All posts tagged: japan film fest

La La La at Rock Bottom – Review

Pain hits us all in different ways. Sometimes it aches slowly over time accumulating as the days go by. Sometimes it hits us with all the force of a baseball bat to the head. Sometimes it hits you without you ever noticing, eating you alive from the inside. When you’re at rock bottom, pain is always a companion. What you do with that pain is what defines you. La La La at Rock Bottom has been on my mind for weeks now since I initially saw it. I just couldn’t put my feelings on this film into words because it all felt so very real. These characters, the lives they lead and the journeys that they take are all a genuine and sincere representation of a side of Japan that is all too often forgotten about it Japanese cinema – the underclass heroes who toil away and suffer under the weight of the world all the while never losing grasp of the glimmer of hope that guides them on in life. Pooch as portrayed by …

Snow On The Blades – Review

“It is said the warrior’s is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways.”, said Miyamoto Musashi in his novel “The Book Of Five Rings”. The legendary Samurai taught that a master of the sword shouldn’t only be a master of the sword. Instead he should strive to master the arts, poetry, philosophy, and anything else that can be used to advance him mentally as well as physically. A Samurai aren’t quite the ruthless killers we’re made to believe they are and if there’s any film that puts that across perfectly it’s “Snow On The Blades”. Featured as a part of the 2014 Japanese Film Festival lineup, spearheaded by the lovely people at The Japan Foundation, us here at SnapThirty have been given to review this new film and we couldn’t be more appreciative. There are many Samurai movies that have been shown at this film but none I’m more thankful to be given the chance to watch than this one. At Sakurada Gate in 1860, the …

“When The Last Sword Is Drawn” Review

What exactly does a good Samurai fight for? His master? His land? His country, even? I’m sure there’s plenty of reasons for men to take up arms against each other but none more pure than that of Yoshimura Konichiro, a masterful Samurai from a small town who travels inland to join the powerful ranks of the Shinsengumi. The true protagonist of ‘When The Last Sword Is Drawn’, Yoshimura is a man of honour though he comes across as a money-hungry freeloader. That couldn’t be further from the truth, Yoshimura is a family man who has taken up a job as part of the Shinsengumi simply to feed his family. What he does is for love and I truly think that’s what makes HIM a legendary Samurai warrior. Told in a series of flashbacks, ‘When The Last Sword Is Drawn’ follows Yoshimura as he joins the special police force and eventually takes place in a large-scale battle which unfortunately leads to his death. A fellow Shinsengumi member, a man called Saito Hajime, many years after the …

“Confessions” Review

The saying goes; ‘no parent should ever outlive their child’ and for Junior high school teacher Yuko Moriguchi, this was a reality that she must now live in for the rest of her days. Being a single parent in the modern world of teaching, her husband stricken by HIV/AIDS, Mrs. Moriguchi was in constant state of battle. Doing her best to care for her daughter while also continuing to be the outstanding civil servant she has worked so hard to become. Manami, her daughter, was lucky to have been born into a family with a strong matriarch like Yuko Moriguchi. Through tough times and hardship, Yuko stood tall in the hopes that she could raise her daughter in much the same way a ‘regular’ family could. It was hard for the dedicated teacher, having to bring Manami to parent-teacher interviews and late-night work sessions. Manami was a happy young girl thanks to Yuko’s dedication. Because of his disease, Manami’s father was unable to be near her and spent his life with her at a distance. …

The Kirishima Thing Review

What happens when the coolest kid in school one day disappears without a word? How does the school react to his absence? Does the social hierarchy crumble or does life go on unaffected? These are the questions that The Kirishima Thing ponders through its exploration into the very fabric of society and the structures by which we are all bound. Set within an ordinary Japanese high school, The Kirishima Thing explores the school’s social standings from all perspectives, implementing an innovative non-linear story-telling structure, jumping about to different views at different times. All of which highlights the astonishing unraveling of a society without its leader. Kirishima is a character whose presence hangs over the film from start to finish albeit while the character himself may or may not have ever been on screen at all. His place atop the social hierarchy is evident, almost all of the students have some kind of connection with him or rely on him in one way or another, they need him so much that it almost verges on a …