In the panorama of the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival, a host of films from across the world will be premiered, including world premieres, international premieres, Asian premieres and Chinese premieres. We will release the lists of the films successively to satisfy the majority of fans.
The Japanese film list released today includes 9 new features, 5 of which are international premieres and 2 of which are world premieres screened even prior to Japan.
The list includes manga-adapted films My Little Monster, Kids on the Slope and Eating Woman; A Forest of Wool and Steel, which invites Hisaishi and Nobuyuki Tsujii to compose its music; the suspense films Last Winter, We Parted and My Friend ‘A’; imaginative Imagination Game and Ringside Story; and Hanagatami, which portrays the life of Japanese from a unique perspective.
There are many beloved pop stars in these films: Sugou Taisho, Tao Tsuchiya, Yuri Chinen, Kento Yamazaki, Tôma Ikuta, Eita, Nana Komatsu, Kyôko Koizumi and Atsuko Maeda. Classic elements and stars are the most important features of these works. Let’s wait and see.
My Little Monster
Director: Shô Tsukikawa
Screenplay: Arisa Kaneko
Cast: Sugou Taisho/Tao Tsuchiya/Yûki Furukawa/Yûki Yamada/Elaiza Ikeda
Adapted from the comic series of the same name selling more than 5 million copies, the film focuses on the relationship between emotionless and cold Shizuku Mizutani (starring Tao Tsuchiya), who has absolutely no interests except in studying, and a problem boy named Haru Yoshida (starring Sugou Taisho), who sits next to Shizuku. It depicts a teen romance starting from an abrupt expression of love.
Before this film, Shô Tsukikawa directed a work named My Neighbor Seki and Rumi's Phenomenon, which is a light comedy of teen romance and receives high marks in Douban. He also adapted another popular manga series Kurosaki-kun no Iinari ni Nante Naranai. With a talented director of teen romance, “manga prince” Sugou Taisho and Tao Tsuchiya, popular for manga-adapted works, the work is highly expected.
Quirky and whimsical Sugou Taisho partners with cold and condescending Tao Tsuchiya. The team will offer you an unprecedented experience.
Director: Jirô Shôno
Screenplay: Tomomi Tsutsui
Cast: Kyôko Koizumi/Erika Sawajiri/Atsuko Maeda/Alice Hirose
Based on the short manga series of the screenwriter Tomomi Tsutsui released in 2007, the film is themed with “fine food” and “sex” and focuses on 8 women whose age, occupation, and values are completely different from each other and who are upset with work and love and strive for them.
The skilled actor Kyôko Koizumi, winner of numerous acting awards, plays an essay writer Atsuko, which is an original character specially created for the film. It also stars Erika Sawajiri, Atsuko Maeda, Alice Hirose, Yû Yamada, Mitsu Dan, Kyoka Suzuki and Charlotte Kate Fox, who possess different performance styles.
Eight “goddesses” are co-starred in a fine food film, giving a delicious and good-looking visual feast.
Kids on the Slope
Director: Takahiro Miki
Screenplay: Izumi Takahashi
Cast: Yuri Chinen/Taishi Nakagawa/Nana Komatsu/Erina Mano/Yorie Yamashita
Revolving around campus life, this film is also adapted from popular manga series, but the story takes place in Shōwa period. Yuri Chinen plays the hero Nishimi Kaoru. Kaoru has been moving from place to place ever since he was a little kid due to his father's constant departure to work on a ship. In the new school, he encounters Sentarō (starring Taishi Nakagawa), a wild high school student. They make good friends through music.
As the story progresses, Kaoru, Sentarō, Sentarō’s old friend Ritsuko Mukae (starring Nana Komatsu) and their 2nd-year high school classmate Yurika Fukahori (starring Erina Mano) tell a story revolving around friendship, love and jazz music.
What does teen romance look like in Shōwa period? Find the answer in the film.
A Forest of Wool and Steel
Director: Kojiro Hashimoto
Screenplay: Arisa Kaneko
Cast: Kento Yamazaki/Ryohei Suzuki/Mone Kamishiraishi/Moka Kamishiraishi/Riisa Naka
A Forest of Wool and Steel is adapted from a novel of the same name by Natsu Miyashita which won the first prize of Japan Booksellers’ Award in 2016. The story starts from the encounter between Naoki (starring Kento Yamazaki) living in Hokkaido and a piano tuner Soichiro Itadori (starring Tomokazu Miura). After hearing his piano long in disrepair worked on by the tuner recovers its beautiful tone, Naoki sets his mind on becoming a piano tuner. During the learning process, he meets the piano twin sisters (starring Mone Kamishiraishi and Moka Kamishiraishi), still high-school age. Naoki is growing while experiencing upsets, confusion and setbacks…
The music of the film is composed by well-known soundtrack master Joe Hisaishi and played by renowned blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. He was granted the Gold Award of The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition together with the young pianist Zhang Haochen in 2009. His melody will be perfectly presented in the film.
