Satoshi: A Move For Tomorrow (2016) Review [Camera Japan Festival edition]

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“And if we add Matsuyama Kenichi’s splendid performance to the mix, the already engaging narrative is turned into to be a very moving character study of Satoshi Murayama, but, above all, into a beautiful love-letter to the art of Shogi.”

Introduction

Shogi (Japanese Chess) might already have been featured in many manga and anime, but, given the popularity of Shogi in Japan and beyond, it might be surprising that it took so long for someone to create a biopic about a famous player (narra-note 1). With Satoshi: a move for tomorrow the wait is finally over. This narrative, based on the nonfiction novel Satoshi no Seishun (2000) by Yoshio Osaki, concerns the short life of Shogi prodigy Satoshi Murayama (06/15/1969 – 08/08/1998), who struggled with nephrotic syndrome from childhood onward and, finally, also with cancer.

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Satoshi: a move for tomorrow (2016) Review

bannersatoshi.png

“Matsuyama Kenichi’s splendid performance turns the narrative into a very moving character study of Satoshi Murayama, but, above all, into a beautiful love-letter to the art of Shogi.”

Introduction

Shogi might already have been featured in many manga and anime, but, given the popularity of Shogi, it might be surprising that it took so long for someone to create a biopic about a famous player (narra-note 1). Well, the wait is over. Satoshi: A Move For Tomorrow, based on the nonfiction novel Satoshi no Seishun (2000) by Yoshio Osaki, concerns the short life of Shogi prodigy Satoshi Murayama (June 15, 1969-August 8, 1998), who struggled with nephrotic syndrome from childhood onward and, in the end, also with cancer.

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“Kurosawa’s masterful formal approach to cinematography shows vividly that creepiness lurks at the surface of society (…) Creepy is a masterpience and truly lives up to its name. And yes, you will think twice about getting cozy with your neighbours”.

Introduction

In 1997, 14 years after he started directing feature films, Kiyoshi Kurosawa appeared with a bang on the international scene with Cure (1997), a subtle and creepy serial killer narrative, while regaining his place – a place he lost in the eighties under influence of Nikattsu – in Japan as well. He confirmed his position with Pulse (2001), considered by some as his most successfully realized horror narrative to date.

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