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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Fantasia 2016: Honouring Takashi Miike

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for Cinetalk.net

“I’m hoping to prove that an awesome manga can spawn an awesome movie” – Takashi Miike

It is the year 2599, and there are giant mutant insects oozing gore on planet Mars. Terraformars‘ (2016) director Takashi Miike has recreated the world of the manga written by Yuu Sasuga and illustrated by Kenichi Tachibana. A group of misfits and criminals from Earth are spliced with mutant insect genes, and sent to war on Mars. The film has been likened to Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997), and boasts a star-studded cast including Pacific Rim’s Rinko Kikuchi.

Longtime Fantasia-goers will remember being marked, amused, and shocked by Audition (1999). Viewers have returned Continue reading

Cat Soup (Nekojiru-so, 2001)

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for Cinetalk.net

Tatsuo Sato’s creative and psychedelic piece, Cat Soup (from the Manga by Nekojiru), is a delightful dreamy quest for the soul.

We follow two cats, a brother and a sister, looking for the the soul of the later.

This Mind bending and provocative 32 mins Colorful succession of tableau has an amazing rhythm as if we skipped the explanation that gives a feature to go rapidly from one insane idea to another and on and on. It makes great use of sound, music and drawn imagery giving an unforgettable tone, a cross between its Japanese roots but with something of the Panic Movement and of surrealism. There’s plenty of inventiveness and it manages to create an highly fascinating and troubled universe. A fantastic film.

Not for children though…

Yours to discover

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