Our Little Sister

2015 Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda Starring: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose Words – Natalie Mills Based on manga series Seaside Town Diary, Our Little Sister follows the lives of three twenty-something sisters. Abandoned by their separated parents, they live together in the beautiful, traditional old house that belonged to their grandmother. When their father…

Tekkonkinkreet

2006 Director: Michael Arias Starring: Kazunari Ninomiya, Yû Aoi, Yûsuke Iseya, Kankurô Kudô, Min Tanaka, Rokurô Naya, Tomomichi Nishimura Words – Joe H. Tekkonkinkreet is based on the popular original Japanese manga series ‘Black & White‘, written by Taiyo Matsumoto. The title Tekkonkinkreet is a play on the Japanese words for ‘concrete’, ‘iron’ and ‘muscle’,…

Seven Samurai

1954 Director: Akira Kurosawa Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki, Kamatari Fujiwara, Daisuke Katô, Isao Kimura, Minoru Chiaki, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Kosugi, Bokuzen Hidari, Yoshio Inaba Words – Christian Abbott All great films can be traced back to other works of art from decades past. The cynical would say that nothing is…

Tetsuo: The Iron Man

1989 Director: Shinya Tsukamoto Starring: Tomoro Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, Shinya Tsukamoto, Naomasa Musaka Words – Christian Abbott “Your future is metal!” This line hits two-thirds into the film, and after a series of deliriously disturbing sequences, you believe it. It’s hard to grasp Tetsuo, it is as timeless as it is grotesque, and…

Godzilla (1954)

1954 Director: Ishiro Honda Starring: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura, Fuyuki Murakami, Sachio Sakai Words – Rebecca Kirby It took fifty years for the original, uncut version of Ishiro Honda’s “Godzilla” (or Gojira) to receive an official release for western audiences. In that time the films powerful message has not diminished. “Godzilla”…

Japan 2020

From Akira Kurosawa, to Godzilla and Studio Ghibli, Japan has given the world some of its most iconic titles in cinema. To mark the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in Tokyo, we took a retrospective look at a selection of films which hold a lasting influence on cinema and popular culture, as well…

Howl’s Moving Castle

2004 Director: Hayao Miyazaki Words – Christian Abbott In 2004, the landscape of animation was rapidly changing. 9 years previous, Pixar released the revolutionary Toy Story, showcasing the very first fully 3D animated feature. The following years, and especially at the beginning of the 21st century, there was a race to switch from 2D to…

Kiki’s Delivery Service

1989 Director: Hayao Miyazaki Words – Christian Abbott In film circles you will often hear the phrase “every frame a painting”. An experience, both poetic and practical, used to describe the inherent beauty of cinema. Cinematography, lighting, editing, and more, all can come together to create some of the most striking images in artistic history….

Battle Royale

2000 Director: Kinji Fukasaku Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano Words: Katherine Guest Battle Royale, a Japanese dystopian thriller, is a film in which violence is made into a spectator sport. More specifically, it is about children on children violence as a result of government legislation. In the two decades since its…

Princess Mononoke

1997 Director: Hayao Miyazaki Words – Christian Abbott Ghibli fans are like a loving mother, they would never pick a favourite. All are equal in their eyes, each different, each unique, each loved. Yet, there seems to be this vocal minority rising-up that challenge this view. Some declare that actually, there is one that tips…