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MonsterFest 2017: ‘The Viper’s Hex’ Review

Stars: Saya Minami, Kenji Shimada, Kaori Kawabuchi, Kei Miura, Nozomi de Lencquesaing, Yoji Yamada, Sawa Masaki, Yasunari Kondo, Ten Miyazawa, Yûki Kuroda, Dylan Davies Tanaka, Dylan Heath, Ayumu Kawashima, Yumiko Dunk | Written by Bill Clare, Addison Heath, Dylan Heath, Jasmine Jakupi | Directed by Addison Heath, Jasmine Jakupi

I’ll be honest, I’m a Huge fan of writer/director Addison Heath’s work – from his script for Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla; to his fantastic directorial debut Under a Kaleidoscope (which I reviewed back in 2014 when it screened at that years MonsterFest); to his most recent film, the superb genre-bending Monda Yakuza; I have enjoyed each and ever one of his movies to no end. So how excited am I for with his latest opus, The Viper’s Hex, another film inspired by Far East cinema? Let’s just say a Lot!

Whilst his previous film, Mondo Yakuza, was clearly inspired by
See full article at Nerdly »

The Yellow Handkerchief

Ready for some full- on Japanese sentimentality? Superlative tough guy Ken Takakura takes us deep into heartbreak territory in search of a happy ending. Yoji Yamada’s Hokkaido road epic throws together a trio of ‘drifters of the heart’ to see if they can solve each other’s romantic dilemmas.

The Yellow Handkerchief

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1978 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / Street Date November 14, 2017 / Shiawase no kiiroi hankachi / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 24.95

Starring: Ken Takakura, Chieko Baisho, Kaori Momoi, Tetsuya Takeda, Hisao Dazai, Makoto Akatsuka, Mari Okamato.

Cinematography: Tetsuo Takaha

Film Editor: Iwao Ishii

Original Music: Masaru Sato

Written by Yoji Yamada, Yoshitaka Asama

Produced by Toru Najima

Directed by Yoji Yamada

Americans can experience difficulty navigating the sometimes- confusing sphere of Japanese humor. Cartoons, children’s films, action movies often seem crude or cruel, but can also be unexpectedly delicate. And some cultural barriers are still there — nobody
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Black Forest Films announce ‘The Shinjuku Five’

Black Forest Films, the Auusie production company behind the awesome Mondo Yakuza and the forthcoming The Viper’s Hex, have announced their next film - The Shinjuku Five.

Set to film in Japan and Australia, The Shinjuku Five is once again written and co-directed, alongside Jasmine Jakupi, by Addison Heath (Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla, Under a Kaleidoscope) and stars Yoji Yamada, Saya Minami, Cris Cochrane, Tim Jason Wicks and Mondo Yakuza star Kenji Shimada. The soundtrack comes from Queensland based The Screaming Meanies, who have provided scores for The Perfect Nonsense, Mondo Yakuza and Stuart Simpson’s kung-fu short Dragon Force.

Check out the poster for The Shinjuku Five below:
See full article at Nerdly »

Tokyo Film Festival taps new director

Veteran Japanese film executive to head up festival, which will undergo several changes in 2017.

The Tokyo Film Festival has tapped up Takeo Hisamatsu (pictured) to head up the 30th edition of the festival later this year.

Hisamatsu, who was formerly an executive managing director at Shochiku Co. and deputy general manager of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, will replace outgoing Director General Yasushi Shiina, who held the top post at the Tokyo festival for four years.

With a nearly 40 year track record in the film business, Hisamatsu is currently the president of his own company My Way Movies.

In recent years, Hisamatsu has played a role in such productions as the 2013 Japanese remake of the Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven, Miwa Nishikawa’s 2009 comedy-drama Dear Doctor and Bushi No Ichibun, Yoji Yamada’s 2006 semi-prequel to Zatoichi.

“It is my hope that through this festival, we can continue to present films from around the world in all their diversity and richness
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tsui Hark to be honoured at Asian Film Awards

  • ScreenDaily
Tsui Hark to be honoured at Asian Film Awards
The Journey To The West director is one of China’s most bankable filmmakers.

This year’s Asian Film Awards (Afa) will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to iconic Hong Kong director, producer and screenwriter Tsui Hark.

Tsui most recently directed Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back, produced by fellow Hong Kong filmmaker Stephen Chow, which was one of the top-grossing releases in mainland China over the Chinese New Year holiday period. His other recent China blockbusters include Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon (2013) and The Taking Of Tiger Mountain (2014).

Starting with his 2011 hit Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate, Tsui has made all his films as a director in 3D and has become one of the region’s most effective filmmakers in the use of 3D technology.

