Archives For miki nakatani

at Cinencuentro again!

This time around pointing out some experiences while watching those films, which doesn’t necessarily reflect what I consider the best… keyword, necessary.

Sorry, only in Spanish.

check it out here.

First, let me begin saying that I thought 2006 was a great year to watch films. Also, funny thing to point out — it was really, and I mean… REALLY tough to pick my Best Supporting Actress picks~

Many of my favorite films have a 2006 tag in them, so this list might seem a little bias, even though I really tried hard to not be. You might noticed how hard I tried not to be bias. LOL — check the Best Actress category~

Continue Reading…

This is my last post for this blogathon, unless I can come up with something on time for tomorrow~

I was reading this post on Japanese Films and Women in Cinema– now, female in cinema is a big BIG subject. I’m not in the position to point out feminists or non-feminists films across the decades or countries. However, I have to admit that looking back at the films I’ve seen the past year, it feels like many (if not most of them) have a female protagonist. In general, I don’t know the reason – if there are more films about women, or if I’m watching them because I’m looking for them. What I do know is that I watched many Japanese films with female leads because I had been on the hunt for Juri Ueno and Yu Aoi projects – so that’s got to be at least 10 films led by a female, right?

So here it is… some~

Japanese Chick-centric Films or with Female Leads~

  • Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro)
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Hula Girls
  • Swing Girls
  • Hana to Alice (Hana & Alice)
  • Gaichu (Harmful Insect)
  • Kame wa Igai to Hayaku Oyogu (Turtles Swim Faster than Expected)
  • Kiraware Matsuko no Issho (Memories of Matsuko)
  • Quiet Room ni Youkoso (Welcome to the Quiet Room)
  • Linda Linda Linda
  • Kamikaze Girls
  • Shinku (The Deep Red)
  • Love Letter
  • Sakuran
  • Sasameyuki (The Makioka Sisters)
  • Rinne (Reincarnation)
  • Tenshi no Tamago (Angel’s Egg)
  • Wool 100%
  • Hyakuman-en to Nigamushi Onna (One Million Yen Girl)
  • GuGu Datte Neko de Aru (Gu Gu the Cat)
  • Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)
  • Nishi no Majo ga Shinda (The Witch of the West is Dead)
  • Blood the Last Vampire
  • Pikunikku (Picnic)

Of course, there’s many animated films asides from the ones I’ve mentioned above like Paprika, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, The Milennium Actress or Perfect Blue. And yes, there are films in my list that are not quite remarkable… and we can also point out that there aren’t many female leads of over 30 or 40 (in some way, Matsuko which chronicles her life, The Makioka Sisters, GuGu, and The Witch of the West – who knew Shirley McLaine’s daughter spoke Japanese?), but then again… that’s a problem that seems to be common in Hollywood too. Does it happen much in Europe? Countries like France or Germany? Are there many films with female leads, or are they as hard to find??

In the end,  it was good to see Meryl Streep (Doubt),  Melissa Leo (Frozen River), Julie Christie (Away from Her), Laura Linney (The Savages), and to some degree Kate Winslet (The Reader) and Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) getting recognition these past two years.

— EDIT June 21 —

I thought this was a great post on the subject. =D

I’ve hated #4 this past weeks. That number is an unlucky number…

Anyway, this is my 4th contribution to the Japanese Cinema Blogathon, if you haven’t been reading… which I hope you have had~~~ because that’s the whole point of this blogathon, right? To promote J-Films…

Which brings me to today’s topic.

First, Your Friends~ Then the World!

How to Make People Watch Japanese Cinema

It’s all about compromise. God knows I’ve tried so hard to get my friends interested in it, because sometimes it can get boring talking to people about it just online… *sighs* I’m sure I come off as pushy, etc~ and many of them won’t budge. I even offer them films to watch for free… they only need to come over, and that’s that.

Last year I had a Foreign Film gathering (they chose the foreign theme, anyway), two of the nine films scheduled that day were Tetsuya Nakashima’s Memories of Matsuko – mainly because I’m crazy about that film, and I had just watched it a few weeks prior – and Shunji Iwai’s Hana & Alice, because Iwai-san and Yu Aoi is lurv. Sadly, no one came on time to watch Matsuko (only one friend arrived… halfway through the film), and I highly doubt they made any connection with Hana & Alice.

Needless to say, I’m setting up another film gathering, though I haven’t made them choose themes yet. I have a few lists I’ve made and they contain a couple of Japanese films. Let’s hope one of them stays this year! *crosses fingers*

Anyway… you don’t want to come off as pushy – and like I said above… it’s all about compromise.

  • You have a friend who wants to make you watch something of his own?? Maybe he wants to get you into Lost, Heroes… or Battlestar Gallactica? Give in, tell him you will watch a season (or maybe a few episodes, depending on your willingness to compromise) in exchange he should watch a film or two.

This will make your friend feel like you are not pushing him to watch something, instead you’re just exchanging interests… and who knows, you might end up enjoying both those hobbies.

  • When you blog about it, mix things up a little. We blog about Japanese Cinema, but in the end people who already like Japanese Cinema read your posts.

