Thursday, 13 November 2014

Review: Lady Maiko

The much anticipated Sydney leg of this year’s Japanese Film Festival has opened, and musical comedy Lady Maiko is the Opening Film. It is a well-chosen film to open the Festival as comedies have traditionally been particularly well received as the opening films at the Festival, and it is helmed by internationally acclaimed director Masayuki Suo. Those of you who have read my earlier post would know that Suo is a director whom I am very fond of. Shall We Dance? is my all-time favourite Japanese film, while Sumo Do, Sumo Don't also ranks high on my favourites list. It is great to see Suo return to comedies after a long break from directing followed by a pair of serious dramas (I Just Didn’t Do It and The Terminal Trust).

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Review: Climbing To Spring

Climbing To Spring is veteran cinematographer Daisaku Kimura's follow up to his directorial debut The Summit: A Chronicle Of Stones. I had the pleasure of reviewing The Summit for the Japanese Film Festival Official Blog in 2011 and loved it. So I was really looking forward to this new film that is lensed, co-written and directed by Kimura, and it does not disappoint. There are many similarities between these two films: both are drama that focus on life's journeys, set in the mountains and boast beautiful cinematography. While not quite as epic in scale as the award-winning The Summit, Climbing To Spring is more focused and accomplished. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Review: Leaving On The 15th Spring

For most of us, moving from primary to high school is an important milestone; but for the Japanese people living on the remote Minamidaito Island situated 360km east of the main island of Okinawa, where there are no high schools, having secondary education takes on a special meaning because the young people have to leave the island in the spring of their 15th year.