There is a new trailer for Hara Keiichi’s animated film「百日紅」(Sarusuberi/Miss Hokusai, Japan, 2015), which comes with English subtitles. Although I’m still hearing Anne’s Yoriko, I actually like this trailer a little better than the previous one, but it’s still Hosoda Mamoru’s「バケモノの子」(Bakemono no Ko/The Boy and the Beast, Japan, 2015) that I am most excited about.
I have been a bit absent for a while – my apologies. I’m quite busy with writing up my thesis these days and the last thing one wants to do when writing all day long, is writing yet some more. You can however find me posting on tumblr quite a fair bit, as the camera has been the counterbalance against the monotony of my writing-up days.
Anyhow, so while I won’t be posting a film review for probably a good while just yet, here’s a short post with some recently released teasers/trailers.
News is out that it is not just Takahata Isao’s「かぐや姫の物語」(Kaguya Hime no Monogatari/The Tale of Princess of Kaguya, Japan, 2013) that is getting a release via STUDIOCANAL in the UK next month, but that a documentary about the animation will be made available as well.
Academy Awards, かぐや姫の物語, ハウルの動く城, 風立ちぬ, Frozen, GKIDS, Howl's Moving Castle, Kaguya Hime, Rotterdam, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Song of the Sea, Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli, Takahata Isao, The Wind Rises, Wallace and Gromit, When Marnie Was There, Yonebayashi Hiromasa, 千と千尋の神隠し, 思い出のマーニー
Various news updates (primarily for animated film fans): Continue reading
Studio Ghibli is on an extended hiatus and, indeed, may never return. Fortunately there is more quality animation to be found in Japan than just Miyazaki & co, with several exciting projects being scheduled for release in 2015. I have already written about Hosoda Mamoru’s「バケモノの子」(Bakemono No Ko/The Boy and the Beast) here and here, which will hit screens in July 2015. However, there is yet more to look forward to:
Director: Amy Draper (@amyrosedraper)
Adaptation from: Sakai Stan’s long-running manga「兎用心棒」 (Usagi Yōjinbō)
Script: Stewart Melton (@stewmelton)
Design: Ele Slade (@EleSladeDesign)
Lighting design: Joshua Pharo
Projection design: Nina Dunn (@nina_pixelpixie)
Sound designer: Max Pappenheim (@max_j_p)
Casting director: Annie Rowe (@AnnieRoweCasts)
Fight director: Ronin Traynor (@RoninTraynor)
Soundscore: Hirota Joji (@JojiHirota)
Cast: Amy Ip (@amyip), Kuroda Haruka (@kurodaharuka), Siu Hun Li (@siuhunli) Jonathan Raggett (@JonathanRaggett), Tabuchi Dai
Runtime: 95 min (no intermission)
Official website: None for the play but Usagi Yojimbo (website for the manga) and Facebook page (manga)
Note: All Usagi Yojimbo photos taken from the manga’s Facebook page (no photographer credited).
When I posted my first review on Otherwhere back in 2011, I never really thought about where blogging might take me. Three years on, there have been new-found Asian film fan friends (in London and elsewhere), plenty of screeners, invites ge previews, film festivals and even interviews, as well as the opportunity to do a photoshoot for GIGAN magazine a few months back with several London-based Japanese actors – one of whom was Tabuchi Dai. I have been following Dai’s work ever since and was instantly intrigued when, a few days back, he started posting images on his Facebook page from a play he was involved in: Usagi Yojimbo at the Southwark Playhouse. So off to the theatre I went.