Although currently one of China’s most bankable filmmakers, Tsui’s career stretches back some 40 years. In 1984, he founded Film Workshop with Nansun Shi, through which he
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Desierto, The Salesman, Under the Shadow Among The 85 Films Vying For The Foreign Language Oscar

Eighty-five countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 89th Academy Awards. Yemen is a first-time entrant.

The 2016 submissions are:

Albania, “Chromium,” Bujar Alimani, director;

Algeria, “The Well,” Lotfi Bouchouchi, director;

Argentina, “The Distinguished Citizen,” Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat, directors;

Australia, “Tanna,” Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, directors;

Austria, “Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe,” Maria Schrader, director;

Bangladesh, “link=tt5510934 auto]The Unnamed[/link],” Tauquir Ahmed, director;

Belgium, “The Ardennes,” Robin Pront, director;

Bolivia, “Sealed Cargo,” Julia Vargas Weise, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Death in Sarajevo,” Danis Tanovic, director;

Brazil, “Little Secret,” David Schurmann, director;

Bulgaria, “Losers,” Ivaylo Hristov, director;

Cambodia, “Before the Fall,” Ian White, director;

Canada, “It’s Only the End of the World,” Xavier Dolan, director;

Chile, “Neruda,” Pablo Larraín, director;

China, “Xuan Zang,” Huo Jianqi, director;

Colombia, “Alias Maria,” José Luis Rugeles, director;

Costa Rica, “About Us,” Hernán Jiménez, director;

Croatia, “On the Other Side,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

85 in foreign language Oscar race

  • ScreenDaily
Eighty-five countries have submitted a film for consideration in the 60th anniversary year of the foreign language film category.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science said on Tuesday that this season also marks the first time Yemen has submitted a film, Khadija Al-Salami’s I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced.

The 89th Oscars will take place on February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. László Nemes’ Hungarian entry Son Of Saul won the award last February.

Foreign-language Academy Award Submissions

(Country, Title, director)

Albania, Chromium, dir Bujar Alimani;

Algeria, The Well, Lotfi Bouchouchi;

Argentina, The Distinguished Citizen, Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat;

Australia, Tanna, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler;

Austria, Stefan Zweig: Farewell To Europe, Maria Schrader;

Bangladesh, The Unnamed, Tauquir Ahmed;

Belgium, The Ardennes, Robin Pront;

Bolivia, Sealed Cargo, Julia Vargas Weise;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Death In Sarajevo, Danis Tanovic;

Brazil, Little Secret, David Schurmann.

Bulgaria, Losers, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Busan: Lee Chang-dong voices support for former Biff director

  • ScreenDaily
Lee joined Hou Hsiao-hsien and Hirokazu Kore-eda at a special talk event in Busan.

Korean director Lee Chang-dong gave a moving speech in support of former Busan International Film Festival (Biff) director Lee Yong-kwan at the Special Talk: Three Masters event at the Busan International Film Festival (Oct 6-15) on Monday (Oct 10).

The event brought together three masters of Asian cinema – Lee, Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien and Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda [pictured] – to discuss the need for solidarity among Asian film-makers and the future direction of the Asian film industry. Inevitably, given Biff’s current political problems, the three directors also talked about the festival’s future.

“Busan city officials and festival officials have failed to listen to our proposals – so I’d like to address cineastes and Biff organisers,” Lee said towards the end of the event. “When you go through hardships, your pride is hurt, and I believe the festival organisers and committee members
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Yoji Yamada’s What a Wonderful Family screening on Fantasia International Film Festival

Yoji Yamada’s What a Wonderful Family screening on Fantasia International Film FestivalSTORY73%DIRECTION77%ACTING80%VISUALS65%POSITIVESGreat castMeaningful story with social implicationsElaborate directionNEGATIVESThe slow pace and the lack of action may not apply to the mainstream audience2016-08-0174%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)0%

Yoji Yamada has turned towards family films during the latest years, and this time presents a social comedy about a family of three generations living under the same roof.

The Hirata’s, seemingly, are a functional family, despite the fact that the grandparents, their eldest son, Konosuke with his wife, Fumie and their two children, and the younger son, Shota, all live under the same roof, along with their dog, Toto. The only family member away from the house is the daughter, Shigeko, who lives with her husband, Taizo, in an apartment of their own. The only one who seems to be problematic is the grandfather, Shuzo,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Cyberpunk Classics and Kinky Sex Fables: 5 Must-See Japanese Films At Japan Cuts 2016

Cyberpunk Classics and Kinky Sex Fables: 5 Must-See Japanese Films At Japan Cuts 2016
North America’s largest festival of new Japanese cinema, and pound-for-pound one of the most consistently rewarding film festivals on the planet, Japan Cuts grows more vital with every passing year. In part, that’s because Manhattan’s Japan Society has done a stellar job of cultivating a local audience, pouring resources into the annual celebration, and programming their slates in a way that appeals equally to cinephiles, otaku, and people who just want to see a movie about a guy who falls in love with his goldfish.

