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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – a Japanese horror maestro – attracted critics’ attention with his 1997 Cure, a horror film in the purest sense of the word, with an ability to unsettle the audience that was a second to none; Cure also got recognition from various international film festivals and has become one of the most haunting Japanese motion […]

Adapting British children’s books seems to be a speciality for Studio Ghibli. First there was Howl’s Moving Castle, then Arriety and now When Marnie Was There, which – depending on whether the studio has a rethink at some point in the future – is set to be Ghibli’s final release. In which case the Studio is going out on a high. […]