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Interview with Yuliya Kim: I think that people are interested in watching more than what cinema theaters usually screen

Yuliya Kim was born in 1986. After acquiring a Master in finance from Moscow State University, she worked from 2011 to 2016 at Kazakh Film. Between 2012 and 2015, she was a general manager at Eurasia Film Festival in Almaty. in charge of International guests and juries. Since 2012, she collaborated on many films from internationally acclaimed directors such as Darezhan Omirbayev, Yerlan Nurmukhambetov, Farkhat Sharipov, which won numerous prizes at most prestigious Film Festivals. Since 2019, she is in charge of Almaty Film Festival in Kazakhstan.

On the occasion of her presence in at Fica Vesoul as part of the International Jury, we speak with her about her work as a producer in Kazakhstan films, her cooperation with the directors, the current situation of the local film industry, Almaty Film Festival, and many other topics.

I saw that “The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time“, a film that you produced, was picked up by Gaga International and was released in Japan.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film Review: The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time (2019) by Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Lisa Takeba

An unusual partnership between Kazakhstan and Japan is behind the film “The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time” and it is not just a co-production. The film is in fact co-directed by Kazakh filmmaker Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Japanese Lisa Takeba – who allegedly met at a party in Cannes – and stars among others, Kazakh film actress Samal Yeslyamova, winner of best actress at Cannes for “Ayka” in 2018, and Japanese actor Mirai Moriyama. The film had its premiere at Busan International Film Festival on the 3rd of October and it is being screened in cinemas around Japan as I write. The odd English title may sound a bit arcane, while the Japanese one – which translates “Olzhas’ White Horse” – goes straight to the point; however, the simple explanation is that “Roads of Time” is the series of paintings by Kazakh artist Gali Myrzashev which are shown during the end credits.

“The Horse Thieves. Roads
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

New UK Trailer for 'Samurai Marathon' Featuring a Philip Glass Score

"Whoever wins this race... I shall grant them a wish." Signature Ent. UK has debuted an official trailer for the indie action thriller Samurai Marathon, also known as Samurai Marathon 1855. Inspired by a real-life race that is still held annually in Japan, Samurai Marathon is an epic thriller from the team behind 13 Assassins and The Last Emperor. It is actually directed by a British filmmaker named Bernard Rose, best known for directing Candyman and Immortal Beloved. Set in the late feudal era of Japan, a young ninja is operating undercover in the court of an aging Lord during a peaceful era of Japan. His loyalties are put to the test as he competes in the Samurai Marathon event. Starring Takeru Satoh, Nana Komatsu, Mirai Moriyama, Shôta Sometani, Munetaka Aoki, Ryu Kohata, Yuta Koseki, Motoki Fukami, Junko Abe, and Danny Huston. Featuring a Philip Glass score, which is also a
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Film Review: Samurai Marathon (2019) by Bernard Rose

Inspired by the origin of the Japanese marathon “Samurai Marathon” tells a story set at the end of the Edo period when American troops have arrived on Japanese shore. Afraid of an attack, the shogun and many of the warlords from the other prefectures try to find responses to the potential threat. In the Annaka domain, the hanshu of the region feels the need to train his samurai who have become weak, as he tells them in a speech, and therefore a marathon will not only be the first step to bring them into shape, it will also show if they are fit for battle. The winner of the run will be granted a wish.

Alerted by what he considers first a plan for rebellion against the shogunate, Jinnai Karaswa (Takeruh Sato), who has been a spy for the shogun for many years, informs his superiors about the events by asking for military support.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Samurai Marathon Review – Eiff 2019

Discouraged by the arrival of U.S. Commodore Perry (Danny Huston), aboard black ships laden with bourbon and gunpowder, feudal lord Itakura Katsuakira (Hiroki Hasegawa) of the Annaka clan views his own forces with little confidence. They have grown slow and idle after decades of peaceful isolation, and as such he challenges all men of fighting age to a marathon to prove their mettle — the prize for first place being the winner’s wish come true. When Edo spy Jinnai Karasawa (Takeru Satoh) mistakes his lord’s agitation for insurrection, however, an order is placed in error and the shogun’s ninjas duly dispatched.

While not as sensitive as Memoirs of a Geisha or Letters from Iwo Jima, Samurai Marathon is surprisingly a congruous and measured entry in the growing genre of internationally produced Japanese period dramas — all the more so given that it was directed by Candyman’s Bernard Rose.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Rage (2016) by Lee Sang-il

Lee Sang-il has always had a different, unique approach in his films, as the fact that he is Zainichi Korean allows him to combine elements from both Japanese and Korean cinema. This trait became obvious in “Villain”, but it is in “Rage” that it finds its apogee.

