Tokyo International Film Festival 2020
Nippon Connection Film Festival 2021
Naoyuki Miura, Soushi Matsumoto
Marika Ito, Daichi Kaneko, Yuumi Kawai, Kilala Inori
Happinet Phantom Studios Corporation
Hadachi, AKA “Barefoot” (Marika Ito) is a consummate cinephile. A lover of chambara (samurai films) and jidaigeki (costume dramas), she dreams of making her own films in the tradition of Akira Kurosawa (SEVEN SAMURAI), Eiichi Kudo (13 ASSASSINS) and others. However, her high-school film club proves restrictive. Everybody there prefers romantic films, and all its members worship at the altar of the club’s super-popular, super-annoying director Karin (Mahiru Coda). Not lacking in resolve, “Barefoot” and her sidekicks “Kickboard” (Yuumi Kawai) and “Blue Hawaii” (Kilala Inori) push through the saccharine consensus and decide to make their own film for the school festival! They even find a lead in the strange boy Rintaro (Daichi Kaneko)… but he proves to be far stranger than they bargained for!
Soushi Matsumoto’s joyful debut is, indeed, the film of the summer: a pitcher-sized blend of high-spirited high-school idealism with a sprinkling of genre delights: from the luminous tropes of the teen coming-of-age story, to the nostalgic throwback of the samurai movie, to the more unexpected detours into the realm of science-fiction and fantasy – IT’S A SUMMER FILM has it all! But saying more would spoil the fun. Suffice to say Matsumoto’s film will enchant with its rampant imagination, its ode to the bygone days of adolescence – where anything was possible, camera in hand. A light-hearted romp and a reminder to both stay true to one's ideals and to the reasons we fell in love with moviemaking magic in the first place! – Ariel Esteban Cayer
Winning praise from Martin Scorsese, HAN GONG-JU verges on perfection. It’s impossible to remain unmoved by this drama, as relevant as it is powerful.
The legendary Koji Yakusho delivers one of his most moving performances in this repentant yakuza drama by Miwa Nishikawa.
A masterful film with a phenomenal actress, using the codes of the boxing drama to deliver a moving, powerful and hopeful work.