A new Fantasia fest is upon is – one of the main events of the summer. By way of introduction, we want to share four movies Japanese that, if you’re able to go to the festival, should be on your to-watch list.
Of course there are also other high-profile Japanese movies to see:https://fantasiafestival.com/en/program/movies?countryId=51761. And, of course, look forward to our coverage of the festival.
Four Recommended movies
With Hanagatami, Obayashi created a narrative that feels like a fleeting string of impressions; the spectator adrift on the associative flow of music, speech and images, only to be brutally confronted with the impact of the looming war and the reality of death. As life is evoked as fleeting, moments of happiness quickly passing by, why invest in war, as peace is so much more beautiful and rewarding. This, and nothing else, is the powerful moving message of Hanagatami.
I am a Hero is an amazing cinematographical product. While some narrative threads will feel very familiar for the zombie-movie fan, I Am A Hero nevertheless succeeds in crafting a fresh and utterly thrilling narrative. Sometimes disturbing and confronting, sometimes fun, but ever engaging, the narrative underlines the influence society, the symbolic order, has on the subject, and how the collapse of a symbolic structure opens up the possibility to rewrite one’s coming into being. In other words, one of the best zombie narratives ever to be released.
While Tokyo Vampire Hotel at first glance provides more style over substance, the cinematographical poetry of Sono nevertheless turns this narrative into a subtle but powerful social commentary. As much as the narrative threads of Manami and the humans within the hotel are interesting on their own, these threads ultimately have no other purpose than to open space where the dimension of enjoyment and its function within contemporary Japanese society can be questioned with ultra-violent precision. In short, this is Sion Sono at its finest.
Destiny: Tale of Kamakura is great. The fantasy setting works and is brought to life in a believable way. As a matter of fact, the setting works so well that it slightly disappointing to see that Kamakura is underused in the middle part of the narrative. Luckily, the visually impressive finale more than makes up for it. Destiny is also an extremely enjoyable romantic-comedy, due to the amazing chemistry between the two leads. In short, if you are a romantic soul, Destiny will surely be a moving experience. As the credits roll, you’ll want to hug your girlfriend while hoping that something like destiny truly exists.