Filed under Film review

Takeshi Kitano film review: Kids Return


Growing up is hard. You may feel like you don’t have any talents to speak of and come off the rails, or find your calling and drift away from your friends as you pursue it. Or, most likely, you’ll experience a heady mix of all four. Takeshi Kitano’s Kids Return (1996) is a story about … Continue reading

Takeshi Kitano film review: A Scene at the Sea

Takeshi Kitano film review: A Scene at the Sea


A Scene at the Sea (1991) is quite different from the other Takeshi Kitano Blu-Ray DVD releases that Third Windows have released this year. Most notably, the two main characters do not say a word. Shigeru lives a fairly unexciting life in a coastal town working as a rubbish collector. When he comes across a discarded surfboard, he decides … Continue reading

Film review: Your Name by Makoto Shinkai

Film review: Your Name by Makoto Shinkai


Since Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) was released in Japanese cinemas earlier this year, its director, Makoto Shinkai, has been repeatedly referred to as “the next big thing in anime” and even “the next Hayao Miyazaki”. If you’re not convinced by words alone, perhaps the numbers will sway you. Your Name is now the fifth highest-grossing animated film of all … Continue reading

Dolls: Takeshi Kitano film review

Dolls: Takeshi Kitano film review


Dolls (2002) is the third of several films – by the acclaimed Japanese director Takeshi Kitano – being released by Third Window Films this year. I reviewed the other Kitano films released by Third Window Films so far – Hana-bi and Kikujiro earlier this year – so feel I have some idea (albeit not expert) … Continue reading

Uzumasa Limelight: A must-watch


We may still be in April, but we have a contender for the blog’s best film of 2016! Third Window’s latest release is the critically-acclaimed Uzumasa Limelight and I don’t see how anyone can watch this and not enjoy it immensely. The film (directed by Ken Ochiai, 2014) is set in Uzumasa, an Edo-era town in Kyoto … Continue reading

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 highlights


I’ve recovered from a weekend marathon of fantastic films at the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016. Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s iconic 1952 film Ikiru (“To Live”), this year’s films looked at how people across the ages persevere, negotiate and reconcile with the environment and situation they live in. This was my third Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme … Continue reading

Five reasons you should watch Hana-bi


Asian film fans will probably already be aware that Third Window Films recently announced they are releasing three films by the acclaimed Japanese director, Takeshi Kitano, on Blu-ray DVD this year. The first of these is Hana-bi (Fireworks, 1997). This is the story of former police officer Nishi who concocts a bank robbery after a disastrous stakeout leaves … Continue reading

Film review: Makeup Room


It might surprise you that Japan has such a very open sex industry – there are over 12,000 sex-related industries operating in the country and although the country has anti-prostitution laws, there are seemingly quite a few ways to get around it by renaming your ‘establishment’ a bar or a restaurant. The country has a … Continue reading