Film-Forward

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Japanese

Miss Hokusai

A visual delight and a beautifully rendered, intriguing imagining of a little-known female artist’s life.

The World of Kanako

The World of Kanako is not a film that produces a lukewarm reaction. It’s pretty much a love or hate kind of situation. Of course, you can do both. Connections to films can be like relationships, and this is one you can absolutely despise loving. In fact, it’s a response the movie practically demands. There […]

Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Written and Directed by Sion Sono Produced by:Takeshi Suzuki, Takuyuki Matsuno, Sadai Yuji Released by Drafthouse Films Japanese with English subtitles Japan. 130 min.  Not rated With Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaido, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Hiroki Hasegawa, and Gen Hoshino Right away you know that Sion Sono—previously of Love Exposure and Cold Fish—isn’t going to play it […]

The Wind Rises

Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on a graphic novel published in Monthly Model Graphix Produced by Toshio Suzuki Released by Studio Ghibli/Touchstone Pictures Japanese with English subtitles Japan. 126 min. Rated PG-13 Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki has announced his intention to retire more than once. So when, upon the premiere of this […]

Nuclear Nation

Written, Directed, & Produced by Atsushi Funahashi Produced by Yoshiko Funahashi & Hashimoto. Released by First Run Features Release Japanese with English subtitles Japan. 96 min. Not rated Films that focus on the aftermath of a catastrophic disaster, be it natural, man-made or otherwise, tend to follow similar structures in their narratives. Blame is widely […]

It’s Me, It’s Me

Written & Directed by Satoshi Miki Produced by Taro Nagamatsuya, Yuko Shiomaki & Yusuke Wakabayashi Released by Pictures Dept. Japan. 119 min. Not rated With Kazuya Kamenashi, Yuki Uchida & Ryo Kase Viewers may be in for a bumpy ride with this intriguing but enigmatic film. As it begins, it seems solidly in the realm […]

From Up on Poppy Hill

Directed by Goro Miyazaki, English-language production directed by Gary Rydstrom Produced by Toshio Suzuki Written by Hayao Miyazaki, based on the serialized manga by Chizuru Takahashi & Tetsuro Sayama Released by GKIDS Japan. 91 min. Rated PG With the voices of Gillian Anderson, Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Fuhrman, Christina Hendricks, […]

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Directed by Takashi Miike Produced by Toshiaki Nakazawa & Jeremy Thomas Written by Kikumi Yamagishi, based on a story by Yasuhiko Takiguchi, “Ibun Ronin Ki” Released by Tribeca Film Japanese with English subtitles Japan/UK. 126 min. Not rated With Ebizo Ichikawa, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima, Naoto Takenaka & Munetaka Aoki I try not to be as […]

Battle Royale

Written & Directed by Kenji Fukasaku, based on the novel by Koushun Takami Produced by Fukasaku, Kenta Fukasaku, Kimio Kataoka, Chie Kobayashi, Toshio Nabeshima & Masumi Okada Released by Anchor Bay Japan. 114 min. Not rated With Takeshi Kitano, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Chiaki Kuriyama, Taro Yamamoto & Sosuke  Takaoka Finally on the big screen, Kenji […]