Posted in Music, Video

Next Music from Tokyo Vol 9 concert – Oct 5 @ Le Divan Orange

Next Music from Tokyo is a concert series featuring indie bands from Japan. It’s run by Steven Tanaka with shows in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. I only discovered it recently when I attended volume 8 last minute (which was in May earlier this year). I’m very excited that we don’t have to wait a whole year for vol 9, which kicks off its tour in Montreal on October 5, 2016 at Le Divan Orange. The lineup has been finalized and the bands are Maison Book GirlThis is JapanJizueToranoko Rammy, and Hitsuji Bungaku. Here’s the facebook event page.

Based on videos online, the bands sound great and this should be another amazing show. Advance tickets available August 17. Videos after the jump.

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Posted in Music, Video

Yuki Isami – flute player

Yuki Isami is originally from Japan but is now based in Montreal. She plays different Japanese flutes as well as the western flute.

I first saw her perform at a concert during Festival Accès Asie in May 2016. She performed pieces composed by Takemitsu Toru. While some of his unorthodox compositions were not to my liking, I thought she performed them very well. Since summer is still around, let’s enjoy this medley of summer songs performed by Isami on flute with a pianist.

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Posted in Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2016 festival in review

Fantasia 2016, total films seen: 25

This year’s lineup of movies was very promising but the ones I looked forward to the most ended up being disappointing or just okay. But there were a couple of surprises that ended up being really great. Overall though, I’d say this was a good but not great year (like last year). I’d say the number of great films this year was less than most of the previous years. My main disappointment was the lack of films that resonated with me emotionally. However, in regards to just pure entertainment, I was satisfied by a few strong entries.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

The Top Secret: Murder in Mind – review @ Fantasia 2016 [Recommended]

The_Top_Secret-_Murder_in_Mind-p02The Top Secret: Murder in Mind / 秘密 THE TOP SECRET / Himitsu The Top Secret (2016)
Director: Keishi Otomo
Screenplay: Izumi Takahashi, Keishi Otomo, Lee Sork-jun, Kim Sun-mee
Cast: Toma Ikuta, Masaki Okada, Koji Kikkawa, Tori Matsuzaka, Chiaki Kuriyama

There are various puns one can use to describe this movie (based on a manga) but I’ll limit mine to one: mind-bending. I’m using this word in regards to the experience of characters, two in particular, Maki (Toma Ikuta) and Aoki (Masaki Okada) who are police agents of unit 9, an unofficial team who are making use of a revolutionary technique that allows them to extract the visual memories (no sound or other senses) of a deceased person for up to 5 years. This technique requires an agent to receive the memories which are also recorded. Maki is actually a co-founder of the unit and the leader while Aoki is a promising rookie recruit.

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Posted in Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Funny, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Hentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis – review @ Fantasia 2016

HK-_Forbidden_Super_Hero_-_The_Abnormal_CrisisHentai Kamen 2: The Abnormal Crisis (2016)
Director: Yuichi Fukuda
Screenplay: Yuichi Fukuda
Cast: Ryohei Suzuki, Fumika Shimizu, Yuya Yagira, Muro Tsuyoshi, Nana Katase

The first movie is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen so living up to that would be a big challenge for this second film. Kyosuke aka Hentai Kamen (Ryohei Suzuki) defeated his arch-nemesis Tamao (Muro Tsuyoshi) in the first film but he’s not in a good situation at the beginning of this sequel. He still struggles with his pervert side and despite a promise to his girlfriend Aiko (Fumika Shimizu) he can’t help but fight crime as Hentai Kamen on occasion. His promise is tested even further when panties start disappearing en masse. Also, the new biology teacher (Ayame Misaki) has the hots for Kyosuke. With all these temptations, a rift occurs between Kyosuke & Aiko after a hilarious series of “it’s not what it looks like” situations.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Funny, Music, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Too Young to Die! – review @ Fantasia 2016 [Recommended]

TooYoungToDieToo Young to Die! (2016)
Director: Kankuro Kudo
Screenplay: Kankuro Kudo
Cast: Tomoya Nagase, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Kenta Kiritani, Nana Seino, Aoi Morikaw

This is probably one of those movies that cannot really be reviewed. Either you hate it or you adore it for its total randomness and wacky sense of humor. It focuses on a 17 year old high school student (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who inconveniently dies in a bus crash with his classmates including a girl (Aoi Morikawa) he has a crush on. He never quite got the chance to tell his crush his feelings or so he thinks. Labeled a suicide he gets sent to hell where he argues that he didn’t kill himself and wants to go to heaven to see his crush. While going to heaven from hell is possible, apparently this has never happened before. What follows is too difficult to describe but you won’t want it to be spoiled anyway.
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