Ping Pong, Japan, 2002) – which is another one still on my to-watch list (I had it on a Trailer Weekly way back already).
- 「潔く柔く」(Kiyoku Yawaku/Clean Tender, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Shinjo Takehiko
I am, admittedly, a little wary about this one as it is adapted from a shoujo manga and sounds shoujo-ish to the core, which is not a compliment. However, it has a rather solid cast list that includes Okada Maski, Kora Kengo (presumably with little screen time), Nagasawa Masami and Furukawa Yuki – enough to make me want to give this film a try. The story: Kanna (Nagasawa) and Haruta (Kora) have been friends since childhood. Then Haruta dies in a car accident, leaving Kanna traumatised because his last message is an email to her. One day Kanna meets Roku (Okada), who also carries the burden of a death of a loved on with him. Now, this story could be a thought-provoking exploration of overcoming grief and trauma, or it could be pure sentimental cheese of the unpalatable kind. We’ll have to wait and see – the director’s filmography unfortunately doesn’t reassure me much….
- 「新しい靴を買わなくちゃ」(Atarashii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha/I Have To Buy New Shoes, Japan, 2012)
Dir. by Kitagawa Eriko
This film’s title is terribly off-putting (I get vibes of Sex in the City or Gossip Girl or something vain of the sort), which why I steered clear of Atarashii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha when I came across it many moons ago. It’s a romantic comedy that is summed up as follows: “Yagami Sen (Mukai Osamu), a commercial photographer in his late 20s, arrives with his younger sister Suzume (Kiritani Mirei), who suddenly abandons him after they stop off by the Seine on their way to their hotel. Completely lost, Sen bumps into Teshigawara Aoi (Nakayama Miho) when she trips over and breaks the heel of her shoe. Aoi ends up helping Sen find his hotel, whose name and address Suzume had taken with her. Suzume has gone to pay a surprise visit to her boyfriend Kango (Ayano Go), who left six months ago to pursue his dream of becoming an artist in Paris.” (quote) The synopsis is nothing too spectacular (just another romance), and neither the trailer nor the director convinced me otherwise, but here’s the thing: reviews have been consistently solid. Thus, back on the to-watch list it goes.
- 「上京ものがたり」 (Joukyou Monogatari, Japan, 2013)
Dir. by Morioka Toshiyuki
Not quite compelled by this one either, although here it has less to do with the story and more with the actors. The story: Natsumi moves to Tokyo for university. Soon she gets into a relationship with Ryosuke, who however is unemployed and spends his days doing rather little. Natsumi begins to work in a bar to earn some money and also works on a book she hopes to have published. The distance between her and her boyfriend slowly increases, as Ryosuke may be a good person, but he is also a good-for-nothing one. The actors: I have no particular complaints about Ikematsu Sosuke (I’m not really familiar with him), but Kitano Kie plays the female lead – and she has been half-irritating in just about everything I have seen her in. I’ll still give it a try.
- Yonghow reviews the artbook of 「風立ちぬ］(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013) over at his website Halcyon Realms. A little treat to tide us over until the film makes it to our cinemas (whenever that may be!)!