One of the first film festivals of the very-quickly-approaching year of 2015 will be the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (JFTFP), which will kick off in London on January 30th and travel around the country until late March, with Bristol, Belfast, Derby, Birmingham, Dundee, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Newcastle upon Tyne, Kendal (Cumbria) and Nottingham all being planned tour stops. As always, a good dozen films (most fairly recent, a few older) will be on show, all connected through a thematic link, summarised in the 2015 festival title It Only Happens in the Movies? Continue reading
Here’s a lovely surprise that dropped from the skies today: a poster for Hosoda Mamoru’s next feature-length animation,「バケモノの子」(Bakemono no Ko/Beast and Boy). That’s the first I have heard of this film, but I’ll take surprises like this any day. Continue reading
Takahata Isao’s 「かぐや姫の物語」(Kaguya Hime no Monogatari/The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) was released in Japan more than a year ago on November 23, 2013. It has screened at a number of festivals around the world and, thanks to North American distributor GKIDS, is currently in US cinemas – meaning, it has been seemingly everywhere except in the UK. While we still do not have an exact release date, Studio Canal (the film’s UK distributor) has now at least offered a vaguely projected one: Continue reading
Director: Sunada Mami
Screenplay: Sunada Mami
Cinematography: Sunada Mami
Soundscore: Takagi Masakatsu
Cast: Miyazaki Hayao, Suzuki Toshio, Hideaki Anno
Runtime: 118 min
Distribution: GKIDS (North America), StudioCanal (UK)
Film’s official website: N/a
This piece was originally written as a guest review for easternKicks. It comes as part of easternKicks’s coverage of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, with SDAFF providing access to an online screener (thank you!). In the UK, the documentary will be available on DVD from StudioCanal on December 1, 2014. In the US, it will be released by GKIDS in select cinemas on November 28, 2014 and available for digital download on December 9, 2014.
Given that it has been nearly thirty years since Studio Ghibli, Japan’s probably most famous and, internationally speaking, most successful animation studio, was founded in June 1985, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that there has to date been no feature-length documentary on it. Continue reading
「山賊のむすめローニャ」(Sanzoku no Musume Ronia/Ronia Robber’s Daughter), Studio Ghibli’s first venture into TV in a collaboration with Polygon Pictures, premiered in Japan yesterday, with BS Premium airing a double episode to introduce (most) characters and the setting.
Director: Matsui Daigo
Screenplay: Matsui Daigo
Original story: Ozaki Sekaikan
Cinematography: Shioya Hiroki
Cast: Ikematsu Sosuke, Kurokawa Mei, Yamada Maho, Ando Sei, Shunsuke Daitoh Onoue Hiroyuki
Runtime: 106 min
Film’s official website: Jibun Bakari (日本語）
If definite answers are something you seek in films, then Jibun no Koto Bakaride Nasakenaku Naru Yo is probably not one to watch as it falls squarely into the slice of life genre and offers no more than a glimpse into the rather bleak lives of several characters, with many details unexplained. Continue reading
Studio Ghibli’s TV collaboration with Polygon Pictures is set to premiere in ten days (premiere date on NHK: October 11) and a two-minute preview was released today. Unlike the teaser a while back, it introduces some darker moments although it retains a light feel over all.
Director: Oh Mipo
Adaptation from: Novel of the same title by Sato Yasushi
Screenplay: Takada Ryo
Cinematography: Kondo Ryuto
Soundscore: Tanako Takuto
Cast: Ayano Gou, Ikewaki Chizuru, Suda Masaki, Takahashi Kazuya, Hino Shohei, Isayama Hiroko, Tamura Taijiro.
Runtime: 120 min
Distribution: Open Sesame (Tokyo)
Film’s official website: Hikarikagayaku (日本語）
Trailer: A trailer is available, but I’m not linking it here on purpose. I think it’s best to go completely blind into this film – the trailer contains some tiny, spoilerish bits. If you do insist, it’s below the Image Gallery at the end of the post. You might prefer to read this review post-film too.
Special thanks to Raindance for providing me with a screener for this film. The European premiere of Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku, which was recently chosen as Japan’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, will be at the Raindance Film Festival on September 29, 2014. A second screening will take place on September 30. Tickets can be booked here.
Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku is the sort of film I would like to write two reviews for: one for the people that have seen it and one for those who haven’t. It is the sort of film about which there is, afterwards, much to discuss, but which it is best to go into blind because not knowing is, at least in a first viewing, much of its power. Continue reading
Recently Andrew Heskins of Eastern Kicks asked a number of critics, film bloggers and friends about “the film that started it all” – i.e. their passion for Asian cinema:
It might not have been the first Asian film you saw, or even the best, but was there one that stood out? That light bulb moment when you realised how much you loved Asian movies and had to write/talk/blog/podcast about it?