The combination of Joe Hisaishi and Nobuyuki Tsujii will give you a visual and acoustic feast.
Last Winter, We Parted
Director: Tomoyuki Takimoto
Screenplay: Fuminori Nakamura
Cast: Takanori Iwata/Mizuki Yamamoto/Takumi Saito/Reina Asami/Kazuki Kitamura
The film is based on a novel of the same name by the well-known writer Fuminori Nakamura who was the winner of Akutagawa Prize. The soft title covers the suspense and crime nature of the film.
The protagonist Kyousuke (starring Takanori Iwata) is a journalist. He and Yuriko’s (starring Mizuki Yamamoto) wedding day is approaching. Devoted to writing his autobiography, He is unexpectedly got entangled with the case of a blind girl burned to death. And the suspect is a talented photographer Yudai Kiharazaka (starring Takumi Saito). As the interview progresses, Kyousuke gets closer and closer to the truth and also gets stuck in an abyss…
Tomoyuki Takimoto has directed many suspense and crime films, such as The Brain Man, Kori no Wadachi and Reminiscence. Skilled at developing stories with suspense, he will keep on his suspenseful journey with the audience this time.
My Friend ‘A’
Director: Takahisa Zeze
Screenplay: Gaku Yakumalu
Cast: Tôma Ikuta/Eita/Kôichi Satô/Kaho/Mizuki Yamamoto
Based on a novel of the same name, the film invites the original author Gaku Yakumalu, winner of Edogawa Rampo Award, to serve as the screenwriter.
Failing to become a journalist, Junichi Masuda (starring Tôma Ikuta) goes to work in a factory, where he meets Hideto Suzuki (starring Eita) who is also a new entrant. Avoiding talking about the past and seldom communicating with others, Suzuki gradually opens his heart to Masuda. But some of his acts lead Masuda to doubt that he is the suspect of the serial killings of children which happened 17 years ago…
Both as the A-list actors, Tôma Ikuta and Eita has cooperated twice in the TV series Voice and the film Mogura no uta: Hong Kong kyôsô-kyoku. What will they bring to us this time?
Two popular actors appear on the same screen. Do not think, feel!
Director: Taisuke Hata
Cast: Masami Hisamoto/Tomomi Itano
Working at a large comprehensive construction corporation, Makiko Hayami (starring Masami Hisamoto) is ostensibly a successful businesswoman, but there is something secret in her heart: she is the mysterious figure who hides her pants in the city and give people hints for them to access the “Look for Pants at Night” website. Also, housewife Aoi Ikeuchi (starring Tomomi Itano) has a mysteries identity: the blogger of the “Take Revenge on Husbands” website. One days, the two mysterious women meet in a park…
In this network-controlled era, everyone can possess different identities on the Internet. Which one is you?
Director: Masaharu Take
Screenplay: Tomohiro Yokomaku/Bong-Ou Lee
Cast: Eriko Satô/Eita/Yoshiki Arizono/Yôji Tanaka/Syunsuke Ito
After a rise to fame for 100 Yen's Love, Masaharu Take focuses on boxing once again. The film also tells a story of an amateur boxer challenging a professional boxer. But the protagonist changes from a female otaku to a third-rate actor. The story revolves around Kanako (starring Eriko Satô), who works at a professional wrestling team, and an actor Hideo (starring Eita). At last, Hideo steps into the ringside and challenges the champion of K-1…
Focusing on wrestling, the film invited Japan’s heavyweight Keiji Muto, K-1 world champion Takeru and other professional boxers for its shooting, in order to present real wrestling scenes.
Playing a former professional boxer in Mix!, Eita will perform wrestling topless. Will the loser change his fate once again?
Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Screenplay: Nobuhiko Obayashi/Kazuo Dan/Chiho Katsura
Cast: Shunsuke Kubozuka/Shin'nosuke Mitsushima/Keishi Nagatsuka/Tokio Emoto/Honoka Miki
In the spring of 1941, Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, Japan, 17-year-old Toshihiko Sakakiyama (starring Shunsuke Kubozuka), living with his aunt Keiko Ema’s (starring Takako Tokiwa) family, starts a new semester. He lives a happy life with his friends every day: handsome boy Ukai (starring Shin'nosuke Mitsushima) in a good shape, unperturbed Kira (starring Keishi Nagatsuka) like a monk and funny and noisy Aso (starring Tokio Emoto).
Toshihiko also has a cousin named Mina, who is Aunt Keiko’s daughter (starring Honoka Miki). Mina has lung disease and is very weak. Her pale but beautiful face captivates Toshihiko. At the same time, there are also some pretty girls around him, such as Akine (starring Hirona Yamazaki) and Chitose (starring Mugi Kadowaki). These boys and girls are frolicking, having a carefree youth time. When the bell of war rings, however, their simple-hearted life is disturbed…
In 1941, more than 20 countries declared war against Japan. The country was beset with the flames of war. The film showcases the bitter experiences of the common people in wartime.