A catch-up on news, views and reviews from the world of Japanese film:

'Junk Head' trailer English subtitled | GAGA INTL
‘Junk Head’ trailer English subtitled | GAGA INTL
  • “As a triumph of single-mindedness over common sense, ‘Junk Head’ is pretty inspirational,” writes Hadfield. Takahide Hori spent seven years toiling on his debut feature, a stop-motion animation that follows a cyborg explorer on his journey through Earth’s catacombs to save what’s left of humanity from a mysterious virus. As mad as it sounds and then some.
  • TV series “Signal” departs from the typical cop genre plot in that two members of its title cold case unit miraculously communicate across time with an officer from 2009 via battery-less walkie-talkies. The spinoff “Signal The Movie Cold Case Investigation Unit” may be gimmicky, but it delivers in the action department, writes Schilling.
  • Given that it will be a while before theaters are back to normal, View from Osaka columnist Eric Johnston has a short list of films for readers interested in the Kansai region and classic cinema — among them, a 1980s martial arts actioner, a late-’80s star-packed Osaka yakuza flick and a 1950s journey through the region with two young American and Japanese pals.