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Guest Reviewer and cinephile-at-large Tanimaru blesses us with a take on Japan Cuts 2015 film THIS COUNTRY’s SKY:

It is refreshing to see a film done in the style of the masters of Japanese cinema. Some may say this style is too formal, staged and mythic, but I like seeing the composition, the subtle camera moves and the behavior between people.
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It is war time, towards the end of the war and everyone is doing the best they can as Tokyo is being bombed into submission. In the midst of this a young woman is coming of age – developing the “scent of a woman” as her mother points out and there is a man next door – a 3rd class man who has not been called up for the war.
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The seduction is patient and wonderfully naive in many ways but against the backdrop of war depicted by formations of planes in the sky or an occasional almost still frame of fires in the distance, the film is gentle and quiet. Until the end, there is no score.
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With so much attention on pop culture movies, I think THIS COUNTRY’S SKY is a welcome return to classic Japanese cinema.

Youki Kudoh (This Country’s Sky)
Youki Kudoh’s border-crossing career took off receiving Best Newcomer Award at the 1985 Yokohama Film Festival for her role in Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii’s The Crazy Family, soon followed by Shinji Somai’s Typhoon Club (1985). She broke onto the international scene in Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train (1989) alongside Masatoshi Nagase as a couple on a Blues pilgrimage in Memphis. With further breakout roles in Picture Bride (1995) and Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), Kudoh continues to distinguish herself as a fantastic talent in Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and The Limits of Control (2009).

About the Director:

Haruhiko Arai (This Country’s Sky, Undulant Fever)
Haruhiko Arai is a venerable force in Japanese independent cinema as prolific screenwriter and publisher and editor of the influential Eiga Geijutsu magazine. His writing credits include collaborations with some of the greatest directors in Japanese cinema from the 1970s to today: Koji Wakamatsu’s Hika, Tatsumi Kumashiro’s A Woman with Red Hair, Rokuro Mochizuki’s Minazuki, Ryuichi Hiroki’s Vibrator and It’s Only Talk, Junji Sakamoto’s KT, as well as further numerous collaborations with luminaries such as Chusei Sone. He joins this year to present the World Premiere of This Country’s Sky, his first film as director since the acclaimed 1997 Body and Soul, and Hiroshi Ando’s Undulant Fever as screenwriter.


July 26, 2015 - Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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