Film Festivals News - SXSW, SITGES, TIFF

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: Kudoh Youki Talks Working With Jim Jarmusch And THIS COUNTRY'S SKY

From her days as a teenage pop idol, to her unforgettable turn in Jim Jarmusch's landmark, Mystery Train, and being one of the few saving graces in Memoirs of a Geisha, Kudoh Youki has blazed a trail in the international... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: THIS COUNTRY'S SKY Director Arai Haruhiko Talks His Life During Wartime Drama

Screenwriter turned director Arai Haruhiko visits Japan Cuts with his life-during-wartime drama, This Country's Sky. Starring Kudoh Youki and festival favorite Nikaido Fumi as a mother and daughter surviving in the last days of World War II, Director Arai, along... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: Ando Sakura Talks ASLEEP, 100 YEN LOVE And The Cut Above Award

Her brilliant performances for some of her country's most notable directors have made Ando Sakura one of Japan's most formidable actors.  Here in New York to receive Japan Cuts' Cut Above award, Ando spoke with me about her festival films,... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: THE VOICE OF WATER, Director Yamamoto Masashi Explores The Lure Of Cults, And Blending Fact And Fiction

Having appeared at Japan Cuts previously with his film, Three☆Points, director Yamamoto Masashi returns with his look at the lure of cults and spiritual awakening in his latest film, The Voice of Water. Director Yamamoto spoke with us about blending... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: OUT OF MY HAND Director Fukunaga Takeshi Explores The Liberian Immigrant Experience

One of Japan Cuts' more unusual offerings is the story of a Liberian immigrant living in New York, directed by a Japanese immigrant living in New York. Already fêted at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: ROUND TRIP HEART, Director Tanada Yuki Goes Off The Beaten Path

The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky was one of Japan Cuts 2013's most-buzzed about offerings. The director of that film, Tanada Yuki, visits the festival this year with her latest feature, Round Trip Heart, a beautiful road trip around... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: THIS COUNTRY'S SKY, Love And Coming of Age In A Time Of War

In the 70 years since the end of World War II - or, more precisely, what will be 70 years this August - there have been countless cinematic depictions of the war, covered from just about every possible angle. Some... More »

Japan Cuts 2015 Interview: Director Irie Yu Talks HIBI ROCK And JOKER GAME

Since his 2009 love letter to hip-hop, 8000 Miles screened at Japan Cuts, director Irie Yu has remained a festival favourite. This year, Irie brings us two films, Hibi Rock: Puke Afro and the Pop Star, starring the excellent Nikaido Fumi,... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: PIETA IN THE TOILET, A Cancer Story Told With Poetic Artistry

Pieta in the Toilet, the first fictional feature by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matsunaga Daishi, is a two-hour drama about a young man who's dying of cancer. But fortunately, this film proves to not be nearly as depressing as that description... More »

Preview: Japan Cuts 2015 Rocks

North America's largest film festival for contemporary Japanese cinema is back for its 9th edition, taking place at the Japan Society in New York City, July 9 - 19.Dustin Chang and Christopher Bourne, our intrepid vets of the fest, bring... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Japan Cuts 2014: Kitamura Kazuki Talks KILLERS, MAN FROM RENO And NEKO SAMURAI

Beginning his career as one of Takashi Miike's go-tos in films like The Way to Fight and The Man in White, hitting his stride in Ryuhei Kitamura's Azumi and Godzilla: Final Wars, and even turning up as one of the... More »
By Diva Vélez   

NY Asian/Japan Cuts 2014 Interview: UZUMASA LIMELIGHT Captures the True Dying Art of Samurai Cinema's Kirare-Yaku

Uzumasa Limelight is a love letter to the unsung heroes of samurai cinema, the kirare-yaku; the team of actors whose job is to die spectacularly on screen, as seen through the fictional eyes of one of its true artists.  We... More »
By Diva Vélez   

Japan Cuts 2014 Review: TALE OF A BUTCHER SHOP, A Sensitively Observed Documentary Of A Working-Class Family

Tale of a Butcher Shop, Hanabusa Aya's sensitively observed documentary on a family of butchers in Kaizuka City in Osaka, Japan, begins in a very startling fashion, with an unflinching depiction of a cow's slaughtering. A man leads the cow... More »

Japan Cuts 2014 Review: LOVE'S WHIRLPOOL Offers Potent Mix of Eroticism, Comedy, And Melancholy

Miura Daisuke (Boys on the Run) adapts his own award-winning 2005 play Love's Whirlpool into his latest film of the same name, and it is quite a remarkable and wonderfully acted film where sex is the main subject and the... More »

Japan Cuts 2014 Review: 0.5MM, A Darkly Comedic Probe Of Japan's Historical And Social Psyche

The remarkable Japanese director Ando Momoko expands her cinematic canvas considerably with her second feature, 0.5mm, a major highlight of this year's Japan Cuts festival. It's a deceptively small film that tackles big subjects, an intimate film with an epic three... More »

Japan Cuts 2014 Review: MONSTERZ, In Which Nakata Hideo Misfires With A Lackluster Remake

The slow but steady decline of the once-great Nakata Hideo (The Ring, Chaos, Dark Water) continues unabated with his latest, Monsterz. This is a remake of Haunters, the 2010 Korean film by Kim Min-seok that itself was no classic, but had... More »

Japan Cuts 2014 Review: WOOD JOB! Takes Us Deep Into the World Of Forestry, With Wonderfully Comic Results

The recent Japanese film Wood Job! is not, despite its very suggestive title, a pornographic film, which will either relieve or disappoint you, depending on where your movie tastes happen to lie. Instead, it is the latest comedy by Yaguchi... More »

Preview: Japan Cuts 2014 Gets Cute, Crude And Contemplative

Opening tonight with the US premiere of Miike Takashi's The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, Japan Cuts, the New York festival of contemporary Japanese cinema, is a grand smorgasbord for cinephiles of all tastes. Well, at least for those residing... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Hey, NYC! Wanna Win Tix To Japan Cuts?

Good afternoon, residents and readers from the five boroughs and adjacent areas, we're teaming up with our good friends at Japan Society to giveaway passes to select screenings of films playing during their generally excellent Japan Cuts, the New York... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Japan Cuts 2014 Serves Up An Eclectic, Enticing Slate

Partnered as always with your NYC go-to for summer movie madness, the New York Asian Film Festival, Japan Cuts' full lineup of fresh or rare Japanese films is, on its own, always something to talk about, and never something to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
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