The point of this blogathon is to promote Japanese Cinema, but we are the ones dealing and discussing. I mentioned this blogathon to a friend, and she had no idea why she should care. *doh!* – combine the idols with your favorite Japanese Directors, and get them at least skimming through your posts. Make a western comparison… got something to write about vampire films? psych ward films? I mean Clive Owen has said that he wants to work with Wong Kar Wai and Ang Lee again… that means some teenage Owen fans would be at least be interested in checking out some more work by both directors.

How about a crazy collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tetsuya Nakashima? Or Juliette Binoche and Shunji Iwai?

  • Make a fuzz about collaborations. No matter how good or bad you may think they are.

I made a fuzz about Tokyo! – I kind of really worship Michel Gondry’s visual style… then there was Ryo Kase, and Yu Aoi. – I’ve also been making a fuzz over New York, I Love You because it’s got Shunji Iwai’s short with Orlando Bloom. Now, I don’t like Orlando Bloom (I’ve only ever liked him as Legolas LOL), but if there are people who enjoy the short… there is a small chance that a teenage Bloom fan might check out Iwai’s past work.

  • Introduced them with what they like.

My dad likes comedies… and action films, but well~ he also happens to like Asian culture, LOL’ so maybe I’m being a little unfair here. Anyway, I’ve made him watch films like Linda Linda Linda, Matsuko, Swing Girls, Tekkon, Kamikaze Girls… then one day he brought me Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams. *laughs* I was surprised myself, but my dad had a newly-found interest in Japanese films (mostly the epic kind though… xD)

and to just not have FOUR bullet points here…

  • … just keep pushing~

Keep bugging people. Someone will need to budge, right? LOL

Continuing with this Blogathon (hmm… I’m finding it harder and harder to write) – I read the following post by Ulrik about Japanese subtitle distribution on blu-ray~ sad, sad indeed~

But the question is… would you buy blu-ray/DVDs with English subs?

Many of us, who watch through torrents and P2P, would probably not buy. I know a LOT of people who think they have the right to not buy a film they love – I get a little pissed when they say that. Not because they do not pay for films… but because they don’t WANT to pay for things they supposedly LOVE. I really can’t stand that.

You will always find me with little money on the wallet or my bank account (depending on where I do the buying…) because I literally spend whatever I get to cash in on the films I love (and used to be films I liked, LOL). It’s really depressing, if you think about it economicaly~ but my love for certain films make it worth the while. Really, watching films and talking about films make me forget about my surroundings hahaha.

[so please, ads my clicking. oh yes, i did again~~ LOL]

So I yearn for English (or Spanish… or even French as of lately) subtitles, so why aren’t they getting subbed? And even sadder (but not as sad as others…) – Why do some films take over six months to get fansubbed?? I worship fansubbers, because they provide something so very useful. But it would be nice to get DVDs with subs, right?

So let’s see… Hmm… I dunno if I can make it to 10 films, so we’ll see~~

The Japanese Films I’ve Bought with English Subtitles

Not including Region 1 releases
Hooray for multi-region players! Yes, because I still haven’t made the change to Blu-ray xD

  • Memories of Matsuko 2-disc Special Edition [Hong Kong]
    I bought this one right away after watching the film. I loved the film so much, that I didn’t even cared that the only version I could find online was a Region 3. This also happened to be the first Region 3 disc I ever bought. I ended up really happy with the product because everything came subtitled (including extras), and at a descent price.
  • GUU GUU Datte Neko de Aru 2-disc First Press Limited Edition [Japan]
    I have to admit. It hurt me to pay~ LOL – Specially because the Korean version is half the price, but I also must admit that I was curious to see the difference between Japanese DVDs and the rest… so this became my first ever official Japanese DVD.
  • The first Inuyasha Movie (Toki o Koeru Omoi, Affections through Time)[Japan?]
    hahaha, I know~ – I used to watch Inuyasha when I was in school. It was during those years that my friends had tried to anime-fying me, so I went to this “specialized” in anime shop in town, and bought a copy of the film. Though I’m not entirely sure now if it was a real copy or a bootleg, because to tell you the truth… it doesn’t compared to my copy of GUU GUU.
    And in the end… I bought a Region 1 copy. LOL
  • Love Letter 10th Anniversary Version [Hong Kong]
    I can’t remember right now if the Japanese was available for purchase, when I bought this. I really, really love Shunji Iwai’s work (part of the reason I want to watch New York, I Love You now~), so I just couldn’t help myself from getting a copy of Love Letter… because I’m a sap. I was slightly disappointed on this release due to some issues with the sync of subs, but I can live with that. If I come around some more extra cash, I would consider getting a better copy though~~~
  • Niji no Megami [Hong Kong]
    Truth be told… I wish this film had a better release, but since this is the only version I found with subs – this one it is! LOL’ – Again, it’s got Shunji Iwai on it as a stamp, so I couldn’t help myself. Add to that Yu Aoi and Juri Ueno. I’m lost. Plus, Hayato Ichihara is a cutie. He’s weird here, but he’s so so pretty.

Some other films, I’ve found on Region 1. But I only wish someone would release Hyakuman-en with subs – and I know they aren’t films but I would love someone would release Camouflage (this one doesn’t even have complete fansubs!) and Osen with subs. LOL

Come on WOWOW~ Get on with it! You’ve already licensed Hito no SEKKUSU as a Free Region with Subs in Taiwan! Which I’m so thinking of buying… but really, I’m more interested in getting Camouflage subbed/fansubbed… okay, and maybe Hyakuman-en.