Kaze no denwa [Voices in the Wind] (2020)

Kaze no denwa (the name for a disconnected phone box in Japan, said to be able to let you speak to the loved ones you lost)
Director: Nobuhiro Suwa
Writer: Kyôko Inukai, Nobuhiro Suwa
Cast: Serena Motola, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tomokazu Miura, Makiko Watanabe, Mirai Yamamoto, Shoko Ikezu, Toshiyuki Nishida, Fusako Urabe
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 24.10.2020

Haru (Serena Motola) lost her parents and her brother in the Tohoku earthquake and the ensuing tsunami almost a decade ago. She has been living with her aunt Hiroko (Makiko Watanabe) ever since, quite a way away from her childhood home. When Hiroko has to go to the hospital unexpectedly, by now 14 years-old Haru’s last anchor is gone – and she sets off to revisit what remains of the town she grew up in. Along the way she meets many people, all of whom were deeply affected by loss.

Voices in the Wind provides a, to me, unusual perspective on Japan, focusing on the destruction left behind by the tsunami, but also featuring, for example, immigrants in Japan. It does have a few lengths, but I did enjoy it overall.

The film poster shwoing five stills from the film, all featuring Haru (Serena Motola). The one in the center shows a phone booth in the middle of a garden.
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Kurîpî: Itsuwari no rinjin [Creepy] (2016)

Kurîpî: Itsuwari no rinjin
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Writer: Chihiro Ikeda, Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Based on: Yutaka Maekawa’s novel
Cast: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yûko TakeuchiTeruyuki Kagawa, Haruna Kawaguchi, Masahiro Higashide, Ryôko Fujino, Toru Baba, Takashi Sasano
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) used to work as a detective, but has given the field up for a teaching position. When he is pointed in the direction of an old case of a family’s disappearance, his curiosity is triggered and he starts to investigate, beginning with the family’s only remaining member, Saki (Haruna Kawaguchi). Meanwhile his wife Yasuko (Yûko Teakeuchi) is busy with their new house and their strange neighbor Nishino (Teruyuki Kagawa) who is by turns stand-offish and disregarding of boundaries. Nishino’s daughter Mio (Ryôko Fujino) also behaves weirdly. But that’s only the beginning of the strangeness.

Creepy starts off well enough with a decent amount of tension and intrigue, but the further we get into the plot, the stupider it gets and the more it lost me and my attention or regard. In the end it becomes a film that is at its best when it’s laughed about afterwards.

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Kaze tachinu [The Wind Rises] (2013)

Kaze tachinu
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Based on: his own manga which in turn is based on Tatsuo Hori‘s short story The Wind Has Risen about plane designer Jiro Horikoshi
Cast: [Japanese:] Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto, Mansai Nomura; [English:] Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, Mae Whitman, Werner Herzog, Jennifer Grey, William H. Macy, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood

Jiro (Hideaki Anno) loves airplanes. He would like to fly one, but unfortunately his eyesight is too bad to become a pilot. Instead he decides to become a plane designer, after designer Giovanni Battista Caproni (Mansai Nomura) speaks to him in a dream. Years later his dream is coming true, but World War 2 is also on the horizon, which poses the question whether it is ethical to design war planes.

I was really excited for a new Miyazaki film, despite the fact that Ponyo wasn’t all that good. I was hoping that the chiefly positive reviews were right. I’m sorry to say that I was really disappointed though. Maybe he really should have quit already.

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