Blade of the Immortal (Japan, 2017)

for Cinetalk.net

Takashi Miike is known for trying his hand at any film genre. His penchant however, tends toward the macabre, the violent and the humorous. In recent years, the director has focused on live action remakes of animated series and manga. Blade of the Immortal is his 2017 offering, and marks his 100th feature film. Rather fittingly, Blade is about a samurai known as Hundred Killer. With 100 kills to his name, Manji won’t stop until he has destroyed every cranky crook and every moody mercenary. He has revenge in his spirit, and worms in his blood that keep him alive no matter how much he wishes to die.

If one is familiar with the animated series, the interestingly casted Takuya Kimura (who is normally cast in drama roles, and is part of recently defunct boy-band SMAP) pulls off a convincing Manji. Stylishly coiffed and scarred, he is a lone wolf cursed with Continue reading

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Bubble Heads – A prequel…

Our beloved discovery at Fantasia 2017…

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We received a call from the production team behind the amazing Japanese stop motion feature, Junk Head, one of the best films of the year. And a (Mostly) independent affair.

They are in the process of funding a prequel with Kickstarter involved and they need YOU.

So take time to read back our review: https://cinetalk.net/2017/07/24/fantasia-2017-junk-head-japan-2017/

AND

Their Kickstarter Link (worth your time, these guys are hot!):

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/595518883/bubble-heads

Atypical Serial killer Movies # 12

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12 Vengeance is mine (Sohei Imamura, Japan, 1979)

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The killing rampage of true life Japanese serial Killer Akira Nishiguchi.

Just like one big picture, Imamura’s whole filmography seems to point at Japanese audiences the strange unspoken things that happen under the rising sun. Its crucial to understand this aspect of his films as a whole in order to fully appreciate it from an occidental point of view. The shape and pacing might be a bore to some Hannibal fans since there’s no Hollywood Glamour here, nonetheless this is a great uncompromising dark and depressing dramatic tale by a legendary filmmaker.

Ken Ogata (Mishima, The Ballad of Narayama) delivers top performance as the killer.

*** See All 13 here: https://cinetalk.net/tag/13-atypical-serial-killing-movies/

Tokyo TIFF: Mutafukas (Japan/France, 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

A hybrid between anime and European cartoons, Mutafukaz is a highly anticipated adaption of Guillaume “Run” Renard’s webtoon based on his comic book. He and co-director Shoujiro Nishimi have created an animated feature that takes place in the armpit of a near-future L.A./New York-like city. In this unhappy microcosm, a group of squatters get messed up in a dangerous predicament involving men in black.

Right away from the first few sequences, there’s Continue reading

Tokyo TIFF 2017: Hana and Alice (Japan, 2004)

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for Cinetalk.net

Shunji Iwai is known for his lengthy coming-of-age films. Most are constructed around relatively simple ideas, but utilize an elaborate route to tell the story. This is a hit-or-miss technique, but usually the pay-off is a gentle portrayal of life, with beauty hidden between its pocks. Hana and Alice is about a pair of friends who are learning what life has in store for them – friendships, family relationships, boys, future careers – the usual things 15-year old deal with. Its beauty is in its lyricism. It’s more of a visual poem than an ordinary story with a beginning, middle and end. The airy script may be better received if the viewer knows ahead of time, that the film was originally a series of shorts. They were part of a 30th anniversary celebration for Kit-Kat in Japan. Without this knowledge, as a standalone feature film Continue reading