“Rage” was part of the program of the New York Asian Film Festival,

The intricate story is based on the homonymous novel by Shuchi Yoshida, (who also wrote the book that “Villain” was based upon), and uses a gruesome murder, that receives much publicity as it is investigated by the police, as its base, before it splits into three different settings.

The first one takes place in Chiba where Yohei Maki rescues his daughter Aiko, from a life as a sex worker. As both of them try to heal from the wounds of the past and to face public prejudice, Aiko starts having
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Ken Watanabe Stars in Japanese Thriller, Rage

With the Toronto International Film Festival just around the corner, the debut trailer for Japanese superstar Ken Watanabe’s latest offering, Rage (Ikari), has landed with an almighty splash.

Directed by Lee Sang-il (Unforgiven, Hula Girls), Rage tells a the story of a single brutal murder whose complex and sinister threads reach deep into the lives of a number of different people across three different cities in Japan. The trailer below sets the tone of the film, with shots of cryptic messages painted in blood onto the wall effectively off-setting the colorful backdrops of Japan’s southern islands and vibrant nightclubs.

Joining Ken Watanabe (Inception, The Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima) are a number of up and coming Japanese acting talents, including Aoi Miyazaki (The Great Passage, Wolf Children), Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Assassin) and Mirai Moriyama (The Drudgery Train).

This will be
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Junji Sakamoto’s A Chorus of Angels

Junji Sakamoto's A Chorus of AngelsSTORY75%ACTING75%DIRECTING75%VISUALS86%SOUND85%POSITIVESGreat story and directionSayuri Yoshinaga's performanceMagnificent cinematography and soundNEGATIVESA bit too melodramatic at moments2016-03-2879%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)64%

Another excellent sample of Japanese filmmaking, “A Chorus of Angels” implements all the distinct characteristics of the country’s cinema, while excelling at the technical department, with magnificent sound and cinematography, and the awards from the Japanese Academy for Best Music Score, Cinematography and Lighting being utterly justified.

Based on the short story “Ni-jyu Nian Go no Shyukudai” from the “Oufuku Shokan” collection by Kanae Minato (Confessions), the film revolves around Haru Kawashima, a retired school teacher, who currently works as a librarian, the six students (3 boys and 3 girls) she had when she was teaching in a remote village in Hokkaido 20 years before, the chorus they have assembled, an accident that brought their relationship to demise, and a number
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Toho launches sales on 'Rage' at Efm

  • ScreenDaily
Toho launches sales on 'Rage' at Efm
Exclusive: Japanese suspense drama stars Ken Watanabe.

Japanese studio Toho is launching sales on Lee Sang-il’s [pictured] suspense drama Rage, which features a stellar cast including Ken Watanabe, at the Efm.

Based on a novel by Shuichi Yoshida, the film revolves around three couples who become suspicious of people they have recently befriended, following a brutal double murder in a Tokyo satellite city.

In addition to Watanabe (The Last Samurai), the strong ensemble cast also includes Kenichi Matsuyama (Norwegian Wood), Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Assassin), Mirai Moriyama (Love Strikes), Go Ayano (The Light Shines Only There), Suzu Hirose (Our Little Sister) and Aoi Miyazaki (Eureka).

Currently in post-production, the film is being lined up for a summer 2016 release in Japan. Lee Sang-il previously worked with Watanabe on the Japanese version of Unforgiven and his credits also include Hula Girls (2006) and Villain (2010).

Toho’s slate also includes its new reboot of the iconic Godzilla franchise, Shin [link=tt
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Exclusive: There's No Forgiveness In Clip From Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 'Penance'

We recently profiled 15 Filmmakers At The Forefront Of The TV Revolution, and a filmmaker headed to the small screen before many of the directors on that list is Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Back in 2012, he brought the five-part "Penance" to Japanese television, and later it screened internationally at the Venice Film Festival, Tiff and more. It's taken a couple of years, but now you'll be able to experience the drama on the big screen, and today we have an exclusive clip from the series.  Starring Kyoko Koizumi, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yu Aoi, Eiko Koike, Sakura Ando, Chizuru Ikewaki, Mirai Moriyama, Kenji Mizuhashi, Ryo Kase, Tomoharu Hasegawa, Ayumi Ito, Hirofumi Arai and Tetsushi Tanaka, and based on the novel by Kanae Minato, the story centers around the kidnapping and killing of a young girl named Emili. Her grief-stricken mother Asako, frustrated at the crime going unsolved, lays the burden on the four girls who
See full article at The Playlist »

