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4/25/2006

Gamera : Little Braves

isn't he a cutie ?
This is no joke, Gamera is indeed back and his return was witnessed by the most dedicated of the 3yen contributors.
All praise the kaiju gods. Gamera is back in a new movie that’ll take a closer look at his wild youth. Yes, the new Gamera is a prequel and it will unveiled the mystery behind my favourite atomic turtle origins. I can’t wait. I like to think that this modest blog inspired japanese producers to revive Gamera, since Gamera was the subject of the first post of the site, proving the renewing interest in that magnificent beast.
Shrine of Gamera has quite a documented report on the movie with shots taken from the set.
The trailer has already been uploaded on youtube with a lenghty description of the movie.
There’s also the official website full of information in Japanese and where you can listen to the theme song from Mink.
Gamera : Little Braves (Gamera: Chiisaki yusha-tachi) is going to be released on the 29th of April. Yes, it’s not been released yet and i’m talking about it which pretty rare, i’m so proud of myself. It actually still qualifies as “news”.
I’m going to eat a suppon to celebrate then, i’ll start lobbying for a Gamera vs Negadon movie.

Posted by Muken in Sci-Fi | 3 Comments »

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4/25/2006

A guide to Japanese female exploitation films of the 70’s

Brooklyn rail has recently featured a guide to japanese 70’s sexloitation movies on dvd. I have no other choice but to link it.
It’s good and full of female convicts, snow blood, and stray cats. What’s not to like ?

Posted by Muken in Misc. Others | No Comments »

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3/18/2006

The glamorous life of Sachiko Hanai

captionInitially a cheap raunchy flick, The Glamorous Life of Shachiko Hanai is gathering good press from around the network of japanese film buffs.
I remember seeing a mention of the movie in midnight eye and unsurprisingly it made the best of the year list of Eye writer Jasper Sharp.
It’s has been recently showed at the raindance festival where a guy from twitch saw it and is providing a review.
The Glamourous Life of Sachiko Hanai is actually a director’s cut of a movie named “Horny Home Tutor: Teacher’s Love Juice”.
After being shot in the head, a call-girl realise that she has become a kind of genius capable of absorbing any piece of knowledge that comes across. At the same time she mysteriously end up in possession of a replica of George W. Bush finger giving her the potential power of launching a nuclear attack.
Yep, yet again another super wacky japanese flick is gaining hype in various festival. What sets The Glamorous Life…” a part is its clear pinku eiga origins.
That reminds me of director Tastsumi Kumashiro that was rediscovered at the end of the 90’s. Kumashiro was from the generation of the japanese new wave and most of his movies were set in the Roman Porno genre of the 70’s. While clearly fullfiling his duty to the codes of the genre, he also was tremendously modern for the time, creating post-modern softcore flicks that are to be seen to be believed.
He basically went under the radar of most critics at the time because of the poor reputation of the Roman Porno flicks. Much like Seijun Suzuki he ended up being rediscovered later when he was given a retrospective that toured around the globe at the end of the 90’s.
Kumashiro is not the first example either. In the 60’s Bergman ’s Monika was showned only in small adult film theatre in Paris where the guys that would form the french new wave discovered the movie and held it as a masterpiece of modern filmaking.
Is Mitsuru Meike (The Life’s director) destined to a similar fate is a guess i won’t take.
Heres the trailer(.asx), and here’s the one page official website.

Posted by Muken in Wacky | No Comments »

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3/14/2006

Clint Eastwood to shoot movie about Iwo Jima battle

Clint Eastwood is going to direct not one, but two movies about the infamous Iwo Jima battle that took place between american and japanese forces during World War II.
The first one will focus on the american side of things, the second one on the Japanese point of view.
The cast has just been confirmed for the japanese one, it will include Ken Watanabe (Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha), Shido Nakamura and Ryo Kase amongst others.
The japanese film is titled Red Sun, Black Sand, the american one Flags of our fathers.
Flags of our fathers shooting has already been completed and the film is due to be released in August. Ryan Phillipe, Adam Beach and Barry Pepper forms the main cast. Red Sun, Black Sand will be released in December of this year if everything go as planned.
Here’s Flags of our fathers official website(no trailer yet) and here’s the short page for Red Sun, Black Sand on imdb.

Posted by Muken in Misc. Others | No Comments »

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3/7/2006

Warning ! Negadon heading towards America

Negadon captionYou lucky pups !
An american company has bought the right to Negadon, the wonderful cg flick about giant monsters.
Central Park Media is not sweeping it under the rug either, they have some big promo operations on the way and we just receive an email from them detailing what is to come.
I don’t make an habit of shamelessly promoting stuff but the news of the coming release of Negadon fills me with joy. So i have to express myself by talking about CPM’s promo operations. Unfortunately they’re not paying us, not yet.
Come on, use our cheap cpm CPM !
Anyway, they just launched an all english website featuring a teaser trailer. They have a kaiju-design contest where the best submited creations will be on the dvd and they plan on showing the movie at an anime fest in Syracuse on march 25th.
The dvd itself will be released this coming summer.
Support the cg kaiju goodness !
The internet will love you for it.

