Now I first noticed this Hir@gana Times on Jlist.com, but then I started to find it at NYC’s Kinokuniya, so where do you think I purchase it now? Mostly at Kinokuniya, since I can always run in, and occasionally find a copy there. It is pretty cheap to get, at about $7 to $8 an issue.
Contemplating on whether or not I should put a subscription for it. It has some interesting articles, but it is fun for a Japanese learner – who knows how to read hirgana and still want to know what exactly the articles are about. In Japanese and vice-versa. There are articles on Japanese living, places… ads and while mostly aimed for foreigners living in Japan with advertisements directed at them. There are interesting Japanese living articles.
Last week was the last week of 2010’s Japan Cuts… and I was able to catch two more movies.
Plot -What is the purpose of a marriage? Is it to honor, love, and obey? What happens when there if there is adultery? What then is the worth of a partnership.
Impression -This was a period movie piece, so I was impressed with the acting from the actors in this cast. Granted this is my second opportunity I had to see this movie, I still believe that this is a pretty solid performance from Matsu Takako. She plays a patient, suffering mother/wife splendidly. At times, I thought of different times were, and how valid Takako’s argument was at the end to her husband. What is she to do when she sees her husband obviously cheat on her, and when she has a role to fulfill. I wonder then what would be the reality for this couple, if they were real, as they continue to survive past the movie.
About Her Brother
Plot -There’s always a black sheep in the family, but what happens if something happens, would you shun that black sheep or embrace them?
Impression – Several surprises, I cried at this movie, and was sad to see it end. I was surprised that Nakai from SMAP had a cameo in this film. This was a slice of life portrayal of how the Japanese families can be quite similar to an American dysfunctional family. It also taps upon death/dying issues, and how a family does cope. It is also rare for me to see divorce mentioned in Japanese movies, so this is a gem of a movie to be enjoyed.
This year, I managed to up, my movie viewing for Japan Cuts, and it is hard to decide which is my top choice. If I had to choose though, it would be a tie between Confessions and King of Thorn. I fully enjoyed my experiences with watching Japanese movies, when normally the chance to see Japanese movies with English subtitles are pretty limited.
This was my second weekend with Japan Cuts, and sad to say that Japan Cuts is about to end soon. Then I would have to wait another year for this to come about. I watched three more movies, this weekend.
Difference between these two trailers, one is the official trailer, and the other is another trailer with feedback from the five main actors with the director.
Plot: How well do people really know one another, even if they are living together in an apartment?
Impression: I saw this movie with special appearances by Isao Yukisada the director and Tatsuya Fujiwara of Death Note, and Battle Royale fame. The movie successfully portrayed the mundane existence of Tokyo youth, and also portrays a darker side to the roommates who live with one another. I wouldn’t mind reading the book that this movie was based from. I recognize a majority of the cast from television dramas, this movie changed my impressions I have made of two actors from their dramas. I was real surprised with who the criminal was in the end. Still I do appreciate some messages that were in this movie, that with emotional dependency, it can often become a monster for an individual. For a person to realize this emotional dependency weakness and mature from it, then that is what growing up should be like.
Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World
Plot: Young love, one lover dies – and years later the surviving lover remembers his deep love, but is coping and to move on to a new relationship.
Impression: I had though that I would cry, during this move, but somehow I couldn’t even shed a tear for this movie – Crying Out Love was a pretty youthful movie, also directed by Isao Yukisada. The director mentions that he feels nostalgic when he re-watches this movie. Similar to Parade, this movie was also talking about youth and was based on a book. There is a television drama of this movie. Shibasaki Kou’s character was made for the movie, but as an interesting tidbit, is that she also sang the theme song for the television series. It was interesting to see how a set was definitely recreated to show the time period of 1986. Then the stunning visual of Australia at the end was quite nice.
King of Thorn
The difference between these two trailers is, one has English and the other is an original Japanese trailer with a clip of the move’s theme song, which I really like.
Plot: Imagine a world when a disease appears and has 100% fatality. There has been a successful cryogenesis facility made, and a select amount of people is chosen to sleep and wait for a cures. Well then, what happens if this sleep is interrupted and monsters appear. Well then what is the solution then?
Impression: This is the only animated feature chosen for Japan Cuts, and it was a highlight of what I have seen this weekend. I am a bit afraid for these type of movies, so for the parts of blood and gore, such as when the people was eaten or killed, I closed my eyes. I am reading the graphic novel at this time, so I knew what I was getting into, but on the print page is different from the screen. What an interesting turnabout series of events though. The movie is quite different from the graphic novel. So definitely read the series for this movie, to get a more filling picture. The entire series in six volumes is available in English from Tokyopop.
