Country: UK Language: English Director: Amy Draper (@amyrosedraper)
Adaptation from: Sakai Stan’s long-running manga「兎用心棒」 (Usagi Yōjinbō) Script: Stewart Melton (@stewmelton) Design: Ele Slade (@EleSladeDesign) Lighting design: Joshua Pharo
Projection design: Nina Dunn (@nina_pixelpixie) Sound designer: Max Pappenheim (@max_j_p) Casting director: Annie Rowe (@AnnieRoweCasts) Fight director: Ronin Traynor (@RoninTraynor) Soundscore: Hirota Joji (@JojiHirota) Cast: Amy Ip (@amyip), Kuroda Haruka (@kurodaharuka), Siu Hun Li (@siuhunli) Jonathan Raggett (@JonathanRaggett), Tabuchi Dai Runtime: 95 min (no intermission) Official website: None for the play but Usagi Yojimbo (website for the manga) and Facebook page (manga)
Seen at Southwark Playhouse (@swkplay) in London on December 13, 2014. The play runs from November 28, 2014 until January 4, 2015. Details and ticket booking here. Suitable for ages 8+.
When I posted my first review on Otherwhere back in 2011, I never really thought about where blogging might take me. Three years on, there have been new-found Asian film fan friends (in London and elsewhere), plenty of screeners, invites ge previews, film festivals and even interviews, as well as the opportunity to do a photoshoot for GIGAN magazine a few months back with several London-based Japanese actors – one of whom was Tabuchi Dai. I have been following Dai’s work ever since and was instantly intrigued when, a few days back, he started posting images on his Facebook page from a play he was involved in: Usagi Yojimbo at the Southwark Playhouse. So off to the theatre I went.
Country: Japan Language: Japanese Director: Sunada Mami
Studio: N/a Screenplay: Sunada Mami Cinematography: Sunada Mami Soundscore: Takagi Masakatsu Cast: Miyazaki Hayao, Suzuki Toshio, Hideaki Anno Runtime: 118 min Distribution: GKIDS (North America), StudioCanal (UK) Film’s official website: N/a
This piece was originally written as a guest review for easternKicks. It comes as part of easternKicks’s coverage of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, with SDAFF providing access to an online screener (thank you!). In the UK, the documentary will be available on DVD from StudioCanal on December 1, 2014. In the US, it will be released by GKIDS in select cinemas on November 28, 2014 and available for digital download on December 9, 2014.
Country: Japan Language: Japanese Director: Oh Mipo
Adaptation from: Novel of the same title by Sato Yasushi Screenplay: Takada Ryo Cinematography: Kondo Ryuto Soundscore: Tanako Takuto Cast: Ayano Gou, Ikewaki Chizuru, Suda Masaki, Takahashi Kazuya, Hino Shohei, Isayama Hiroko, Tamura Taijiro. Runtime: 120 min Distribution: Open Sesame (Tokyo) Film’s official website: Hikarikagayaku (日本語） Trailer: A trailer is available, but I’m not linking it here on purpose. I think it’s best to go completely blind into this film – the trailer contains some tiny, spoilerish bits. If you do insist, it’s below the Image Gallery at the end of the post. You might prefer to read this review post-film too. Special thanks to Raindance for providing me with a screener for this film. The European premiere ofSoko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku, which was recently chosen as Japan’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, will be at the Raindance Film Festival on September 29, 2014. A second screening will take place on September 30. Tickets can be booked here.
Recently Andrew Heskins of Eastern Kicks asked a number of critics, film bloggers and friends about “the film that started it all” – i.e. their passion for Asian cinema:
It might not have been the first Asian film you saw, or even the best, but was there one that stood out? That light bulb moment when you realised how much you loved Asian movies and had to write/talk/blog/podcast about it?