It may be International Women’s Day, but there are numerous female filmmakers, writers, actresses and artists that are making history every single day.
I heard of this anime film years ago but heard such bad things it put me off, then last week I found a good review on it that mentioned the plot and I thought I’d give it a go. Firstly like many other reviewers I must admit this is probably the craziest Dracula plot ever. It’s based of Tomb of Dracula issues 40-75 and as such there’s a lot going on…
Overall this film is very true to the comic and has a good storyline but it’s too rushed. The visuals in part are faithful to the comic but frequently seem low budget. If you liked Tomb of Dracula I’d definitely recommend this. If you’re looking for a different Dracula film you should enjoy it.
“Darling, I want to tell you about the man I used to be before I became the cursed slave of Satan.”
Once I heard the news that the new Japanese Godzilla film was going to be playing in my city, I was overjoyed. Ever since I was a child, I have always loved Godzilla. I went into Shin Godzilla very excited to see how my favorite giant monster was going to be reimagined.
Shin Godzilla (also Godzilla Resurgence) is the latest installment and 31st film in the Godzilla franchise. Produced by Toho, this film is a reboot in which Godzilla’s origin story is retold in modern Japan. The film was written and directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi.
“A god incarnate. A city doomed.”
In the United Kingdom, Liverpool Small Cinema presents an iconic Japanese horror double bill: Hideo Nakata’s Ringu (1998) and Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hausu (1977).
“To try and narrow down a selection of Japanese horror films, which cover all things psychological, supernatural, explicit and mythological, is no easy task however, so we felt that the programme would need to reflect the full scale of myths, folk and ghost tales that have dominated Japanese culture for centuries.”
Animated by Hideaki Anno, Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01’s plot centers on Koji, an engineering student who accidentally discovers the Madox-01; a heavy mechanised, armoured exoskeleton. This military weapon, successor to the Madox-00, is equipped with a large array of weaponry and was designed to fight against heavy armoured vehicles. Glancing through the conveniently included instruction manual, Koji climbs into the Madox-01 exoskeleton.
“I…I’m not ready yet!”
Japanese anime has become a global worldwide culture for many reasons. Becoming popular in Japan after the second world war, anime provided an alternative format for storytelling. The common misconception in the west is that animation is primarily aimed towards the children, but this is not the case in Japan.
“For most Japanese consumers of anime, their culture is no longer a purely Japanese one (and indeed it probably hasn’t been for over a century and a half). At least in terms of entertainment, they are as equally interested by Western cultural influences as they are by specifically Japanese ones.”
Kurosawa’s epic movie Ran is a cinematic masterpiece that has survived the test of time. Dazzling cinematography on the mountain slopes and volcanic plains of Kyushu and spectacular battle scenes earned Kurosawa a Best Director Oscar nomination and made Ran the most expensive Japanese movie ever produced.
One of the elements that makes the film so compelling, is the skill with which Kurosawa remodels Shakespeare’s King Lear to Japanese legend…
“In a mad world only the mad are sane.”
My impression on first hearing about the hugely popular [young adult] book trilogy (and now mega money-making feature-film franchise) The Hunger Games was: ‘Hey, teenage contestants forced to fight to the death in a populist amusement engineered by a manipulative, despotic master of a dystopian future world? Wow, what an interesting idea! …But wait, isn’t that just like…’
“Life is a game. So fight for survival and see if you’re worth it.”
Battle Royale (2000): Enforcing the terms of the new ‘Battle Royale Act’ one class of ninth-grade students is selected annually by lottery and relocated to an isolated island, fitted with explosive collars, given random weapons and forced to participate in a 3-day survival competition in which the last student left alive is the winner.
“There’s a way out of this game. Kill yourselves together…here…now. If you can’t do that, then don’t trust anyone… just run.”
When a new era of Asian horror films entered mainstream Western cinema with Hideo Nakata’s ‘The Ring’, Asian horror movies were soon perceived to be chasing Hollywood’s more hackneyed horror efforts into the shadows.
“This kind of thing… it doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own.”
“As I watched the World Trade towers collapse on September 11, I felt guilty. The scene looked similar to those that had entertained me in many Godzilla films. But it wasn’t a fantasy, the people were real, and their fear and suffering were heartbreaking.”
Over the years Godzilla has changed roles significantly from once being the ultimate threat to Japan, to now being Japan’s protector. One could believe that this change was made to make the monster appeal to a broader audience resulting in much larger profits for the studio or perhaps it is the result of the fears Japan once had post-war becoming less and less significant?
Is the fascination in Japanese culture for science fiction Kaiju films and its symbolism born from the fears of nuclear war?
How can we understand Japan’s mindset after World War II? How did they really feel after the atomic bombings and their subsequent defeat? Was any blame placed upon a particular nation, including their own, for how the war ended?
Every culture has it’s fears… Godzilla itself is a creation born from the fears of another future nuclear disaster. Modern technology of the time created nuclear weapons and from these nuclear weapons came Godzilla! Tom Miller believes however that through the film’s inherent symbolism Godzilla represents more than just the atomic bombing of Japan. In his article “Struggling With Godzilla: Unraveling the Symbolism in Toho’s Sci/Fi Films” Tom states: “In the movie they made, Godzilla represents more than the A-Bomb; Godzilla is the United States itself”, but didn’t the United States have a motive for the atomic bombings? Godzilla needed no motive… Just the animalistic desire to survive.