JAPAN CUTS 2011: BIRTHRIGHT (AKA UMBILICAL CORD) Review

Birthright, aka Umbilical Cord, is a deliberately paced psycho-drama about family, rejection and revenge. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, which, coincidentally, happens to be the best way to go into this film. Not because it's a... More »
  

JAPAN CUTS 2011: RINCO'S RESTAURANT Review

[With the Continental U.S. premiere of Rinco's Restaurant happening this, Wednesday, July 13th at Japan Society's Japan Cuts, we now revisit Niels Matthijs' earlier review -- Ben Umstead]Even though female directors are on the rise in Japan, they often limit... More »
  

Japan Cuts 2011: SWORD OF DESPERATION Review

If you're a fan of chanbara dramas--those sensitive, occasionally weepy samurai films that pop up every year or so--then you've probably already seen director Hideyuki Hirayama' Sword of Desperation. Well, if not the actual film, then some configuration of it... More »
  

NYAFF 2011: An Interview With Yoshimasa Ishibashi, Director Of MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY

[A highlight of the 10th anniversary NYAFF, Yoshimasa Ishibashi's Milocrorze: A Love Story also plays as the centerpiece film at Japan Cuts, this Sunday, July 10th. Once again, we thank the Lady Miz Diva for sharing this interview with us,... More »
  

NYAFF/JAPAN CUTS 2011: HEAVEN'S STORY Review

When one hears the word 'epic' one usually thinks of 'battles' and 'dragons', 'conspiracy and intrigue', 'larger-than-life filmmaking.' When one hears the words 'revenge story' images of Charles Bronson mowing down street punks or Choi Min-sik dishing out justice with... More »
  

Japan Cuts 2011: LOVE & LOATHING AND LULU & AYANO

It's interesting to note that that the director of the (anti-?) porn drama Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano, Hisayasu Satō, is himself a director of pink films. Since 1985, he's directed a couple dozen films in the exploitation... More »
  

NYAFF/JAPAN CUTS 2011: OSAMU TEZUKA'S BUDDHA: THE GREAT DEPARTURE Review

The first part in a projected trilogy based on Osamu Tezuka's 8 volume manga, Toei Animation's Buddha: The Great Departure chronicles the early life of Prince Siddhartha in bombastic fashion, constructing an epic on a scale intended to rival old-school... More »
  

NYAFF/Japan Cuts 2011: RINGING IN THEIR EARS Review

The film starts out with Noko, a lead singer of Japanese metafunk band Shinsei Kamattechan, on stage, singing while holding a laptop in front of him. With fans' comments flying across the live streaming images of the concert in the... More »
  

NYAFF 2011: An Interview With Takayuki Yamada, Star of 13 ASSASSINS & MILOCRORZE

[Crossed published at The Diva Review, a very special thanks to the always fabulous, Lady Miz Diva for the following interview with this year's Star Asia Rising Star Award recipient, Takayuki Yamada: star of what is thus far my favorite... More »
  

NYAFF 2011: MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY Review

Milocrorze: A Love Story is like a My Little Pony shitting Gummi Bears into a river of Coca-Cola under a bright pink sky full of rainbows. It's super sweet, kind of gross, plenty weird, and damn awesome.The film's director Yoshimasa... More »
  
 
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