From last month to a portion of this month, New York Asian Film Festival 2010 is happening. From my perspective, it is going to be Japan Cuts, which is Japanese movie screenings at Japan Society. Japan Cuts began on July 1, 2010, so there has been non-stop movie viewings at Japan Society now, so far I have seen three movies, and have five more movies to go see. The price for these movies are reasonable, since I am a member, so ticket prices for me are $8 compared to the normal $12 for non-Japan society members.
So far I have seen:
Plot– This is a movie about a Japanese office lady who has been in Tokyo for five years, and went through five boyfriends. What happens if she has to go back to her hometown and help her dying father’s factory.
Impressions – I liked this movie, it was a thoughtful one that makes me think about the life of a Japanese woman, how stressed one can be, pessimistic, misunderstood, and beer loving one can also be. This was a underdog succeeding type movie. There were moments in this film that made people around me, laugh out loud… although throwing bones of family members should be a no no. I have seen Mitsushima Hikari last year in Love Exposure, so this movie is a complete different role for her. I also couldn’t recognize Kotaro Shiga, it was first wig seeing him without glasses and with a wig, that I am quite use to from the dramas I have seen of him.. so I did a mental double take.
Plot -Based on a book, this is about a teacher who is also a mother, that talks to her middle school students, about the death and murder of her daughter Manami. That and she knows two students in her class was responsible
Impression – I am absolutely riveted by this film. This was a brilliant movie, that had me thinking wow. Bullying, mother complexes, musical, there are so many layers to this dark, and socially deviant movie. Just when you think there would be a cliche part, the movie twists and turns – making this a very enjoyable movie to watch. This is a complete opposite role for what I normally see Takako Matsu. She definitely plays a grieving, yet vengeful mother to the hilt. This movie definitely impacted my feelings for what a brilliant director Nakashima is. Music is also definitely a strong part of this movie, as was the cinematography was just stunning.
Plot -How much reliance should there be on a doctor? Then how about an entire village’s welfare? What happens if the doctor, who everyone in the village loves turns out to be a quack? Then what?
Impressions – This was a pretty dry, yet mellow slice of life human interest movie, on the questions of doctor or patient privacy. I was watching this movie, and at times I felt the movie was a bit long, but it proves to be a good experience. The doctor who is played by Tsurube Shofukutei won an award for this role. There was the appearance of many other actors/actresses that I have recognized. I recognized Eita, Sasano Takashi, Yachigusa Kaoru, Matsushige Yutaka, and Kagawa Teruyuki.
Hmm. I will be going to see more movies.. so I will be writing snapshot reviews for those as well.
Okay this has been on my mind since the summer, when I did attend this event. I got really hung up about other things, so instead of working on reviews, and my photography class – decided to procrastinate, and here is my idea of procrastination. Plus I worked a bit on updating some titles and tags on my Flickr page, so did that.
For the closing of the summer, there was the Japanese Street fair, which was relatively similar or maybe more commercial than the Mitsuwa Summer Matsuri, that I attended relatively two weeks before this event.
I was there really early, but then left as the place got so crowded, that it was pretty claustrophobic, plus there was the summer heat, and believe me.. you don’t want to be around that. Hinano actually wrote about her opinion on the street fair more on schedule/time-wise, than my late entry.
The first Japanese Street fair was a slight disappointment to me, in some ways – because there weren’t as much space as I would have liked it to be. The Japanese portion of the fair was only one block from 42nd to 43rd, and it was so packed. There was a ticket aspect to paying for food, so that I guess it was food controlling. New York Anime Festival was also there, to pump up the air for tickets, and that it is going to be the next weekend. So there was the maids, and there was the cosplayers.
I saw some people that I hung out more with this summer, and met some people there as well. Got some free samples, spent a short bit of time with Kero, and then spent the rest of the day going off with another friend to go to Duets 48, where I was went to karaoke. Tried to sing, got really nervous, was the day that I got to sing Avenue Q songs, fan girl-ed over a City Hunter song, and then had fun singing Hikki songs with another friend who came in the middle of the karaoke. Because of my learning hirigana over the summer, was happy to be able to read the lyrics of some songs.
Now I need to go and write up my review on the Brooklyn Book Festival, and thus prepare for New York Anime Festival. These days a bit more slower on writing. But for slide show purposes, here are some pictures I took.