Posted by Muken in Sci-Fi | No Comments »

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2/14/2006

Tachiguishi Retsuden

captionEating on the street without paying -
the artistry of the tachigui people.
So much is in the dark and left unsaid.

Following 2004’s Innocence, Tachiguishi Retsuden,Mamoru Oshii’s next film might let a couple of us puzzled.
Oshii is famous for being able to cram his metaphysical reflexions in all his movies, whatever the original setting might be.
Howewer in his next one it’s going to be tough.
Judge for yoursleves, here’s Tachiguishi Retsuden’s synopsis :

Immediately following the end of the World War II in 1945, or the 20th year of the Showa era, Tokyo was trying to emerge from the rubble. In a black market in one corner of Tokyo stood a flimsy tachigui soba (buckwheat noodle) place.

It was a funny time just before the closing. A man appeared at the threshold. “One Tsukimi (raw egg). With soba”. This was none other than the legendary Fast Food Grifter, “Tsukimi” Ginji. His relentless “foul play” quietly initiates.

The time changes. In the midst of the first anti Japan-US Security Treaty movement (1960), the streets rumoured about “Ketsune Croquette” O-Gin, a beautiful Fast Food Grifter lady, who disappeared all of a sudden. Wandering the alleys in the years of skyrocketing economic growth was Crying Inumaru. Then came “Cold Tanuki” Masa, whose scandalous death made people aware of the presence of Fast Food Grifters within the Japanese society. “Gyudon” Ushigoro put an end to a major gyudon (beef and rice bowl) restaurant chain. And it is not possible not to mention “Hamburger” Tetsu, who shocked the entire American fast food industry.

Fast Food Grifters are the phantoms that rise and fall with the shifting diet-styles. They are the dissenting heroes that left their names on the dark side of dietary culture with their glare. Now their legend revives, strong as ever…

There a couple of exemples of director losing it but, most of the time it’s just a single movie before they get their shit together. We can really treasure those fucked-up flicks as a bowl of fresh air in sometimes predictable filmos. Soderberg’s Schizopolis is a prominent exemple of that. Remember, right after this self-starring psychotic dv movie he went on and made Out of Sight, probably his most “hollywood” effort to date.
In the case of Tachiguishi Retsuden though Oshii’s comments are kind of scary. Acoording to the press release of Production I.G “Director Mamoru Oshii does not hesitate to declare that portraying the world of tachigui is his lifework.”
Well, there clearly is no bad subject when you tell a story. The most trivial context can be set for very ambitious reflexions on our societies.
Oshii, as previously stated, is used to that kind of acrobatics. Most of his characters would not be out of place in a brainless b-movie. Still, they are tangled in a metaphysical web and questions themselves about Nietzsche’s utter interogations while offing armies of deadly naked female androids.
Now, can we expect the “food grifters” of Tachiguishi Retsuden questioning their place in the universe, and quoting Wittgenstein while eating a good old beef bowl at yoshinoya ?
Well, that’s the thing, with Oshii you never know, and it might be ten times more mind blowing than the end of 2001: a space odyssey.
Yes, i’m a fan.
Anyway here’s production I.G press release for the movie(in english please), the official site, and the trailer embeded in fresh flash mud.

Posted by Muken in Anime | 1 Comment »

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1/22/2006

Miike’s episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror serie will not air.

Via kinejapan
Takashi Miike was recently hired by the american Showtime cable channel to participate in a serie called Masters Of Horror. The serie include famous horror movie directors such as John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Dario Argento and Tobe Hooper.
Looks like Miike’s episode won’t get air time due to its extreme content.
Some folk at the tvbarn2 mailing list reported on a q&a with Showtime’s Robert Greenblat about the whole thing :

QUESTION: In front. I wonder if you could talk about the episode of
“Masters of Horror” directed by Takashi Miike that you guys have apparently
withdrawn as unsuitable for even premium cable viewers.

ROBERT GREENBLATT: Sure. Yeah. I don’t know if people know him as a
filmmaker, but he tends to make films that are really extreme in terms of
their visual depiction of torture and violence. And the episode came out
just really, really strong. And rather than try to figure out how to cut it
and make it work for us, we decided it’s probably better not to butcher
Takashi’s vision and, instead, not air it, and they’ll put it out on DVD.

QUESTION: Was this not foreseeable?

ROBERT GREENBLATT: You know, we sort of said, “Let’s see. Let’s see how
edgy it gets and how extreme he wants to go.” And we kind of gave him the
freedom to film it, and then we decided to take a look at it and evaluate
it after the fact.