Festival programme number two is from Raindance, London’s premier indie film festival that has been going strong for twenty-one years. This year, Raindance is scheduled to run from September 24 until October 5, 2014 and will screen some 100 feature films and over 150 shorts, host Q&A’s, run workshops – you name it. The festival has long since been a good place for Asian film lovers as a Japanese strand has been part of the programme for many years now and this year includes several feature films as well as a “New Directions in Japanese Cinema” sub-strand for shorts. A few other Asian offerings can usually be found too.
Note: Synopses (in purple) are directly quoted from the Raindance website.
The autumn is a-coming and it’s not just the colourful leaves on the ground that are telling me that: the first programme announcements for various film festivals are dropping. Scotland Loves Anime (SLA), which is scheduled for October, was revealed its line-up a few days ago, with Raindance (September) followed yesterday, while the London Film Festival (October) programme is due today and the London Korean Film Festival (October/November) one on September 15.
The story of When Marnie Was There is set in a little town by the name of Little Overton, a fictional town inspired by a real place – Burnham Overy Staithe on the Norfolk coast. Although Studio Ghibli announced that this setting was going to be changed to a village in Hokkaido in their adaptation, some friends and I still wanted to seek out Marnie’s original home base – just because we are dedicated enough Ghibli fans and because it is more fun to explore the UK by traveling to random places instead of completing the usual checklist of famous sights for foreigners. Continue reading
Another「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There) update: in addition to the sparkling new trailer (which by now has been watched more than 18,000 times – up from the 500 yesterday morning), we also now have a music video for “Fine on the Outside”, the theme song of the latest Studio Ghibli film. It’s a video of the full song, something which is a little surprising. Continue reading
It’s July and Studio Ghibli’s「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There, Japan, 2014) is opening in Japan later this month. A few days ago some more some new images were released, which I held off posting, thinking more would soon follow. Quite right I was – today we have a first trailer for the film: Continue reading
If there was ever a special reason needed to plan a trip to Paris, here’s one now: Art Ludique – Le Musée is holding an exhibition of 1300 original Studio Ghibli layouts from October 4th 2014 to March 1st 2015. Continue reading
Studio Ghibli has been gearing up for the release of its next film, Omoide no Mani, a story about the friendship between a lonely orphan, Anna, and the rather otherworldly Marnie. With less than two months to wait – the film is due out in Japan on July 19 – a few more images have been revealed.
Language: Japanese, some German and Italian
Director: Miyazaki Hayao
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Screenplay: Miyazaki Hayao
Art Direction: Takeshige Youji
Animation Direction: Kousaka Kitaro
Soundscore: Hisaishi Joe
Theme Song: ひこうき雲 (“Hikōki Gumo”/”Contrail”) by Yumi Matsutoya
Cast: Anno Hideaki, Takimoto Miori, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Nishimura Masahiko, Steve Alpert, Kazama Morio, Takeshita Keiko, Shida Mirai, Kunimura Jun, Otake Shinobu, Mansai Nomura
Runtime: 126 min
Distribution: Studio Canal (UK)
Film’s official website: http://www.kazetachinu.jp (日本語),
Special thanks to Studio Canal for an invite to a press screening of Kaze Tachinu prior to its UK release. I also attended the BFI Preview Screening of the film on April 23. Both screenings were subtitled, I have not seen (nor do I intend to) the dubbed version. The film is now showing in select UK cinemas (from May 9, 2014).
Kaze Tachinu, Miyazaki Hayao’s apparent swan song, comes with a certain kind of echo of「長州ファイブ」(Chōshū faibu/Chosyu Five), in which a group of young, ambitious men – who later become the founding fathers of modern Japan – seek technological knowledge and progress abroad but soon realise that they, and their nation, are years and years behind. Like these men, Horikoshi Jiro (Anno Hideaki), the hero of Miyazaki’s film, desires to know and create for the sake of knowing and creating, although, several decades on from the Choysu Five, he now envies the Germans, not the English, for their advanced know-how. Continue reading
A few bits and bobs have been trickling in about Studio Ghibli’s next film,「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/Memories of Marnie, 2014), which is due to be released in Japan this summer – on July 19 to be exact (mark your calendars!).
This comes a bit late, as I just don’t have much time to blog at the moment. I’ll keep trying but won’t make any promises, at least not for the next half year or so (I’m in the final stretch of my studies and have a lot to write over the next few months).
