Hirokazu Koreeda on his new drama about women with 'shadows'

Jun 17, 2015

Hirokazu Koreeda on his new drama about women with 'shadows'

When Hirokazu Koreeda’s gently offbeat family drama “Umimachi Diary” (“Our Little Sister”) was screened in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, both audiences and the media were enthusiastic — a story for the Reuters news agency described it as “Palme d’Or material.” But ...

Japan's toxic prophets are revealed in 'Yokokuhan' adaptation

Jun 10, 2015

Japan's toxic prophets are revealed in 'Yokokuhan' adaptation

Directors of the better Japanese commercial films typically carve out thematic or stylistic niches for themselves, so that even if they do a manga adaptation for the masses, it’s their kind of manga filmed in their kind of way. One is Yoshihiro Nakamura, a ...

Director Naomi Kawase has finally made a 'real Japanese film'

Jun 3, 2015

Director Naomi Kawase has finally made a 'real Japanese film'

Sooner or later, many Japanese directors — be they internationally acclaimed auteurs or industry outsiders — end up making what Sion Sono (a noted auteur/outsider himself) once described to me as “a real Japanese film.” To put it simply, this sort of film is ...

Could Kiyoshi Kurosawa's win at Cannes change Japan's luck?

| May 27, 2015

Could Kiyoshi Kurosawa's win at Cannes change Japan's luck?

Kiyoshi Kurosawa won the best director prize in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section on Sunday, but he also deserves a prize from the Japanese film industry for single-handedly turning its presence at the world’s most prestigious film festival from a vague ...

Keiichi Hara's new animation honors Hokusai's daughter

May 20, 2015

Keiichi Hara's new animation honors Hokusai's daughter

Ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai is one of Japan’s best-known artists. His print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” with its giant blue wave curling over a tiny Mount Fuji, is seen on T-shirts and coffee mugs around the world. Given his multifarious talent, vast energy ...