Penance | Review

Till I Can Get My Satisfaction: Kurosawa’s Striking Psychosexual Marathon

Past traumas hopelessly infecting the present factor significantly in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s monolithic psychosexual thriller, Penance, a five part made-for-television miniseries that premiered back in 2012 for North American audiences at the Toronto Film Festival, now receiving a limited theatrical release. Like many of Kurosawa’s best known works, he explores the ripple effects of tragic circumstances and their continually endless warping effects, perhaps sometimes seen as a metaphor for cultural tendencies at large. His latest plays like a tangential murder mystery of crossed paths, finally looping back to a finale that leads to more complicated depths, not unlike something David Lynch would do in this similar format of impressively orchestrated subplots and characterizations that makes for viewing in one sitting a head spinning ordeal.

A young girl, Emili, is murdered at school, the killer leading her off in front
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

A Chorus of Angels (2012) Movie Review

The past comes back to haunt and heal in Japanese drama “A Chorus of Angels”, directed by Sakamoto Junji (“Children of the Dark”) and based on the work by bestselling author Minato Kanae, whose “Confessions” was recently brought to the screen in stunning fashion by Nakashima Tetsuya. Adapted from the short story “Ni-jyu Nian Go no Shyukudai” from the “Oufuku Shokan” collection, the film revolves around the relationship between a former teacher and her now-grown up students, who are bound together by a dark secret. The film is particularly notable for the presence of actress Yoshinaga Sayuri, a legend in the industry and hugely popular since her teen roles back in the 1960s for the Nikkatsu studio, backed here by an impressive cast of younger talent, including Miyazaki Aoi (“In His Chart”), Mitsushima Hikari (“Love Exposure”), Koike Eiko (“Penance”), Mirai Moriyama (“The Drudgery Train”) and Matsuda Ryuhei (“Phone Call to the Bar
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

Full trailer for Nobuhiro Yamashita's "Kueki Ressha"

The official website for Nobuhiro Yamashita’s Kueki Ressha has been revamped with a new full trailer.

The film is based on a semi-autobiographical Akutagawa Prize-winning novel by Kenta Nishimura. It’s set in 1986 and stars Mirai Moriyama as a 19-year-old day laborer named Kanta Kitamachi who has no friends, no life, and can’t afford his rent because he wastes all his money on booze and sex workers. To top it off, he has to deal with the shame of having a sex offender for a father.

Eventually, he manages to strike up a friendship with a co-worker and vocational school student named Shoji Kusakabe (Kengo Kora). One day, they meet a used bookstore employee named Yasuko Sakurai (Atsuko Maeda) and Kanta falls in love at first sight. Kusakabe acts as a go-between, leading to a friendship with Yasuko. However, Kanta’s eagerness soon gets the better of him
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Teaser for Nobuhiro Yamashita's "Kueki Ressha"

The Japanese movie site Cinema Today has uploaded a teaser for Nobuhiro Yamashita’s upcoming movie Kueki Ressha to their YouTube channel.

The movie is based on a novel by Kenta Nishimura which won the 144th Akutagawa Prize in 2011. It’s set in the late 1980s and stars Mirai Moriyama as a 19-year-old day laborer named Kanta Kitamachi who squanders most of his meager wages on booze even though he can’t afford to pay his own rent.

Kitamachi lives a solitary life, actively avoiding others until he becomes friends with a co-worker and vocational school student named Shoji Kusakabe (Kengo Kora). One day, they meet a used bookstore employee named Yasuko Sakurai (Atsuko Maeda) and Kanta falls in love at first sight. Kusakabe acts as a go-between, leading to a friendship with Yasuko. However, Kanta’s eagerness soon gets the better of him.

Kueki Ressha” will be released by
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Nao Omori and Mirai Moriyama join cast of third Always film

Today it was announced that Mirai Moriyama (26) and Nao Omori (39) have been added to the cast of the third installment of the blockbuster Always film series, Always: Sunset on Third Street ‘64.

Additionally, actress Maki Horikita (22) recently revealed on her staff blog that filming, which began in January, has finally wrapped. “Completing a movie with almost the same staff I’ve been lucky enough to work with since I was 16 feels lonely,” she added.

