and a half~~~
I just read over NipponCinema that the Japanese Cinema Blogathon has started. (yesterday, really…)
What is the Japanese Cinema Blogathon?
Someone over at Wildgrounds.com thought it’d be a cool idea to unite forces in order to promote Japanese Cinema. Write, share ideas… anything goes as long as it’s about Japanese Cinema. Check their list of on-going activities…
I’ll start off with something simple…
What I Like about Japanese Cinema
My history with Japanese Cinema isn’t as broad as other people’s. I don’t watch too many older classics, because they are harder to get~~ I mean, it’s just easier to get contemporary stuff. ;P but there are some really great films that I’ve been able to watch this past year.
1. They can be about nothing at all, yet hold so much meaning or be so entertaining.
I saw Kore-eda’s Aruitemo, Aruitemo (Still Walking) a couple of days ago. I think that’s perhaps my favorite Japanese film from last year *laughs* – besides from the fact that I really like Hiroshi Abe *laughs*. That film felt so right to me, from the moment we saw Ryo’s sister and mother discussing and trying to cook in the kitchen, to the very last scene of Ryo’s family walking. There was no big reveal of someone having another kid, or someone getting kidnapped or killed, someone having an affair – none of that. One of the things that just stands out was Ryo and his mom finally remembering the name of the Sumo wrestler… and always being late. Heartbreaking.
A similar thing I can tell you of Linda Linda Linda, which I saw and liked, but LOVED after repeated viewings. Nobuhiro Yamashita’s story of a group of girls trying to make it on time to play on the school festival. Nothing at all! But add to that Doona Bae as non-Japanese lead singer, and rock!!
2. They can be bizarrely good.
From high-on-drug-styled film Survive Style 5+, bike-riding rococo lolita adventures on Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls), Moulin Rouge!-meets-Amelie-meets-Sin City-esque dramedy musical Kiraware Matsuko no Issho (Memories of Matsuko) – or even high-school-hardcore-Survivor Battle Royale. They are not your typical film, they can only be Japanese. LOL
3. They don’t treat animation as if it’s only for kids.
Yes, Japanese Cinema is not only Anime – to the dismay of some of my friends – but they do a pretty darn good job animating films like Paprika, Tekkonkinkreet, Princess Mononoke, Grave of the Fireflies. Since the day I discovered Hotaru no Haka 6 years ago, it’s become my favorite animated film to date. LOL