Underdog (2021) review

“Take’s film powerfully shows that the heroism of the art of boxing lies in the very subjective meaning that power the jabs, the hooks, and the uppercuts.”

The Family (2021) review

“A highly original yakuza narrative that beautifully touches upon the importance that the (idealized) figure of the father can have for a subject’s lifepath.”

Short Movie Time: Bath House of Whales (2019) review [Japan Cuts 2020]

Introduction Mizuki Kiyama’s graduation short film Bath House of Whales is a creative reworking of her memories of accompanying her mother, a person of Korean descent living in Japan, to the public baths. Bath House of Whales (2019) was also screened at the Pia Film Festival, where it won the special jury prize.

Spaghetti Code Love (2021) review [Japan Cuts 2021]

“Maruyama’s narrative speaks powerfully to the spectator’s subjectivity – his fears and hopes – and enables his evocation of a glimmer of hope that remains present in this dark depressive modern relational mess to positively impact his audience.”

Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice (1952) review

A heartwarming and lighthearted narrative that shows how women, within the societal device of arranged marriage as well as within the modern device of marriages out of love, can find subjective happiness.

The Promised Land (2019) review [Nippon Connection 2021]

A beautifully composed and highly relevant narrative about destructive kinds of social violence, a social violence against the Otherness present in the community and an ostracizing violence to turn the once-trusted other into an unwanted Otherness.

Ito (2021) review [OAFF 2021]

“A charming exploration about the way in which the other allows a drifting subject to moor his desire and find a direction for his subjectivity within the Other.”

Aristocrats (2021) review [IFFR 2021]

Beautifully evokes how women become victim of the traditional patriarchal elite and how subjective happiness is not found in the mere acceptance of one’s own exploitation