Unfortunately, Japan Cuts also grows more vital with every passing year because the domestic market for foreign film is withering away at a terrible rate, lowering the odds that you’ll ever get a second chance at seeing any of these exhilarating dispatches from the Land of the Rising Sun on the big screen.

This year’s fest, which runs from July
See full article at Indiewire »

Berlin 2016: Classics strand includes James Whale's 'The Road Back'

  • ScreenDaily
Berlin 2016: Classics strand includes James Whale's 'The Road Back'
Six newly-restored films from Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the Us.

The Berlinale Classics strand at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 11-21) is to include premieres of six films: two German and four international productions, five of them world premieres.

Us film The Road Back directed by James Whale in 1937, references a slice of German history. It is based on the eponymous Erich Maria Remarque novel about four German infantrymen who face a difficult road back to civilian life.

In 1939, after protests from Germany, Universal Studios re-edited the film without consulting the director. The festival is showing a reconstruction of Whale’s original 1937 theatrical release version, preserved by the Library of Congress in collaboration with NBCUniversal and Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation. David Stenn and the UCLA Film & Television Archive provided skills and film footage.

Heiner Carow’s semi-autobiographical film The Russians are Coming (Die Russen kommen, Gdr, 1968) is set in
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Tokyo International Film Festival – Winners 2015

The 28th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival took place from the 22th until the 31th of October in the great city of Tokyo. This ten day event is the only Japanese film festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (Fiapf). It started in 1985 and since then it became one of the most important festival in the world. The festival offers the audience a great chance to see the very best film from around the world and bring them the best national productions.

Competition Section

Tokyo Grand Prix

Nise – O Coração da Loucura (Nise – The Heart of Madness) by Roberto Berliner – Brazil | 2015 – 109 min.

Special Jury Prize

Nous Trois ou Rien (All Three of Us) by Kheiron – France | 2015 – 102 min.

Award for Best Director

Mustafa Kara for his film Kalandar Soğuğu (Cold of Kalandar) Turkey, Hungary | 2015 – 139 min.

Award for Best Actress

Gloria Pires for the film Nise – O
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

'Nise' wins top prize in Tokyo

Other winners include All Three of Us, Cold of Kalandar, Land Of Mine, God Willing and Family Film.

Roberto Berliner’s Nise - The Heart of Madness, based on the true story of a Brazilian psychiatrist, took the top prize at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival on Saturday.

The Brazilian film’s Gloria Pires also won the Best Actress award for her performance in the title role as Nise da Silveira, a doctor assigned to a Rio de Janeiro mental hospital in the 1940s.

“We all felt that it was a very believable world full of sadness, of humour and of triumph,” competition jury president Bryan Singer said in presenting the Tokyo Grand Prix, which comes with a cash prize of $50,000.

Berliner described the film as a “cruel job” in that it took 13 years out of his life to make but he never lost his determination to bring Nise da Silveira’s story to the screen
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Androids, heritage in the frame at Tokyo fest

  • ScreenDaily
Androids, heritage in the frame at Tokyo fest
An android actress, giant anime robots and the legacy of Akira Kurosawa were among the offerings at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff), which as always presented an interesting mix of old and new.

Android Geminoid-f – created by robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro – is an eerily convincing lead actress in Koji Fukada’s Sayonara, which received its world premiere in Tiff’s competition section.

Both Geminoid-f and Japanese-speaking actress Bryerly Long are reprising their roles from the short stage-play from which the film is adapted.

Although set in a near-future Japan contaminated by radiation, the film is more of a riff on mortality and the fear of death than a comment on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

More startling than the story was the range of emotions that Geminoid-f was able to convey. “Sometimes robots can express more than humans,” said Ishiguro at a post-screening event.

Gundam focus

The giant robots came courtesy of a focus on iconic
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Androids, heritage in the frame at Tokyo fest

  • ScreenDaily
Androids, heritage in the frame at Tokyo fest
An android actress, giant anime robots and the legacy of Akira Kurosawa were among the offerings at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff), which as always presented an interesting mix of old and new.

Android Geminoid-f – created by robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro – is an eerily convincing lead actress in Koji Fukada’s Sayonara, which received its world premiere in Tiff’s competition section. Both Geminoid-f and Japanese-speaking actress Bryerly Long are reprising their roles from the short stage-play that the film is adapted from.

Although set in a near-future Japan contaminated by radiation, the film is more of a riff on mortality and the fear of death than a comment on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. More startling than the story was the range of emotions that Geminoid-f was able to convey. “Sometimes robots can express more than humans,” said Ishiguro at a post-screening event.

