Two Films I Want To See

This film isn’t showing in Tokyo, yet, but I want to both remember it and hopefully see it in Tokyo someday. A Shelter Among the Clouds is set in Albania and is about the conflicts that occur when it is discovered that a mosque was once a Catholic church. It has won a few awards at film festivals around the… Read more →

A Year of Tora-san: 2, The Family

The second Tora-san film, in English is titled Tora-san’s Cherished Mother and in Japanese 続 男はつらいよ (Zoku: Otoko wa Tsurai yo: It’s Tough Being a Man Continues). The film revolves around two stories. One, Tora-san’s relationship with his former elementary school teacher and his daughter and the other around his relationship with his real mother. Though the former relationships are interesting (and… Read more →

Unknown Pleasures playing at the Cinema Blue Studio in Kita Senju

Aimless youth and former youth, whether Slacker or Clerks, films by Wong Kar-wai or Toshiya Fujita, or even my favorite Tora-san films, that seems to be what I am interested in, so no surprise that I am interested in this film, Unknown Pleasures (青の稲妻 in Japanese and 任逍遥 in Chinese) that is described as such will interest me: Jia Zhangke’s… Read more →

Tora-san 50th Anniversary Events!

Many big events are happening next year in Japan. The Rugby World Cup. A new emperor will be enthroned. Preparations will also be in full gear for the 2020 Olympics. 2019, however, also marks the 50th anniversary of the first Tora-san movie! Shochiku’s Tora-san 50th anniversary website went live today. Here is a summary of what was announced today. 1)… Read more →

Shoplifters, Hakuchu Dodo, and the Florida Project

Shoplifters (万引き家族) was the first film by Hirokazu Kore-eda I’ve watched. When I first hear the story, though, I immediately thought Hakuchu Dodo (白昼堂々), a Shochiku film from 1968. which I saw at a Kiyoshi Atsumi retrospective a few years back at the Togeki. Directed by prolific director Yoshitaro Nomura, it starts Atsumi and Chieko Baisho as leaders of a… Read more →

Cocktail Party at the Minato-ku Azabu Civic Center

I have been a long time subscriber to the SSJ-Forum, which these days is almost entirely announcements for various academic panels, conferences, and seminars for professors and academics and such. Every once in a while I manage to attend one or two. Today, though, ICAS at Temple University sent out a message advertising an upcoming film screening of Cocktail Party,… Read more →