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 →

Silent Film Retrospective at the National Film Center

The English title of the upcoming silent film retrospective at the National Film Center in Kyobashi is Silent Film Renaissance 2017. The Japanese title シネマの冒険 闇と音楽 2017 — Cinema Adventure Darkness and Music 2017 — seems more evocative, considering all six films will have one screening with live musical accompaniment. Two of the films will also have live narration performed by a… Read more →