Five films to watch out for in your local socially distanced cinema or coming soon to a streaming service near you:
- Katsuhide Motoki’s “Angry Rice Wives,” a drama about the “rice riots” of 1918, is liberal with the truth, writes Mark Schilling, but it succeeds in showing the bravery of female protesters who fought against sexism and the deep poverty that threatened their livelihoods.
- Yukihiro Morigaki’s horror-mystery film “The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window,” which is based on a “boys’ love” manga, focuses more on confronting inner demons than battling ghouls. But those expecting passionate embraces had better look elsewhere, writes Schilling, as the protagonists’ relationship never moves past the suggestive stage.
- Takeshi Kushida’s debut, “Woman of the Photographs,” is a surrealist fable about the pitfalls of image retouching, writes James Hadfield. It playfully riffs on Kobo Abe’s novel “The Woman in the Dunes,” with the gap between reality and the version of life we choose to present to the world being a central theme.
- Kasumi Arimura and Masaki Suda star in “I Fell in Love Like a Flower Bouquet,” an entertaining but inauthentic portrait of 2010s romance penned by veteran TV screenwriter Yuji Sakamoto. The film is that strangest of creatures: a slacker movie that’s trying just a little too hard, writes Hadfield.
- “Otona no Jijo,” another remake of Italy’s hit comedy “Perfect Strangers,” convincingly adapts the “party from hell” storyline for local audiences with a more heartwarming, less cynical undertone, writes Schilling. The set-up: Three couples and a single man agree to share each other’s phone text and voice messages as a sort of “truth or dare” game at a dinner party.