Japanese cinema newsflashes (29/01/2020).


In this news article, we provide information about upcoming screenings, present a short review of Hikari’s 37 Seconds, inform directors of the Call of Entries for the SKIP CITY International Festival, and introduce the winners of this years Blue Ribbon Awards.

Newsflash: Screenings one cannot miss.

Cinema lovers, who have not yet seen Chauhan’s Bad Poetry Tokyo (2019) on the big screen, receive an additional two weeks to right this wrong. We urge everyone in Tokyo to experience this cinematographical exploration of a woman trying to break free from the cycle of abuse. [Not yet confirmed, but there is a high possibility that from the first of February the movie will be screened with English Subtitles.]

Date: Till 14/02/2020.
Place: Image Forum (2 Chome-10-2 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan).
Time: 20:50
Price: 1800 Yen (general) 1200 yen (student/Senior) 1100 yen (Member).

Bad Poetry Tokyo is a splendid debut full-length feature. It is evident from the cinematography, that Anshul Chauhan is a director with a clear vision, able – and this is even more important – to exploit the versatility of cinematography to frame subjectivity in an engaging way. As the narrative follows the subjective trajectory of Jun, it slowly reveals, in a rather detached way, that the violent attempt to break the cycle of abuse, that the violent attempt to find a subjective place outside that cycle, sometimes leads to a place outside society, outside the symbolic. In this way, Bad Poetry Tokyo poignantly underlines the destructive effects of abuse on subjectivity as such.

It is, of course, logical that we fully recommend people to see the movie we chose as our top movie of 2017. Matsumoto’s first full-length feature is as much a powerful questioning of Japanese society as a plea for giving more attention to subjective connection. A film no one should miss

Date: 2/8
Place: Jumonji Film Festival (Nishikami-38-1 Jūmonjimachi, Yokote, Akita 019-0522)
Time: 11:55-13:50 (From 14:10 Guest talk with Matsumoto).
Price: one-day ticket (3000 yen [advance sale]/3800 yen), one-film ticket (1300 yen).

Noise is a subdued but very powerful narrative about the importance of human connection and the far-reaching subjective effects capitalistic society can have on the subject. In this respect, Matsumoto, the staff, and the actors, in an attempt to find an answer on the riddle of what drives a subject to go on a killing spree, have succeeded in creating a moving narrative that questions Japanese society as such and the effects this society has on the social fabric that under normal circumstances would give a subject a safe place to speak from. This questioning – attentive to the complexity of its subject matter, framed with thoughtful cinematography and brought to life by deeply nuanced performances, will long linger in the spectator’s mind.

  • 37 Seconds (2019) by HIKARI

We do not only recommend 37 Seconds because the writer of this blog is featured in the movie for 3,7 seconds – bad pun, but also because it is one of the most honest and heartwarming stories about coming-into-being as (sexualized) subject to have been released in recent years.

Date: Generally from 7/02
Place: All over Japan [Check here]
Time: Depends on cinema.
Price: Depends on Cinema.

Date: From 31/01 on Netflix
Place: On the coach in foreign countries
Time: Whenever you want.

Short Review: 37 Seconds (2019)

HIKARI’s 37 seconds is a honest and heartwarming narrative about securing a place for one’s subjectivity in society by exploring one’s sexuality and breaking the subjectively asphyxiating relation between mother and daughter. Even though a certain amateurism marks Mei Kayama’s performance, this amateurism actually empowers the framing of Yuma’s coming-into-being. As Yuma’s process of securing a place for herself coincides with Kayama’s process of becoming more confident in herself, as both ‘stories’ coincide, 37 Seconds attains a emotional power that does not fail to resonate with the spectator.


Call for Entries for the International competition of the Skip City Festival! The deadline to submit one’s entry is March 31 (Tue.), 2020.

All films should be submitted via Film Freeway:


All nominated films in competition categories are eligible for Festival Organizers Awards. If one’s film is nominated, one will receive an invitation to the festival to attend the official screenings, Q&A sessions as well as the various ceremonies.

Newsflash: Blue Ribbon Awards Announces Winners for 62nd Edition.

Category Best Film: Fly Me to the Saitama
Category Best Director: Tetsuya Mariko (From Miyamoto to You)
Category Best Actor: Kiichi Nakai (Hit Me Anyone One More Time)
Category Best Actress: Masami Nagasawa (The Confidence Man JP)
Category Best Supporting Actor: Ryo Yoshizawa (Kingdom)
Category Best Supporting Actress: MEGUMI (Typhoon Family; Little Nights, Little Love; One Night)
Category Best Newcomer: Nagisa Sekimizu (Almost a Miracle)
Category Best Foreign Film:  Joker



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