The giant robots came courtesy of a focus on iconic Japanese
See full article at ScreenDaily »

John Woo keeps aim on ‘The Killer’ remake

John Woo keeps aim on ‘The Killer’ remake
The action director reveals details of new feature Manhunt, a long-awaited remake of The Killer and his thoughts on retirement.

John Woo spent much of the ‘90s and early 2000s directing Us hits like Broken Arrow, Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II, before going back to Chinese films with Red Cliff in 2008.

So would he ever consider a return to Hollywood?

“I have never left. I still enjoy working with Hollywood. I still have a couple of projects developing in Hollywood,” the legendary Hong Kong action director told ScreenDaily at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct 22-31).

“So after Manhunt, I probably will go back to Hollywood to make another action thriller. I’m going to make The Killer in an American version.”

There has long been talk of an English-language remake of The Killer, the 1989 Hong Kong assassin flick that raised Woo’s profile globally as a director of hard-boiled action films and helped launch his move
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Little House (Chiisai ouchi)

Forget English soap operas about upstairs and downstairs upheavals, Yoji Yamada's chronicle of a life in the little Tokyo house with the little red roof is an emotional grabber. It's the war years of patriotic acquiescence and home-front selfishness -- and a secret, forbidden romance. The Little House (Chiisai ouchi) Twilight Time Savant Blu-ray Review Limited Edition 2014 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 136 min. / Chiisai ouchi / Ship Date August 11, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95  Starring Takaku Matsu, Haru Kuroki, Takataro Kataoka, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chieko Baisho Cinematography Masashi Chikamori Art Direction Mitsuo Degawa, Daisuke Sue Film Editor Iwao Ishii Original Music Joe Hisashi Written by Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, Kyoko Nakajima Produced by Tadashi Ohsumi Directed by Yoji Yamada

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When Twilight Time brings out a disc not licensed from a major studio, I pay special attention. Last year they released a good Yoji Yamada film called The Twilight Samurai,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Daily | In the Works | Martel, Ferrara, Assayas

We're rounding up news on some of the more projects in the works announced during the Cannes Film Festival: Lucrecia Martel's Zama, Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper with Kristen Stewart, Abel Ferrara's Siberia with Willem Dafoe, Carlos Reygadas's "cowboy story," Todd Haynes's Wonderstruck, Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete, Bertrand Bonello's Paris Is Happening and Stéphane Brizé's Une Vie. Plus: Nicolas Cage is re-teaming with Paul Schrader and Mike Figgis and more on forthcoming films from Marjane Satrapi, Wim Wenders, Paolo Sorrentino, Pablo Larraín, Nicole Holofcener, Mike Mills, Per Fly, Shinji Aoyama, Taika Waititi, Jared Hess, Peter Ho-sun Chan, Yoji Yamada and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | In the Works | Martel, Ferrara, Assayas

We're rounding up news on some of the more projects in the works announced during the Cannes Film Festival: Lucrecia Martel's Zama, Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper with Kristen Stewart, Abel Ferrara's Siberia with Willem Dafoe, Carlos Reygadas's "cowboy story," Todd Haynes's Wonderstruck, Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete, Bertrand Bonello's Paris Is Happening and Stéphane Brizé's Une Vie. Plus: Nicolas Cage is re-teaming with Paul Schrader and Mike Figgis and more on forthcoming films from Marjane Satrapi, Wim Wenders, Paolo Sorrentino, Pablo Larraín, Nicole Holofcener, Mike Mills, Per Fly, Shinji Aoyama, Taika Waititi, Jared Hess, Peter Ho-sun Chan, Yoji Yamada and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Shochiku lines up Yoji Yamada duo

  • ScreenDaily
Exclusive: Japanese studio Shochiku is launching sales on two new projects from leading director Yoji Yamada – a drama based on a Hisashi Inoue story and the director’s first comedy since the end of the Tora-san series in 1995.

The drama, Haha To Kuraseba (literal translation: Living With My Mother) is currently in production with Sayuri Yoshinaga (Kabei: Our Mother) and Kazunari Ninomiya (Letters From Iwo Jima) heading the cast.

The story follows a midwife in Nagasaki who is stunned when she is visited by her son who she thought had died three years earlier when an atomic bomb fell on the city. Japanese release is tentatively scheduled for Winter 2015.

Currently in post-production, the comedy Kazoku Wa Tsuraiyo! stars most of the cast from Yamada’s Tokyo Family, including Isao Hashizume, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Masahiko Nishimura and Yui Natsukawa.

The story follows an older couple who decide to divorce after 50 years of marriage, and the efforts
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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