Graveyard of Honour (2002) review

honourbanner.png

“[A fabulous confrontation] with the inherent dimension of the self-destructive pleasure, evoking the effects capitalism have on society as a whole along the way.”

Introduction

Takashi Miike is a director that doesn’t need any introduction. Bursting on the international stage with Audition (1999), his human drama gone wrong, he also delighted or affronted audiences with Ichi the killer (2001) and visitor Q (2001). Violence has always had an important presence in Miike’s oeuvre – consisting now of more than 100 movies – and Graveyard of honour is no different.

Continue reading

Shinjuku Swan 2 (2017) review

shinjuku2banner

“The likability of Gou Ayano as Tatsuhiko still shines, turning the second part of Tatsuhiko’s narrative, despite being thematically different and not being refreshing at all, [into] an enjoyable narrative to experience.”

Introduction

After the commercial success Sion Sono’s manga adaptation Shinjuku Swan was – racking in 1.33 billion yen, it should not come as a surprise that a sequel would follow. But this time, besides Sion Sono returning to the directors seat, the highly acclaimed Japanese action director Kenji Tanigaki, best known by his work for the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy, was attracted to help choreographing the narrative’s fighting sequences. While this focus on fighting might be an interesting addition, we cannot help but wonder if Shinjuku swan 2 is a worthy sequel or just a cheap cash-in.

Continue reading

That’s It (2015) review

Bannerthat'sit.png

“An exquisite and highly entertaining marriage between Bloodthirsty Butchers’ punk music and Gakuryu Ishii’s crude and highly mobile cinematography (…) [that] touchingly [touches] upon a very delicate matter: the necessity of a symbolic place.”

Introduction

Let’s kick off the new year with some punk-cinema! While Gakuryu ‘Sogo’ Ishii, the godfather of punk-cinema, did create some narratives, like Bitter Honey (2016), Isn’t Anyone Alive? (2012) and Labyrinth of Dreams (1997), that ventured in unexplored cinematographical territories, he returns to his punk roots with That’s it (2005). Luckily, this return is not a rehash of those narratives, like Burst City (1982), that made him so famous, but a reinvention of himself as punk director.

Continue reading

監督との話し合い: Matsumoto Yusaku [日本語]

yusakubanner.png

Introduction

In celebration of Noise winning first place at psycho-cinematography’s top 10 Japanese movies of 2017, we also sat down with Matsumoto Yusaku (松本優作) to talk about his first full-length feature, the process of creating his debut narrative, his past and his future. With his short but to the point answers he gives us valuable insights, while creating new questions for us along the way.

Continue reading

Shinjuku Swan (2015) review

Shinjukuswanbanner.png

“The likeability of Gou Ayano as Tatsuhiko and surprisingly dense narrative makes sure that Shinjuku Swan is better than your average manga-adaptation”

Introduction

With Shinjuku swan, an adaptation of Ken Wakui’s Manga series, Sion Sono presents one of his most commercial narrative to date. While Sion Sono has already ventured in translating manga to the silver screen – with his comically perverted eiga minna esupa da yo! (2015) and his bloody and gruesome Tag (2015), this narrative is one of the more mainstream movies he has made up until now.

Continue reading

Deadly Fight in Hiroshima (1973) Review

battles2banner

“[This] faithful account of the post-war Japanese underworld is downright fabulous to behold, [and the] lack of humanity [that underpins the narrative] (…) a serene but (…) depressing confrontation with the deregulating nature of man’s enjoyment beyond any heroism whatsoever.”

Introduction

Kinji Fukasaku (深作欣二, 1930-2003) doesn’t need an introduction. When in the seventies the popularity of the ninkyô eiga started to decline, it was Fukasaku who revived the Yakuza genre with his realistic approach, leading to the birth of the sub-genre of actual record film (Jitsuroku eiga). Supported by the meticulous research by Kasahara Kazuo, Fukasaku aimed to capture the turbulent story of various prominent, post-WW2 Hiroshima yakuza families.

Continue reading

監督との話し合い: Tadashi Nagayama [日本語]

bannerNagayamainterview.png

Introduction

With Journey of the Tortoise receiving a glaring review on this blog, we were very interested to sit down and have a chat with Tadashi Nagayama about his past, his present and his future. With short and to the point answers, Nagayama provides an interesting insight in his mind and his subject.

Continue reading