April comes with all kinds of film related events – there’s plenty to choose from, but it’s quiet compared to what is awaiting us in May. Continue reading
Director: Ogigami Naoko
Screenplay: Ogigami Naoko
Cinematography: Abe Kazutaka
Cast: Ichikawa Mikako, Kusamura Reiko, Mitsuishi Ken, Yamada Maho, Tanaka Kei, Kobayashi Katsuya
Runtime: 110 min
Film’s official website: N/a
Sayoko (Ichikawa Mikako) is a crazy cat lady in the making: although she is a little too young to be called a spinster (as per stereotype), she is an unmarried woman with a house full of cats and nothing much else. Continue reading
Alternative title (Chinese): 黒四角
Language: Mandarin, some Japanese
Director: Okuhara Hiroshi
Studio: Black Square Film
Screenplay: Okuhara Hiroshi
Cinematography: Maki Kenji
Cast: Nakaizumi Hideo, Hong Dan, Xixu Chen, Suzuki Miki
Runtime: 144 min
Film’s official website: N/a
Special thanks to Raindance, which provided me with a preview screener of this film. Kuroi shikaku showed at the 21st Raindance Film Festival on September 28, 2013. I previously featured the film on Trailer Weekly #79/80.
When Japanese film director Okuhara Hiroshi travelled to Bejing in 2008 and visited the Song Zhuang Artist Village he spoke no Chinese. The place – the experience – seemed surreal to him, or, as he explained, “the whole atmosphere felt like science fiction, including the surroundings. I felt I could shoot a Tarkovsky-like movie in this place. […] That’s how it all began.” (quote) Continue reading
As we go into the final stretch for the Kickstarter of Katabuchi Sunao’s 「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」 (Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009), I thought, why not collect the words of some of those who have already seen the film in one post? Mai Mai Miracle has had so few screenings that for most people the film is a complete unknown, enough perhaps to keep them from supporting this crowdfunding campaign. So, if you are toying with the question of whether to contribute to this Kickstarter, here’s a post to convince you that it’s very, very much worth it:
Anime director Shinkai Makoto has collaborated with Z-Kai, a Japanese company that runs cram schools and correspondence classes, to produce a 1:59 min long commercial. It’s a mini-story – titled 「クロスロード」(Korosuroudo/Crossroad) – of two students cramming for their entrance exams, simple but illustrated in Shinkai’s usual style – in other words, a colourful and light-filled feast for the eyes.
Because the company name doesn’t pop up until the very end (and without any explanation of what they do), it doesn’t feel like a commercial at all, but just a tiny snapshot of the life of two people.
Subtitles in both English and Chinese (simplified) are available, you can select them from the captions menu.
Today I received my monthly BFI Guide in the post, which contained details for the first half of the Studio Ghibli Retrospective. The information isn’t available on the BFI website just yet, so I have listed the screenings (plus trailers) below.
Note that all films, except the Funday screening of 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away, 2001), will be shown subtitled.
Booking: Priority booking for BFI Champions opens on 3 March, for BFI Members on 4 March. Public booking opens on 11 March.
Although we already knew a Ghibli season was coming – thanks to a mini-announcement in the BFI’s February booklet –, now it’s official: the British Film Institute published a full announcement on their website yesterday, revealing that it would be screening the complete set of Studio Ghibli films over the course of two months. Continue reading
All the Anime’s kickstarter for the English-language release of「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) has hit its first stretch goal by crossing the US$60,000 barrier. This means that not just subtitles, but a dub – specifically a US dub – will be made for the release. Continue reading
It’s a clear sign that people want this English-language release to happen, for All the Anime’s crowdfunding campaign for Katabuchi Sunao’s magical「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) reached its US$30,000 goal within less than a day of the Kickstarter having been announced. Continue reading
There have been some tweets and blog post mumblings over the past few days, but it’s official now: All the Anime’s Kickstarter campaign for a UK and US release of Katabuchi Sunao’s absolutely delightful「マイマイ新子と千年の魔法」(Maimai Shinko to sen-nen no mahō/Mai Mai Miracle, Japan, 2009) has gone live today.
