Tag Archives: Japan

The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (Macoto Tezka, 1985)

Some backstory first: the legend behind The Legend, if you will. In the early ‘80s, Macoto Tezka, the son of “godfather of manga” Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), was a film student with few credits to his name beyond some experimental shorts. In 1985, at age 22, he met musician and TV personality Haruo Chicada, who had composed a soundtrack for a movie that didn’t actually exist yet: The Legend of the Stardust Brothers.

Chicada used his clout to get an adaptation of his fake soundtrack made into a feature-length musical, with Tezka directing. The budget was sizeable and some of Japan’s most famous musicians of the time were on board, while various prominent names in manga were among the assembled crew; Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a director who would become much famous later for films like Pulse and Cure, even has a supporting role as an actor…

Full review for SciFiNow

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MFKZ (Shôjirô Nishimi/Guillaume Renard, 2017)

Scattered throughout animation MFKZ (aka Mutafukaz) – a collaboration between French company Ankama Animation and Japanese studio Studio 4°C (Tekkonkinkreet, Mind Game) – are a number of narrative-interrupting title cards that reflect something about the film’s various eccentricities. Some are posed as questions before expository information, such as in the case of ‘Who Are These Mysterious Wrestlers?’ One, in particular, stands out: ‘The Movies Have Never Seen Sh*t Like This!’ Although you can trace the DNA of a few notable influences, They Live and Akira among them, one might find that an accurate summation of MFKZ as a whole…

Full review for SciFiNow

Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 1 – Seijun Rising: The Youth Movies

The recently departed Japanese director Seijun Suzuki has had a resurgence of late in the world of British home distribution. Though a couple of his more famous films – like pop art classic Tokyo Drifter – got put out with middling transfers by small companies in the early aughts, the last few years have seen labels like Eureka’s Masters of Cinema, and, particularly, Arrow Video, raid the man’s archives for some remastered pleasures…

Full review for The Skinny

Takashi Miike on his 100th film ‘Blade of the Immortal’

“I’m a very lazy person by nature,” director Takashi Miike tells us.

Were one to assess laziness on a spectrum, the act of having completed a film of any kind would, we feel, denote a distinct lack of lethargy. So it seems especially strange to hear this character assessment from an individual who’s due to release his 100th film, called Blade of the Immortal

Full interview for The Skinny

Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike, 2017)

Prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike reaches 100 films to his name with Blade of the Immortal, a characteristically blood-soaked adaptation of a long-running manga by Hiroaki Samura. Pop star turned actor Takuya Kimura plays Manji, a samurai cursed with immortality following a near-death experience in a brutal battle – any life-threatening injuries he sustains, any limbs lost, will heal back up…

Full review for The Skinny

Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono, 2014)

From the ever-prolific cult Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono comes Tokyo Tribe, an anarchic hip-hop musical about gang warfare that may be the director’s most unhinged film yet. And that’s saying something, considering the man’s made at least one four-hour movie about an upskirt photographer…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)

Based on manga Umimachi DiaryOur Little Sister sees three upwardly mobile adult sisters attend the funeral of the father who left their family years ago for another woman. At the ceremony they meet, for the first time, their teenage half-sister Suzu (Hirose), who’s unhappily living with her self-absorbed mother. On a whim, oldest sibling Sachi (Ayase), the de facto head of the family unit, invites the teen to come live with the trio in the ancestral home they inherited from their grandmother, in which they’ve fostered the cheerful atmosphere of a sorority house…

Full review for The Skinny