5 Reasons You Need to Check Out the Shinsedai Cinema Festival (Kirk Haviland)

Shinsedai 2012 Festival Preview

Shinsedai Film Festival July 12-15th 2012 (Toronto)

The Revue Cinema – 400 Roncesvalles Ave (Just south of Dundas West TTC station)

In Japanese the phrase Shinsedai stands for “new generation” and it is this declaration that festival creators/programmers Chris Magee and Jasper Sharp live by when setting this festival in motion. Dedicated to bringing the newest in independent Japanese films to Toronto film fans, Shinsedai’s 4th year of programming starts this Thursday bringing an eclectic mix of titles for fans to discover. Like my TKFF preview I will give you my 5 reasons for making sure not to miss this year’s fest.

5. Location, Location, Location

After toiling its wares out in Richmond Hill at the JCCC for the last 3 years, Shinsedai will finally make its debut in the west end of Toronto at the Revue Cinema. The Revue’s location, a mere minute walk from Dundas West subway station, makes it extremely more accessible than previous incarnations of the fest. The friendly staff and comfortable surrounding and seating afforded by the Revue will make those four film marathons on Saturday and Sunday pass by like a breeze.

4. Guest Filmmakers in Attendance

This year Shinsedai welcome four of the filmmakers from their lineup to Toronto to show their films at the festival. Yu Irie will be here for his festival opening film, the semi-biographical film Ringing in their Ears (more later on this), Daisuke Miyazaki with End of the Night, and Kotaro Terauchi whose short Mrs. Akko and her husband will play as part of the Yubari Fanta showcase. Last, but definitely not least, the mastermind behind the Takeshi Miike films Ichi the Killer and Gozu, writer/director Sakichi Sato, will be in town with his latest opus Zero Man vs the Half Virgin. A unique opportunity to meet these fantastic filmmakers in such an intimate venue.

3. Friday July 13th Programming

The Friday of the fest bring us two very eclectic films that should prove to be quite a fascinating double-bill. We start with the 1938 film The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen, one of the earliest examples of horror on film from Japan and a fascinating look at the way films were made in Japan as war loomed on the horizon, and years later the bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our second feature is the previously mentioned Zero Man vs Half Virgin, a delightfully twisted sex comedy using the premise behind the film The Frighteners with the numbers appearing on foreheads of characters, but for a vastly different reason.

2. Opening and Closing Films

For the opening and closing efforts programmers Chris MaGee and Jasper Sharp have picked two equally intriguing but different films. Ringing in their Ears is the story of Japanese band Shinsei Kamattechan as told through live concert footage and a fictionalized surrounding story of one of their fans. The concert footage looks to be enthralling. For closing night we get Tentsuki, a mind trip about a factory worker who sees something that forces him into hiding and all the bizarre characters he meets there. I’ve been told that Miike’s Gozu is the level of strangeness I should be expecting from this one.

1. Pink Film Double Bill – Battle Girls and Bondage

Now this truly is a rare opportunity. Back in 1997 I was briefly introduced to this whole side of Japanese filmmaking while attending the only Toronto based edition to ever take place of Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival at the Bloor Cinema. It was here that I saw A Wife to be Sacrificed. Not a Pink film by definition, mainly due to its almost 2 hour running time, it is considered a classic and heavy influence on the pink films that followed. Now you may think Pink Films are Porn but they are most definitely not and while Japan does have a very thriving porn industry, Pink films have plotlines and stories told in one hour time segments that have character development and tell complete stories – just with a healthy dose of sex and kink. Think of movies like 9 ½ Weeks and Wild Orchid with, dare I say, less restrictions on their sexual content and context. The amount of directors who thrived in this industry prior to global success is numerous, some of which now have Oscar nominations under their belt.

Tickets are still available.

I’ll see you at the Revue!

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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CONTEST: Win Tickets for End of the Night at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival in Toronto

Shinsedai Cinema Festival (Toronto)

End of the Night (2011)

Starring: Kuniaki Nakamura, Nami Komiyama, Masayuki Shionoya

Directed by Daisuke Miyazaki

We have some very exciting news at Entertainment Maven – our first contest! Thanks to the folks at the Shinsedai Cinema Festival we have three, count ’em, THREE double-passes to give away to the July 14th (Sat. 7pm) screening of End of the Night at The Revue Cinema in Toronto, part of the Shinsedai Cinema Festival taking place from July 12th – 15th, and co-presented by CINSSU, the Cinema Studies Student’s Union of the University of Toronto. It’s easy to win, just follow the three easy steps below.

Please note that the contest is only open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age and who are able to be in Toronto for July 14th. Only 1 entry per person. Winners will be chosen at random from a pool of entrants who have completed the three steps. The contest will close at 11pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

1. ‘Like’ our Facebook page by clicking this link and then ‘like’, or by going directly to www.entertainmentmaven.com and clicking ‘Like’

2. Follow us on Twitter @entertainmaven

3. E-mail us at entertainmentmaven@gmail.com, putting End of the Night as the subject, and tell us YOUR name and the name of your favourite cinematic assassin!

Winners will be contacted at the e-mail address used to enter the contest.

Advance tickets for the Shinsedai festival go on sale June 21st. Screenings will take place at The Revue Cinema.

Synopsis: After sociopathic hitman Tamegoro (Masayuki Shionoya) coldly dispatches a young married couple he decides to take something home from the bloody murder scene – the couple’s infant boy. Tamegoro raises this boy, Akira (Kuniaki Nakamura) as his own son and trains him from boyhood to become an equally lethal killer. Dead-eyed and with nerves of steel Akira takes over the family business, but what will happen when he comes face to face with Yukine, a young woman who survived one of his decade old hit jobs? Will the resulting crisis of conscience sever the link between father and son? And what path will Akira choose?

This is the central conflict behind first time feature filmmaker Daisuke Miyazaki’s neo-noir drama End of the Night, a crime-filled examination of nature versus nurture. Like a 1960’s Nikkatsu action film filtered through the deadpan aesthetic of Takeshi Kitano End of the Night both celebrates and subverts its genre origins, boldly updating the iconic image of the cinematic lone gunman. Akira’s brutal journey is brought to life not only by Miyazaki’s remarkable filmmaking talent, but also through the skill of veteran cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa, whose previous credits include Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata and Retribution.

Director’s bio: Born in Yokohama in 1980, Daisuke Miyazaki studied at Tokyo’s Waseda University. In the summer of 2004 he participated in a filmmaking program in Tokyo run by New York University. The resulting film, The 10th Room, won the Christine Choi Award at NYU’s KUT Film Festival. Since then Miyazaki has earned praise for his 2006 short film Love Will Tear Us Apart, as well as working with a number of acclaimed filmmakers. Miyazaki has worked as a production design assistant on Leos Carax’s 2008 film Meld and as the trainee assistant director on Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2008 film Tokyo Sonata. End of the Night is his first feature film.

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