Yakuza films, as a genre, have evolved exponentially since they first emerged in the silent movie era of the Japanese film industry. Initially depicted as sympathetic Robin Hood-like characters who were forced to live their lives as outlaws, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the violent, brutish image of Yakuza as we know it came […]

Today, a mere 9 days before the European audience finds its way to the little town in the Northeast Italy to explore the new and old jewels of Asian Cinema, Udine Far East Film Festival revealed its 2018 lineup. It was to be expected that the 20th anniversary edition of the festival would provide the […]

Following the success of his family dramas Like Father, Like Son, which won the Jury Prize at 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Our Little Sister, which competed for Palme d’Or at the 2015  Cannes Film Festival, and the critically acclaimed After the Storm (2016), Japanese film director, producer and screenwriter Hirokazu Kore-eda surprised his faithful audience by veering […]

Riding hot on the success of the last year’s Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, producer Genki Kawamura dished out yet another animated, fantasy high-school romance film this year – but as highly expected as it was, the remake of the 1993 live-action TV drama of the same name, Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side […]

A word, a whisper in a general’s ear, and just like that a nation will descend into chaos. Neighbour against neighbour, brother against brother, indiscriminate violence to the point where even the leaders forget exactly how it all began. How can something like this happen? And can it really be the work of one man? […]

This year’s Udine Far East Film Festival offered a great selection of truly excellent films, and among those, some packed an especially powerful emotional charge; in this grouping, there is no doubt that Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow was among the very best. The film’s screening was accompanied by director Mori Yoshitaka, known best for his Space […]

In the Western cinematic scopes, we can find a number of chess-themed sports films and biopics, but there is a mere handful of productions that feature the Japanese cousin of the popular board game: shogi, known also as ‘Japanese chess’; a sport that has, since its 16th century beginnings, evolved into one of the most […]

Tomo has been abandoned by her mother, again. While this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and her mother has been more-or-less an absent parent since day one, it still hurts. Unable to live on her own, the eleven-year-old seeks refuge with her uncle Makio. He gladly accepts but he doesn’t live alone anymore, he […]

Teiichi wants to create his own empire. How’s that possible, you may ask? Well, by controlling the student council at his elite high school, of course. If he can run the school then Teiichi’s a shoe in for a prestigious government position, and from there he can even become Prime Minister. With his father’s broken […]

On Friday, 21st April 2017, the Far East Film Festival (FEFF) opened the doors of Italy’s Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine for the 19th time; the selected opening film was Shinobu Yaguchi’s The Survival Family that promptly announced one of the “red threads” of this year’s edition: we were up for 10 days of excellent […]