The new film is set in 1964, 5 years after the events of the first two. That year was chosen due to excitement at the time surrounding the Tokyo Summer Olympics as well as the grand opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen. Moriyama and Omori will play two members of a performance group, but specific details of their involvement in the story are not yet available.

In addition to the two new characters, the main cast from the first two films such as Horikita,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Trailer for the film version of "Sono Machi no Kodomo"

Cinema Today has uploaded a new trailer for the theatrical release of Sono Machi no Kodomo to YouTube.

The film is actually a re-edited version of a TV drama which aired on Nhk back on January 17th, the 15th anniversary of the Great Hanshin earthquake. The script was written by Aya Watanabe (Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, Boat) and stars two actors who actually experienced the Great Hanshin earthquake firsthand, Eriko Sato and Mirai Moriyama.

Moriyama plays Yuji and Sato plays Mika, two survivors of the quake who now live in Tokyo as adults. By chance, they meet and get to know each other in Kobe the day before the earthquake’s 15th memorial gathering, but are both undecided about whether or not they’ll be able to muster up the courage to attend. Although they were just children at the time, they both have traumatic memories and emotional
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Nhk drama “Sono Machi no Kodomo” getting a theatrical release

The recent Nhk drama “Sono Machi no Kodomo” (children of the city) is being re-released in Japanese theaters this November. The original drama aired back on January 17th, the 15th anniversary of the Great Hanshin earthquake which completely devastated Kobe and its surrounding area within the span of 20 seconds, claiming the lives of over 6,000 people in total.

The drama won the 36th Hoso Bunka Foundation prize and evoked such a positive response from its audience that the unusual decision was made to re-release it as a theatrical film, complete with additional footage edited into the original version.

The script was written by Aya Watanabe (Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, Boat) and stars two actors who actually experienced the Great Hanshin earthquake firsthand, Eriko Sato and Mirai Moriyama.

Moriyama plays Yuji and Sato plays Mika, two survivors of the quake who now live in Tokyo as adults. By chance, they
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Nhk drama “Sono Machi no Kodomo” getting a theatrical release

The recent Nhk drama “Sono Machi no Kodomo” (children of the city) is being re-released in Japanese theaters this November. The original drama aired back on January 17th, the 15th anniversary of the Great Hanshin earthquake which completely devastated Kobe and its surrounding area within the span of 20 seconds, claiming the lives of over 6,000 people in total.

The drama won the 36th Hoso Bunka Foundation prize and evoked such a positive response from its audience that the unusual decision was made to re-release it as a theatrical film, complete with additional footage edited into the original version.

The script was written by Aya Watanabe (Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, Boat) and stars two actors who actually experienced the Great Hanshin earthquake firsthand, Eriko Sato and Mirai Moriyama.

Moriyama plays Yuji and Sato plays Mika, two survivors of the quake who now live in Tokyo as adults. By chance, they
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

Fish Story: DVD Review

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura. Review: Adam Wing. It’s fair to say that Yoshihiro Nakamura’s Fish Story defies genre convention. Based on a popular novel by Kotaro Isaka, the concept is straightforward enough. A little left of centre perhaps, telling the tale of a little known punk song that inadvertently saves the world. The film begins in 2012 as an elderly man makes his way through abandoned city streets, in the sky above him we are witness to an enormous meteorite making its way to Earth. The first sign of life is found in a record shop, where two young men are discussing a song by the largely unknown Japanese punk band Gekirin. The Sex Pistols had yet to make it big, and Gekirin were considered a little too quirky for mainstream music fans. Little did they know that their song would go on to play such an important role in the future of mankind.
See full article at 24FramesPerSecond »

Japan Cuts 2010: One Million Yen Girl Review

A 21-year old Suzuko (Yu Aoi of Hana and Alice and Shaking Tokyo segment from Tokyo!) has a criminal record from a minor incident. With this stigma in a strict society like Japan, it's quite difficult to lead a normal life: the neighbors' gossips and constant arguing at home gets too much for her. She decides to make a million yen and move out, go some place where no one knows her, find a job and work until make another million and repeat the process. The trouble started with her wanting to leave home and live independently anyway.

Suzuko first goes to a small seaside town and starts working at a concession stand. It turns out she is pretty good at making snow cones. When a local guy takes an interest in her, it is too close for comfort for our heroine. As soon as she reaches her goal, she
See full article at Screen Anarchy »
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