KYOTO – Film festivals don’t take place in isolation: An interesting city makes for a more interesting festival, unless you are the sort of movie nerd who sees six films a day and lives on convenience store sandwiches. This is especially true of the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival, whose fourth edition took place
BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA – The 22nd Busan International Film Festival, which opened Oct. 12 and ends Saturday, seemed to be in better shape this year. Last year, various South Korean film industry groups boycotted Asia’s biggest film event, which for the past three years has been caught up in a scandal precipitated by the Busan
In his nearly three decades as a director, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano has won many critical plaudits and prizes abroad. But in Japan he is best known as a TV personality and comedian. These two strands of his artistic personality — master director and mass entertainer — have come together in his “Outrage” trilogy about present-day
A Japanese documentary film that attempts to dispel negative perceptions about nighttime nursery schools is being released in Tokyo as a curtain-raiser for a nationwide run. The film, titled “Yakan mo Yatteru Hoikuen” (“Nurseries Open Even at Night”), aims to highlight the truth of struggling working and single mothers or single-parent families that are faced
Once an obscure corner of a film world dominated by the fantasies of Hollywood, documentaries are now drawing more attention from both paying audiences and wider society. And the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, whose 15th edition unspools from Oct. 5 to 12 in Yamagata, has long been broadening awareness of the form in Japan
The Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara remains an enduring leftist icon throughout the world, including in Japan. Here, however, his visage pops up in somewhat apolitical moments — like at soccer games in support of the Urawa Reds. A new film about Che (real name: Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna) that opens in
In the late 1960s, posters of Ernesto “Che” Guevara were in every North American college dorm, mine included. Alberto Korda’s famed 1960 photo of the Cuban revolutionary leader as rock star had a lot to do with it, as did his execution by Bolivian troops in October 1967, making him an instant martyr and legend.
When Tran Anh Hung enters the room for an interview with The Japan Times, a hush falls among the people gathered there. The staff speak in low, gentle tones and their gestures seem restrained. “It’s probably because I’m very sensitive to the sound of spoken words and peoples’ voices,” says the Vietnam-born director in English.
In his three films to date, Hirobumi Watanabe has created a unique cinematic world. “And the Mud Ship Sails Away” (2013), “7 Days” (2015) and now “Poolsideman” (2016) were all shot in black-and-white in Watanabe’s native Tochigi Prefecture, with music by younger brother Yuji and cinematography by Woohyun Bang. All focus on socially marginalized men
Many are the Japanese movies about virginal guys who are hopeless with women. One template is “Train Man,” a 2005 hit about a shy otaku (geek) who lucks into a date with his dream girl — and needs an online support network to survive it. Hitoshi One’s awkwardly if accurately titled “Okuda Tamio ni Naritai