films seen
average score
Japan - 55 years old
Alive and kicking
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The good stuff


2017 / 128m - Japan
Mystery, Thriller
Yurigokoro poster

A weird and somewhat disturbing mix of drama, thriller and mystery elements. The vibe of the film is rather idyllic, but the subject matter is dark and relentless. There are flashes of Tetsuya Nakashima's work here, though Yurigokoro is slightly more focused on the mystery and narrative elements. A neat little surprise that should do well with people who love a few plot twists elevated by a stylish presentation.

Solid pieces

Romantic Prelude

2009 / 119m - Japan
Romantic Prelude poster

A fine romance, but a bit too predictable and by the numbers to really set itself apart. It's one of those perfectly pleasant Japanese dramas, with good actors, proper cinematography, and a fitting soundtrack, it's just that I've seen so many of them already that I need something extra to keep me 100% engaged.

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Nanao is a talented florist who wants to move to France, Nojima is a successful photographer whose dream it is to go to Canada and shoot landscapes. They live next to each other and the thin wall that separates them creates a bond, even when they've never actually seen one another.

Kumiko Aso is great as always, Jun'ichi Okada isn't quite up to par, but his performance suffices. The lighting and color work help to elevate the cinematography, the soundtrack is appropriate but forgettable. There's nothing really bad about Romantic Prelude, but with a predictable conclusion and no real stand-out elements, it's difficult to fall wholeheartedly in love with the film.

The inoffensive

Letters from Kanai Nirai

Nirai Kanai Kara no Tegami
2005 / 113m - Japan
Letters from Kanai Nirai poster