By Jasper Sharp. So, what happened at the Japanese box office in 2020? The critics lists and industry stats from the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, or Eiren, are all now in, so it’s time once more for my annual mull over the figures, trends and top titles of another year in Japanese cinema. 2020 […]
By Jasper Sharp. The ongoing Coronavirus crisis may have disrupted many aspects of the cultural calendar, but it is heartening to report that one the Japan Foundation UK Touring Film Programme is still pushing ahead. Its 18-film line-up for 2021 is organised under the theme “This is My Place: Carving out a sense of existence […]
By Jasper Sharp. In these days of cosplay conventions and K-drama and Chinese sci-fi blockbusters on Netflix, it is easy to forget how little access to – and, let’s face it, interest in – Asian popular culture the West had for the vast bulk of the twentieth century. Not so in the other direction, however, […]
By Jasper Sharp. Hanagatami (2017) has to be among the most important Japanese films of the last 20 years. This sweeping, emotive and flamboyant tale of love and friendship among a group of six college-age teenagers whose lives are about to be changed irrevocably by WW2 is an undisputable masterpiece for Nobuhiko Obayashi, a filmmaker […]
By Jasper Sharp. Kwaidan, Masaki Kobayashi’s classic compendium of ghostly Japanese folktales has just been given the Blu-ray treatment for UK audiences, with a bumper new package released on Eureka’s Masters of Cinema label, following Criterion’s high-definition US release in 2015.