February may be a short month, but it’s not lacking in South East Asian film events. The Glasgow Youth Film Festival hits the jackpot with the UK premiere of Studio Ghibli’s「風立ちぬ」(Kaze Tachinu/The Wind Rises, Japan, 2013). London and the rest of the UK wait on as the wider cinematic release of the film has apparently been postponed for later in the year.
Last updated: 4/2/2014
Note: As always, I will be updating this post if I hear of any more events. Let me know if you see anything missing!
There are so many film festivals in London that it’s sometimes easy to forget about one, until they remind you with a programme release that they are still there and still screening lots of delightful stuff that you better not miss.
Next month, from February 26 to March 9, it’s the Pan-Asia Film Festival that rolls around for the umpteenth time (sorry, I lost count), with 7 UK premieres and 2 London ones featuring. Continue reading
Back in December I posted some concept art from Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata’s Isao’s Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking) adaptation, which they were working on back in 1971 but which never came to fruition in the end. I mentioned back then that more so than an animated Pippi, I would have loved an animated Ronja – as in Ronja Røverdatter (Ronia the Robber’s Daughter), another character created by the same Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren. It seems now my wish has about to be fulfilled: the news is out that Miyazaki Goro will be directing a TV anime of Ronja. Continue reading
Wee bit late. I was only missing the Trailer Weekly main image last night, but as I’m staying at my sister’s one-bedroom flat for a couple of days, I decided to go to bed, since she had to get up 5 this morning. Which was for me, so she can finish work early and go for Vietnamese-French fusion food (much recommended) and vegan ice-cream (a place I’ve been wanting to try for a year – definitely having matcha) in downtown Vienna with me. In other words, I would have felt guilty leaving the lights on and typing away noisily for another half hour.
We’re 50% Japanese, 50% Taiwanese with trailers today. Hope there’s something for you!
This week’s episode of The Simpsons makes a tribute to Miyazaki in this wonderful animated sequence, apparently as a sort of ‘Thank You’ since the Japanese master of animation announced his retirement a few months back.
It’s a delightful little clip, with references to plenty of Miyazaki’s creations – see how many you can spot! (If you need help, Slate has been compiling a list.)
It’s the first day of 2014 and I’ll start with an Events post, after having to give December a miss. Not all that much is happening this month – in part, because no details have yet been released on a several possible screenings (Asian Movies Meet Up, Korean Film Nights, Terracotta Film Club, Films at the Embassy of Japan). The only one that I’m fairly sure that will happen is the Asian Movies Meet Up, as I recall the organisers skipped December but announced that the event would be back in January. No word meanwhile on what kind of film screenings the KCCUK will be organising this year. It’s probably unlikely that after the Year of 12 Directors (2012) and the Year of 4 Actors (2013), they will run a special, year-long event series with special guests again, but fingers crossed that we’ll at least be getting the bimonthly Korean Film Nights back. I’m not sure about the Terracotta Film Club either (it’s permanent link seems to have disappeared from the Prince Charles Cinema website) and the Films at the Embassy of Japan have always been rather irregular.
Fortunately, there are events that have been confirmed and we can already also look forward to February as the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme will kick off at the last day of this month.
Last updated: 6/1/2014
It’s the last Trailer Weekly of the year and I am actually on time with it – much in contrast to the rest of the year. But I had a lot of films to choose from, which always gets me excited – and that particularly applies to the first film today.
Original Language: English
Author: Joan Robinson
Place of Publication: London
Genre: Children’s novel
Edition: Collins Modern Classics (2002 edition, second-hand copy)
Other Editions and Translations: No other editions are currently in print in English. The book has apparently been translated into several languages, although I can only confirm that there is a Japanese version (「思い出のマーニー」) as well as a German one (Damals mit Marnie).
Update: If you are UK-based, you can now purchase a Kindle version of When Marnie Was There on amazon.co.uk. Elsewhere, you’ll still have to seek out second-hand copies of the book.
When Studio Ghibli announced earlier this month that its next project was to be an adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s When Marnie Was There, with Yonebayashi Hiromasa directing, I quickly – after reading unequivocally raving reviews – searched for a copy. First published in 1967 to “great success” (283) and even featuring in BBC children’s programme Jackanory in the 1970s, a few decades on When Marnie Was There had all but disappeared, remaining a precious memory for people who had loved the book as children but could no longer find it anywhere. Continue reading