Dororo (2019) - News Poster

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Film Review: Farewell Song (2019) by Akihiko Shiota

Beginning 2000s, director Akihiko Shiota emerged as part of a new wave of Japanese filmmakers portraying teenage alienation in postmodern Japan. Like many other famous directors of his generation, Shiota was a student of Shigehiko Hasumi at Tokyo Film School. Though less prolific than his former classmates Shinji Aoyama (“Eureka” 2000) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (“Cure” 1997), Shiota produced impressive movies such as “Moonlight Whispers” (1999), “Harmful Insect” (2001) and “Canary” (2004), which all deal with young outcasts and a lack of parental presence. In the course of his career, Shiota shifted his focus from serious indie dramas to sentimental commercial productions and effect-filled entertainment (“Dororo” 2007). He finally ended up in the genre of medical drama with the TBS tearjerker “I Just Wanna Hug You” (2014). What may look like a decline of artistic demand, is proven wrong by Shiota’s newest film “Farewell Song” (2019).

Farewell Song” was screened on Japannual Film Festival in Vienna.

Although Shiota
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Interview with Kensuke Sonomura: “There has been a significant decrease over the past ten years in production scale as to what you can achieve in terms of filmmaker originality”

Kensuke Sonomura is a household name in the Asian Action cinema. Starring as a stunt double and action director in many movies across the continent, Sonomura is ready to enter the stage with his own feature film. His debut film “Hydra” screened at the Japan Filmfest Hamburg and we had the pleasure to get an interview with him.

Before producing your own movies, you were an action choreographer. Can you tell us more about your background as a choreographer and the kind of work that comes with it? And how was the collaboration with John Woo and Mamoru Oshii?

First of all, about my career path, it started when I joined Kurata Action Club in Osaka run by Mr. Yasuaki Kurata at 16. There I learned the basics of stunts and got to experience some actual stunt work on some television/commercial projects. When I turned 18, I left them and became
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