Posted by Muken in Miike Takashi | 3 Comments »

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1/17/2006

Executive Koala

captionExecutive Koala narrates the story of a koala bear who happens to be an executive in a pickle company. While trying to finalize a deal with a korean kimuchi company, Koala finds his girlfriend murdered.
He becomes the primary suspect and has to prove his innocence.
Executive Koala has been released on the 14th of January in Tokyo. It has been premiered at the hawai film festival where this lucky guy saw it.
It’s directed by Minoru Kawasaki whose previous efforts include Ika ressu (The Calamari Wresler) approprietly subtitled “Seafood Battle Royal”.
The official website is in Flash so no direct link to the trailer, you can find it by clicking on the frog guy on the far right of the navigation menu.
Thanks to twitch there’s also the Ika Ressu trailer here(wmv).

Posted by Muken in Horror, Indie | 1 Comment »

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1/17/2006

Eiga Geijutsu top 10/worst 10

Happy new year all !
And since it’s new year, time to check what the best movies of 2005 were. Since i didn’t seen that much japanese movie last year i won’t do a top 10 myself.
Midnight eye annual poll hasn’t been released yet so we’ll have to content ourlves with the Eiga Geijutsu one.
Eiga Geijutsu is a japanese magazine, each year they ask critics and filmmakers to pick their favourite japanese movie of the past year. It’s a point based system, the movies with the less points end up in the worst movie of the year category.
Without further ado :

Best
1-Linda Linda Linda
2-Patchigi
3-Dokushosuru hi
4-Kanariya
5-Kuchu teien
6-Lakeside Murder Case
7-Unmei ja nai hito
8-Hibi
9-Sekai no owari
10-17-sai no fukei: shonen wa nani o mita no ka

Worst
1 Always: Sanchome no yuhi
2- Operetta tanuki goten
2-Takeshis’
2-Lorelai
5-Mata no hi no chika
6-Kita no reinen
6-Yogisha Muroi Shinji
8-Nana
9-Tetsujin 28-go
10- Ashurajo no hitomi

Pia is another magazine. Their poll is supposed to reflect the opinion of the “man of the street”. They ask the audience as they exit movie theatre what they think about the movie they just saw. Probably doesn’t mean much but still they come up with two rankings. One is based on small movie theatre in tokyo the other is nation wide. It also concerns all movie that have been released in Japan, not only the japanese one.

Tokyo small theatre ranking :

1-Summer Time machine Blues
2-Maison de Himiko
3-Chorus
4-Beyond the Sea
5-Hanging Garden (Kuchu Teien)
6-Linda, Linda, Linda
8-Scrap Heaven
9-Bungee Jumping of Their Own
10-A Song of Joy

Nation wide :

1-Star Wars Episode III
2-Always — Sunset on Third Street (Always — Sanchome no Yuhi)
3-A Moment to Remember
4-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
5-Yamato: The Last Battle (Otokotachi no Yamato)
6-Cinderella Man
7-Shall We Dance?
8-Fly, Daddy, Fly
9-Aegis (Bokoku no Aegis)
10-A Stormy Night (Arashi no Yoru ni)

Tadaaa !

Posted by Muken in Misc. Others | 1 Comment »

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11/29/2005

Bandage

Shunji Iwai portraitvia stauffen
Urahara diva Shunji Iwai has written a script to be directed, surpisingly enough, by Ryuhei Kitamura (Godzilla Final Wars, Versus).
The movie, Bandage, is about the indie rock scene in Japan during the 90’s.
I always found weird that someone like Iwai never got his due when the asian movie craze went mainstream in the mid 90’s. I’m not 100% positive about this but i don’t think any Iwai’s flick has been released in europe in the 90’s.
This is something that has plagued most “middleground” directors of asia. Only the true genre or the true author flicks from asia are getting in the mainstream media.
The fact is Iwai’s movies are not sophisticated enough for the art crowd and not entertaining enough for the movie geeks looking for thrills.
There’s also an economic factor, Iwai’s movie were very popular in Japan at the time. The foreign distribution rights must have been more expensive than the one for Kitano’s.
Kitano’s movies were totally ignored in Japan until he got international praise at Venice with Hana-bi.
Still, i’ve always enjoyed Iwai’s sophisticated teenage dramas and he was the one to discover Tadanobu Asano.
Anyway, Kitamura is japan’s Michael Bay on crunk juice so it might be interesting to see what he can do with an Iwai’s script probably dealing with the trials, tribulations and the resulting angst of an indie rock band.
Iden, Tity & Godzilla : Final war. Can’t wait to watch that.
Here’s Shunji Iwai’s official website and Bandage official press release in japanese.

Posted by Muken in Indie | 1 Comment »

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