Japan

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs and/or movies unavailable in the US that are worth seeking out for fans of fantastic cinema. We’ll cover movies both foreign and domestic, new and old, and while some discs will require region-free players others will play on any DVD or Blu-ray machine. The one thing they’ll all have in common is their status as damn fine films and/or solid entertainment currently unavailable in the US but well worth importing into your collection. It’s 2012 and Roland Emmerich and the Mayans are screaming “told ya so!’ at the top of their lungs to anyone who’ll listen. Why? Because a large comet is heading towards Earth, and it’s mere hours away from impact. A lone electric wheelchair moves silently through empty city streets until its driver spots the only other sign of life… an open record store. Inside are two men talking music as the world is about to end. In particular they’re discussing a long-forgotten punk band called Gekirin and their song “Fish Story.” A song that just may save the world… Read on after the jump for more reasons that make this disc and movie worth importing…

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The seventh annual Another Hole In the Head Film Festival is currently running in San Francisco from July 8th through the 29th. It’s a genre fest featuring domestic and international horror, sci-fi, and exploitation films, and it just may be the first and last chance to see some of these on the big-screen. There are thirty-two films at the fest this year, and we’re trying to see and cover as many as possible. (And by we I mean me…) Grotesque – directed by Koji Shiraishi, Japan; upcoming screenings 7/16 5pm, 7/18 7pm, 7/22 5pm Synopsis: A physician in serious risk of breaking his Hippocratic oath kidnaps a young couple and proceeds to torture them physically, sexually, and emotionally. No, really. That’s pretty much it. Check out our review after the jump…

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The seventh annual Another Hole In the Head Film Festival is currently running in San Francisco from July 8th through the 29th. It’s a genre fest featuring domestic and international horror, sci-fi, and exploitation films, and it just may be the first and last chance to see some of these on the big-screen. There are thirty-two films at the fest this year, and we’re trying to see and cover as many as possible. (And by we I mean me…) Death Kappa – directed by Tomo Haraguchi, Japan; upcoming screenings 7/17 7pm, 7/29 7pm Synopsis: Who’s up for a giant monster movie? And by giant monster of course I mean old school style with a man in a suit trashing his way slowly through a miniature set… but let’s rewind. A young woman returns to her home town just in time to witness a car full of drunken punks run down her grandmother. As if that’s not bad enough the fools also knock the town’s Kappa shrine into the water. (What’s a Kappa? It’s a cucumber-loving goblin with a turtle shell, a beak, and a bald plate on his head. Oh, and they love sumo wrestling.) Unsurprisingly, this brings the Kappa to life, and after a brief detour into violence to dismember the punks the Kappa settles in for some singling and dancing with our heroine. Until a mad scientist’s granddaughter shows up with her plan to create an army of half fish/half human super soldiers and inadvertently detonates an atomic […]

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The seventh annual Another Hole In the Head Film Festival is currently running in San Francisco from July 8th through the 29th. It’s a genre fest featuring domestic and international horror, sci-fi, and exploitation films, and it just may be the first and last chance to see some of these on the big-screen. There are thirty-two films at the fest this year, and we’re trying to see and cover as many as possible. (And by we I mean me…) Samurai Princess – directed by Kengo Kaji, Japan; upcoming screenings 7/15 5pm Synopsis: Tokyo Gore Police screenwriter Kengo Kaji makes his directorial debut with this tale of samurais, androids, and body modification gone awry. A mad scientist (as if there’s any other kind) is harvesting bodies for parts and organs used to create fighting machines designed for slaughter. A disgraced monk fights fire with fire mechanized flesh with mechanized flesh and designs his own superior samurai in the body of a Japanese porn star. As an extra bit of oomph he infuses his creation with the souls of eleven women who had been raped and murdered to help make this particular samurai princess a vehicle bent on revenge. Of course, just because your primary goal is retribution doesn’t mean you can’t take time for a long, slow, naked, flesh-filled sex scene. Right? Check out our review after the jump…

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The seventh annual Another Hole In the Head Film Festival is currently running in San Francisco from July 8th through the 29th. It’s a genre fest featuring domestic and international horror, sci-fi, and exploitation films, and it just may be the first and last chance to see some of these on the big-screen. There are thirty-two films at the fest this year, and we’re trying to see and cover as many as possible. (And by we I mean me…) Alien vs Ninja – directed by Seija Chiba, Japan; upcoming screenings 7/21 5pm, 7/25 7pm, 7/28 5pm Synopsis: Ninjas battle in feudal Japan (or at least what appears to be feudal Japan), but a fireball across the sky signals the arrival of a much more dangerous enemy. An alien creature has arrived and he’s hungry… for sushi! See, they’re uncooked Japanese people. Anyway, humanity’s future rests on the skills of the Ultra Ninja gang, but they’ve never faced a foe like this before. Check out our review after the jump…

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By making it all the way to the Final Four, these films have proven their supremacy, but only one can survive through to the Championship for a chance at eternal glory (that comes around every four years). Spirited Away is already coming into the round as the giant slayer by taking down Return of the King, but City of God took down a favorite of its own in Pan’s Labyrinth. Two underdogs that have proven victorious. Now, one of them has to go home before the big dance. Who will it be?

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After the bout between Amelie and The Dark Knight, the most anticipated fight of this round is without a doubt Spirited Away and Return of the King. Both have huge followings, both are critically acclaimed, and both are truly brilliant works of art. The experts are stumped as to what will be the magic bullet in choosing one film over the other, except the fanboy aspect that remains loyal to Middle Earth. However, there’s also a fanboy aspect that remains loyal to Miyazaki. Going in, it’s anyone’s game.

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In what might be my favorite pairing of the entire tournament just for the sheer double feature potential, the legendary Miyazaki sees his masterpiece Spirited Away boldly represent Japan against the iconic Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier and his Antichrist. Child-like wonder and abject terror. A perfect pairing. Chaos reigned over the cult gross-out of Human Centipede and the spirit-filled animated adventure beat the lesser-known film Moolaade, but both films actually have a fight this round. Let’s see what happens.

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As if to mimic the soccer world, Cameroon is heavily out-gunned here in the Movie World Cup. Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is beloved the world around and considered a modern classic, but Moolaade is a truly great film in its own right. It will be difficult for it to pull out a victory, but it should be sought out and seen nevertheless.

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Higanjima

Thanks to the Fantastic Fest at Midnight slate of films at this year’s SxSW, greatest idea the festival has ever had by the way, I was able to see a Japanese vampire film called Higanjima. Would it be another title from the far east that struck my fancy, or would this vampire film just plain suck? Rimshots upon request.

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This week’s film features two Japanese teenage girls who meet, get physical, and eventually develop strong feelings for each other. And just like that, I’ve succeeded at giving those of you who know me a wholly incorrect representation of the movie.

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ff-LoveExposure

Watching a 4-hour long movie may seem daunting, but it’s an incredible reward when the flick involves love, religion, cults, bloodbaths, lesbianism, perversion and, of course, upskirt pictures.

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departures-header

This year’s Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film is an eloquent, richly shot piece of work, opening in limited release on May 29.

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Philosophy of a Knife

Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to highlight films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… Russia! And we may never go back again.

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The Coroner

The Coroner snaps a picture of “Shutter” and decides to expose the whole roll to noon day sun.

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The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers

In honor of Michael Phelps, I wanted to pick a film that shared his enthusiasm for water sports. I knew my search was over when I came across The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers.

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