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Film Analysis: Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972) by Shunya Ito

“To be deceived is a woman’s crime.”

When you listen to the magnificent soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill, Vol.1” you will notice that one track called “The Flower of Carnage” sung by Meiko Kaji. Even though you might not understand the lyrics the voice of the singer, the bittersweet melody hints at the character being deeply emotional, full of tenderness, but at the same time carrying something with her, something dark and vicious. It seems to conjure a certain image, feeling or memory of a past and a present of a certain somebody who is addressed in this film, so strong is the voice it wants you to almost take a mental picture of the person, see her pain but also her beauty. To Tarantino this was the perfect sound for The Bride, a character played by Uma Thurman, a woman who has been continuously betrayed and declared dead,
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Sion Sono’s ‘the Land of Hope’ a Good Movie with Great Performances

‘The Land of Hope’ is a simple and honest movie about fear, hope and freedom when the unexpected and unavoidable comes our way. In this case, a nuclear meltdown, no less. It’s not a singular tale, in that it’s not a survival-against-the-odds story, nor an especially ‘heroic’ one, but it is the kind of experience that any family could have had in a Fukushima-like aftermath.

The devastated Nagashima in ‘The Land of Hope’.

Sion doesn’t overreach for the unique, but rather keeps the focus on realism, indulging in magic lyrical moments only on a couple of occasions. The result is a fairly empathetic experience, even when the story wanders, visiting sub-themes such as peer-pressure or mistrust of the government.

Samuel Goldwyn said that a movie ‘should start with an earthquake and build to a climax’. Sion Sono, the director of ‘The Land of Hope’, obviously took notice,
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Like Father, Like Son Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Like Father, Like Son Movie Review
Title: Like Father, Like Son Director: Hirokazu Koreeda Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Yoko Maki, Jun Kunimura, Machiko Ono, Kirin Kiki, Isao Natsuyagi, Lily Franky, Jun Fubuki, Megumi Morisaki. Director Hirokazu Koreeda depicts a touching, poetic and harrowing adventure through parenthood. What makes a child similar to his parents? Does the blood-line prevail over living every day of your life raising a child, even if he doesn’t share your lineage? These questions are explored with great delicacy and veracity in ‘Like Father, Like Son.’ Nonomiya Ryota is a man who has established himself in his profession, he is very hard working and extremely competitive. One day he is called with his wife [ Read More ]

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DVD Review: 'The Land of Hope'

  • CineVue
★★★☆☆ The Land of Hope (2012) is a delicately-paced drama, centring on the lives of a rural farming family who are affected by a nearby environmental catastrophe, set a few years after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. Sion Sono intended to create a film that captured how a tragedy like this affects the everyday lives of people, and he does this with an air of haunting beauty. Sono tells the story of a family divided by the disaster, torn two ways in an attempt to save themselves. Yoichi (Jun Murakami) and his wife Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka) face each and every day with the fear of radiation affecting their unborn child.

Kagurazaka is particularly adept at portraying the desperate lengths Izumi will go to in order to protect her child, illustrating her radiophobia with a sensitivity that could have easily been overdone, whilst Murakumi displays a desperate husband trying to do his best with earnest.
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Discover The Land Of Hope with us this August

We always look forward to news of a new Sion Sono release, so colour us happy that Third Window Films has announced the arrival of The Land of Hope on U.K. shores. Prolific director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Himizu) departs from his usual style for this movingly restrained drama of a rural family's struggle to survive in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and the resulting nuclear crisis. Starring Isao Natsuyagi (My Way) and Naoko Otani (Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters), special features include an entertaining 70 minute 'Making of' documentary. The Land of Hope arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray August 26th, 2013. We'll be reviewing it very shortly... Synopsis: In the fictional Nagashima prefecture, Yoichi Ono (Jun Murakami) lives a peaceful life with his wife Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka), and his parents Yasuhiko (Isao Natsuyagi) and Chieko (Nakok Otani), on the family's small farm. One day, an earthquake disrupts the calm,
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Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox Go After Japan’s Emperor in First Tralier

Here’s the first trailer for “Hannibal Rising” director Peter Webber’s latest, the post-World War II set “Emperor”, which finds Matthew Fox and Tommy Lee Jones playing Generals in the aftermath of the war. This is apparently a true story. Or, well, true-ish whenever Hollywood is involved, let’s be honest here. Looks interesting. I’m always a sucker for historical tales about topics that I didn’t know anything about previously, and I certainly had no idea the U.S. Army was considering hanging Japan’s emperor for his role in WWII. As the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII, Gen. Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Isao Natsuyagi, Matthew Fox, Kaori Momoi, Toshiyuki Nishida,
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The Land of Hope | Tiff 2012 Review

The Japan Syndrome: Sono Puts Human Face to Tsunami Tragedy

The prolific and insanely busy Sion Sono returns with another tale centered on the aftermath of Japan’s devastating tsunami, The Land of Hope. While his last film, Himizu focused on two teenagers eking out a dystopic existence in their post-tsunami world, this latest is based on a family’s true story of survival in the aftermath of the nuclear reactor explosion. At times a tad overly sentimental, especially in the context of Sono’s own dark and challenging oeuvre, this is a mostly winning experience, perhaps best as a document of the ravaged landscape that still has yet to be revitalized even a year later, when this was filmed.

Sono gives us a fictional location, the Nagashima prefecture, a small town butted up against a nuclear power plant. Yoichi Ono (Jun Murakami) and his wife Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka) lead
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Teaser for Shion Sono's "The Land of Hope"

A 30-second teaser for Shion Sono’s upcoming film The Land of Hope has been uploaded to the official YouTube channel of its distributor, Bitters End.

It’s set in the Japanese countryside and revolves around a couple, Yoichi (Jun Murakami) and Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka), who are living in a village as humble dairy farmers with Yoichi’s parents Yasuhiko (Isao Natsuyagi) and Chieko (Naoko Otani).

One day, a huge earthquake strikes and an evacuation begins, but Yoichi is hesitant to leave their lifetime home behind. When he discovers his wife is pregnant, he must do whatever it takes to protect her and their unborn child. Meanwhile, their neighbors (Yutaka Shimizu, Hikari Kajiwara, Denden, and Mariko Tsutsui). have to make their own choice about evacuation.

“The Land of Hope” is scheduled for an autumn release in Japan. A quick UK release is also likely due to Third Window Films being one of the co-producers.
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

More cast members revealed for Shion Sono’s “The Land of Hope”

Last year, director Shion Sono chose to film his live-action adaptation of Himizu in an area devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, incorporating the effects of disaster into the story. With his next film, The Land of Hope, he’s going a step further by making a human drama about a family living within the evacuation radius of a damaged nuclear power plant during the disaster.

It was previously known that the story would focus on three primary couples played by Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Otani, Jun Murakami, Megumi Kagurazaka, Yutaka Shimizu, and Hikari Kajiwara—with Denden playing someone with important ties to the main family. Today it was revealed that Daikichi Sugawara, Takashi Yamanaka, and Kenzo Kawarazaki would also star.

Additionally, the film will boast a fairly large cast of established actors in smaller supporting roles including Yusuke Iseya, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Fusako Urabe, Gitan Ohtsuru, Satoshi Matsuo, Shiro Namiki,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

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