怪物 , Monster , the movie

Kore-Eda san’s “Monster” won the screenplay prize (to Sakamoto Yuji) at Cannes Film festival.

Went to see it on the opening day in Shibuya, it was a very stormy night with very strong rain which caused floods and even casualties, but I want to write about the movie.

It is a good movie.
Very difficult to write about it without disclosing the “secret” part of the story, so will not write about the movie but the way it is being marketed in Japan. The movie Trailer is shown quite often which I also believes attracts a lot of attention, But(!) to me it feels misleading. The way scenes are glued together to enhance mystery and fear as if there is horror behind, as if the adults have secrets which harm the children.
Well, the adults do have secrets, and children are always affected by them, but this is not the main story… or so I think. Maybe this is the strength of the story, but I do feel manipulated by the trailer.

Great movie, great writing, actors and filmography, highly recommended, but please avoid watching the trailer .

偶然と想像 -Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

A new film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi who won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 71st Berlin International Film festival

Hamaguchi san is now receiving a lot of attention thanks to another movie, Drive my car, which I also loved very much.
There are some similarities between the movies, which rely a lot on script and the actors, but are obviously very different.

I saw the movie 偶然と想像 and was also lucky to attend the 舞台挨拶, Stage Greeting (?), of three of the actors while the director joined over the phone due to Covid-19 quarantine.

The Movie is composed of three stories, with different titles, but 偶然 and 想像 connects them . Enjoyed the movie very much, can’t say which one is better, but I connected better to the first and third.

I recommend the movie and would like to see it again, hopefully can see it soon in one of the streaming services.

A few things I wanted to share from my experience:

  1. Event cameramen and Video Camera complained a lot about the room being dark , which may also affected the media sharing photos and video from the event. You can also see Shadows on the faces of the actors
  2. 5-6 Cameramen, Video, MC, Audio, Stylists and more more worked on the event hoping for media and TV to pick it up… A lot of effort, which I guess in some cases does not get results . It took 3-4 days till search engines showed it in results.
  3. Furukawa kotone san continues to grow and get more presence in movies and not only commercials on TV .
    During the event she mentioned she would like to hear what people think about the movie and will check the Social networks, to which I wanted to tell her “Don’t” . Focus in what you are doing very well and continue to grow as an actress, listen to directors and colleagues and avoid the public opinion.

    It is her 4th(?) movie I see and I believe she can continue to grow; would like to see her in more diverse roles. Most of her roles are of a cute young woman, which she is, but looking forward to villain roles.

Drive My Car – the movie

Drive My Car won the Cannes best screenplay.

3 hours movie with long Theater scenes, practicing “Uncle Vania” in the car, which only proves what a great movie it is.

It is definitely the great script, but also the acting and camera work.

Cannot say I understood everything as still my Japanese (no subtitles) is not perfect, but I do not think it is about language, but because some parts are kept vague on purpose. Especially the last scene which was obviously added due to Covid-19.

Read some English reviews before and after seeing the movie, but it feels strange. As if the reviewer (Guardian) did not watch the whole movie, or maybe even did not understand some parts.

“Yûsuke being confronted with proof that she had been having an affair with a handsome and disreputable young actor”

Yet, the fact is that he knew about her infidelities and was afraid to lose her.

“arts festival in Hiroshima, a city that is photographed with crisp unsentimentality. “

As if the reviewer expected to connect the movie to the history. In the only (?) occasion that they tour the city the driver takes him to the Garbage processing plant.

Does “Uncle Vania” connect with the story. I think it does, but I think I will stop here as I think I reveal too much of the story.

Or maybe one last thing:
I loved the way Kafuku san (main character) keeps distance with the driver (Watari Misaki) and it seems the need a mediator to help them talk.
Also when she expressed she would like to see the rehearsal and refuses to enter he brings the rehearsal to her and dismisses it as if it had nothing to do with her.

Great movie. Will definitely watch it again when (if) it reaches the streaming sites

Netflix Binge – Fast Forward or why do I even bother

Some films are good, some TV series are great.

But I find myself quite often fast forwarding through TV series and even movies. Is it the format, lack of interest or the ability to Fast Forward?

Was watching the “Money Heist”, which I feel is weaker than the first story. More explosions, shooting and trying to create more tensions, but overall it is less exciting and less “refreshing in format”.

Which meant “Fast Forward”. I do not need to watch a 5 minutes shooting scene. I don’t need to see all details as these do not really make sense anyway. Human drama is great, flashbacks are interesting.
So, do I miss something “Fast Forwarding” or do I get exactly what I need ?

Blade runner 2049

Watched the movie over the weekend.

As I left the movie theater, heard a couple complaining about the movie. From what I heard they felt it was too long, story was too slow.

Well, I loved it.

Obviously the story is rather simple, but the movies is not about scene twists or complex stories, but about visuals, about some fundamental questions of Robot usage and their place in the world.

If a replicant can love and reproduce, is it still a replicant ? Movie shows replicants being killed as something almost obvious, but also shows murder of human by a replicant. is there a difference? Can a replicant fall in love with a virtual figure ?

As a trivia fun, it was interesting to see Coca Cola add in Hebrew as well as Atari.

Visuals, visuals, visuals. Go to see the movie and sink slowly into the atmosphere.



Paterson -by Jim Jarmusch

Feel free to read reviews or the plot online.

Loved the movie which also encouraged me to read more about the poet, William Carlos Williams.

It is a slow movie, which flow is a bit repetitive yet changing . Found myself captured in the movie flow which lasted for a while after I left the movie theater.

As I was taking the escalator down from the movie theater, I felt like I was in the movie, but as I walked in Shibuya d¥towards the station it slowly disappeared.

Netflix Million Yen Women

In Japanese, it is 100万円の女たち  。 

Watched it almost back to back and finished within a week. Loved the story and characters, except the main male character who is obviously not a good actor.

Without spoilers it is difficult to explain further, but I definitely liked the first several episodes over the last.

5 women pay a writer a Million yen every month, no explanations and no questions are allowed. We learn a bit about each character as the story develops and experience also the writing process, the publishing world and the success that ensues.
The women are committed to assist the writer with his writing and make him successful.

Especially liked the character of 白川美波 (Shirakawa Minami) played by the model actress Fukushima Rila. (福島 リラ)


Big Bad Wolves


“Big Bad Wolves” , in Japanese “オオカミは嘘をつく” is playing in selected theaters in Japan.

Interesting enough, the Japanese title is slightly different from the English title which is also different from the Hebrew one. In Hebrew, the literal translation is “Who is afraid of the big bad wolf” . In Japanese, “Wolves lie” .

It is very rare for an Israeli film to play in Japanese theaters.So, it is either a good one, or a very political one.

In this case, a good one. A film which received good reviews in several film festival including a quote form Quentin Tarantino calling it “the best film of 2013”.

A bit on the horror side, a bit on the funny side (which does not translate well to Japanese), highly recommended thriller.



Ingmar Bergman – The Seventh Seal

Ingmar Bergman died Yesterday.

The Seventh Seal is one of the few DVDs I own, and is probably the one I cherish most. An amazing film, from an amazing director.