films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Extraneous Matter Complete Edition

Ibutsu - Kanzenhan
2021 / 61m - Japan
Horror, Fantasy
Extraneous Matter Complete Edition poster

Well, this film is certainly something. It's an impossible mix of elements, most of which don't fit together at all, but Ugana created something magical with them. You have to be willing to go with the flow (as the film will ultimately explain) and accept the weirdness that is thrown at you, but if you like a bit of crazy, this film is 100% for you.

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Out of the blue, strange creatures are appearing in people's homes. They look like the tentacle porn monsters from hentai films, but they come in peace and want to befriend humans. After the initial shock, they quickly become part of everyday life, which presents new problems for them.

So yeah, you get a shlocky setup, presented as a certified arthouse project (including a squarish aspect ratio, quirky score, and stylish, black-and-white cinematography), illustrating a valid life lesson that is revealed at the end of the film. It kind of makes sense, but only if you care to embrace how nonsensical it truly is. Cool film!

Rolling Marbles

Korogaru Bîdama
2021 / 95m - Japan
Rolling Marbles poster

A pleasant, small Japanese drama. One of those films that don't have big or very important themes, but are still relevant to just about everyone watching it. It's not quite as accomplished or hard-hitting as some other films in the genre (and the competition is pretty stiff), but it's a good reminder that Japan does a lot of solid drama that barely makes it across the border.

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Three women are renting a small flat in Shinjuku. The location is great, but the building will be torn in a couple of months, so they know their time together is limited. All three are in their early 20s, trying to get their lives on the rails. Finding a proper job, staying true to your beliefs, and landing a proper boyfriend are harder than it looks.

The presentation is pretty stylish (but on the poppier side), the performances are solid and the topics handled will feel familiar to most people watching this film. What it lacks is something that helps it to stand out from the crowd. A few scenes that really make an impact. Other than that, I got exactly what I wanted from Rolling Marbles.