Archives For ryo kase

Tetsuya Nakashima’s latest film, PAKO to Maho no Ehon is one horrorific Japanese film – and you should see it for it. Nakashima has become quickly in one of my favorite Japanese directors (alongside Shunji Iwai, who is, by the way, a total different approach to filmmaking) and Memories of Matsuko is my favorite Japanese film to date.

Nakashima is quickly turning into my Japanese sort of Tim-Burtonesque filmmaker stylist, in the way he uses rich visual enhancements to his storytelling – thanks to his background in CMs, and just found out and remembered watching this – He combines amazing color treatment, art direction, cinematography and mashes it all up with anything he can… be it a bit of violence, grandeur musical numbers, and animation.

PAKO to Maho no Ehon - Paco and the Magical Picture Book

In the end, it isn’t much of a surprise when you begin watching Paco and the Magical Book and find yourself in a very Disney-nesque world (the film starts with a Lion-King-esque chant, literally) – after all, this is supposed to be aimed at a younger audience. However, don’t ever fool yourself thinking that this will dumb down anything that Tetsuya wants to show… which includes a punk-goth-tatooed-blond nurse (Anna Tsuchiya), a psychologically-insane-ex-child-star-bum (Satoshi Tsumabuki), a raging-drag-queen whom a lot of people are referring to as ‘gay’ (Jun Kunimura), and a blood-sucking-neck-biting-vampiresque nurse (Eiko Koike). And don’t forget the grumpy old man who doesn’t back down when hitting the kid (Koji Yakusho)… well, I actually laughed at that bit. Does that make me an asshole??

Yes, the film is nuts, but it’s worth watching. For international audience, it might not be recommended to watch with their kids, unless they are willing to read subtitles… because films like this should be enjoy in its original language. I still think is not as brilliant as Matsuko, but I will have to see it once more with proper subtitles to form a strong opinion. And man! Those CGI animated sequences… and the whole thing, like I said~~ dramatic comedy meets Disney on LSD. I think that’s the perfect description for Nakashima’s style.

I’ll leave you with some links,

GuGu the Cat!

February 13, 2009 — 1 Comment

It arrived yesterday ^o^  !!!

I actually celebrated my b-day last night with a proper meal, and apparently my last YesAsia order. Belated Happy Bday to me!!! And happy 5 year blogging~~~ xD

My first EVER Japanese DVD – all because it listed ‘English subtitles’. I just couldn’t help myself.

Gu~ Gu~ Datte Neko de Aru, which was translated to GuGu the Cat, was not the movie I was expecting – in a good way. I think I had only seen a short clip of the film, perhaps the 30 second tv spot, where they open the box, GuGu shows up and they all go “kawaiiiiiiiiiiii”. So I thought the film was a comedy, but just like some other WOWOW projects I’ve seen, they border on the dramedy field (like Camouflage, 1 Million Yen Girl, and Don’t Laugh at my Romance).

– See, WOWOW people~~~ if you’d release those mentioned above with subs, I’d probably buy them. –

In GuGu, Asako Kojima (Kyoko Koizumi) is a manga artist who hasn’t had much time for life, other than taking care of her pet cat Ça Va and seldomly writing and drawing for her manga series alongside her team of assistants, including Naomi (Juri Ueno), a fervent fan since her teen years.

There’s a lot of fun moments… sometimes dealing with romantic relationships, and overall human relations… as well as some cat relationships xD – so if you like cats, you can probably enjoy this one.

GuGu the Cat

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Feb 4

TOKYO! – in a City Near You!

Just a few months after some Hawaiian residents had a chance to catch TOKYO at the Hawaii International Film Festival, Liberation Entertainment brings TOKYO! to a city near… or at least nearer you this March. Below the break for more info~~

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Jinseitte Uso Mitai, or Life is like a Lie, is the first 3-episode-chapter of the Yu Aoi WOWOW drama Camouflage (previously known as Aoi Yu x 4 Lies) which aired at the beginning of the year, and it’s already on DVD. Finally saw! WEEEE – I waited… what, 6 months??? And still haven’t finished ‘coz no one is translating, and my translator bailed on me… dunno where he is.

So I re-watched the three episodes last night, though the 3rd episode only had subs in the story and not on the introductions (in which the director and writer explain a bit), and the ending (where the photographer shows and explains the photos taken), so kinda missed some of the episode.


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TOKYO! in Hawaii~~

September 19, 2008 — Leave a comment

TOKYO! the 3-part-collaborative film by Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry, has been (or will be) making rounds in theaters in Japan – I think. – And I won’t be able to watch this in a long~~~ LONG time, I’m pretty sure… but Hawaiian residents will be able to watch it at the Hawaii International Film Festival. [WTF? Louis Vuitton??] xD

TOKYO! will be showing on:
Saturday, Oct. 18th 2008 (obviously!) at 8 p.m. at Regal Dole Cannery.
Sunday, Oct. 19th 2008 at 4.30 p.m. at Regal Dole Cannery.

Get tickets, and check! Coz schedules could’ve changed during the time of this post and the day of showing~~

If you are a Yu Aoi fan, and live in Hawaii… or don’t mind spending the airfare to Hawaii, LOL – Go for it! Yu Aoi is featured in the Joon-ho Bong (The Host) directed/written segment title Shaking Tokyo, about a man who stays in his apartment very much like a hermit, trying to isolate himself from society, until he meets a pizza delivery girl (Yu) and there’s an earthquake… apparently.

TOKYO! - Shaking Tokyo - Yu Aoi

Yu Aoi faints on Shaking Tokyo, part of TOKYO!

Also making the rounds at the festival will be Kung Fu Kun (aka, Kung Fu Kid), which in itself isn’t much of a film I would watch… it is kinda funny at the beginning. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a small cameo with Juri Ueno! [click for some funny screencaps] ~ so if you’re a fan of Juri Ueno, you can get tickets for it for the festival!