Welcome to the new Melbourne Geek website!

close x
Search

Latest Post Gone Girl Review

Popular Fitbit Ultra – Review

Japanese Film Festival 2012

There are 0 comments about this article.

Add yours +

Japanese Film Festival 2012

30th November by

The Japanese Film Festival is back for it’s sixteenth season presenting the best of old and new Japanese cinema to Australian audiences. The festival has made its way across Australia and will be wrapping up in Canberra in December. This year, the Melbourne showcase is the largest, featuring over forty different sessions.

Thermae Romae

The festival kicked off last night with the hilarious Thermae Romae, a comedy telling the story of Ancient Roman Lucius Modestus, architect of baths in 135BC. In his striving to build the best baths with the most innovative ideas, he inadvertently time travels to modern day Japan and begins to use modern ideas in his designs. Sounds ridiculous? It totally is, but in a totally magnificent way. Hiroshi Abe’s portrayal of Lucius is earnest and serious, which is total contrast to the situations in which he finds himself, especially as his time travel often leaves him naked in unfamiliar situations. Add in a love interest with all of her crazy but supportive relatives and you have a truly delightful film. And absolutely no surprise that it is based on a manga series.

Thermae Romae Trailer

Thermae Romae screens again closing night – 4:30 Sun Dec 7 at Hoyts

 

Tokyo Koen

Tokyo Koen is listed on the website in the ‘Tear Jerker’ section, but I don’t think this really does it justice. Perhaps this comes down to definitions – I think of tear jerkers as being silly films that are overly sentimental or bordering on sadtacular. Tokyo Koen doesn’t fit any of these definitions. It is a drama with some romance that explores the complexities of several seemingly straightforward lives.

Koji is a student and aspiring photographer who takes candid photos of families in the parks of Tokyo. One day, he is approached by a man who pays him to follow and photograph one specific woman and her child. Meantime, he is dealing with his day-to-day life with his friends and family and all that this entails.

Personally, I wasn’t overly satisfied with much of the resolution in this film, but like life, things can go different ways than you anticipate. Still, it was a gentle look into life in Tokyo.

Tokyo Koen Trailer

Tokyo Koen screens at ACMI Mon Dec 3 at 8:30pm

Giants and Toys

As part of the Yasuzo Masumura retrospective, Giants and Toys has a free screening at AMCI. In this 1958 classic, three caramel companies are using every idea possible to beat their competitor in an advertising war. It is a relatively simple story, but features some innovative film techniques new to the time.

Personally, I loved the concept of using a pretty and crazy girl whose teeth are rotten to advertise a lolly brand, especially as she will not simply be the pawn in their game.

Giants and Toys Trailer

Giants and Toys is a free screening at ACMI Tues Dec 4 at 2:30pm

Afro Tanaka

Afro Tanaka is one of my favourite films of recent times. It is crazy and silly, but I just love it! Based on a popular manga series, Afro Tanaka follows the life of Tanaka who, as a small child, sick of being bullied for his messy hair, grows an impressive afro and becomes a rebel. Only, life is not as exciting as Tanaka expects, working and paying bills. When one of his childhood friends announces he is getting married, Tanaka throws all his energy into finding a girlfriend to take to the wedding.

In many ways, this film is like a series of sitcom scenarios – with Tanaka trying to figure out how to attract a woman and being thwarted along the way. His friends are magnificently ridiculous, especially as they try to cheer Tanaka up over a lonely Christmas. I think it is impossible to watch this film without laughing well and truly out loud.

Afro Tanaka Trailer

Afro Tanaka screens at Hoyts Tues Dec 4 at 8:40pm

The Wings of the Kirin

The Wings of the Kirin is a police drama following detectives as they investigate the mysterious murder of a man found under a statue of Kirin on Nihonbashi Bridge. A suspect appears, but Detective Kaga is not convinced of his guilt, and follows a complex investigation to try to find the truth.

The characters in this film are interesting and even, at times, amusing (especially the policeman who seems obsessed by the knife) although the storyline seems overly complex. There are characters and plot dead-ends that add little to the film, but are enjoyable none-the-less. I really want to see more of these characters – it feels like a television series rather than a one-off film. Bring me more Detective Kaga!

The Wings of the Kirin Trailer

The Wings of the Kirin screens at Hoyts Fri Dec 7 at 6:00pm

Thermae Romae screens again closing night – 4:30 Sun Dec 7 at Hoyts

Tokyo Koen screens at ACMI Mon Dec 3 at 8:30pm

Giants and Toys is a free screening at ACMI Tues Dec 4 at 2:30pm

Afro Tanaka screens at Hoyts Tues Dec 4 at 8:40pm

The Wings of the Kirin screens at Hoyts Fri Dec 7 at 6:00pm

Make a Comment/ but be nice!