Posts Tagged ‘Kengo Kora’



Here’s what looks like Iwai’s FIREWORKS remade: FIREWORKS FROM THE HEART tells the story of a high school student coming home from hospital on the day of the Katakai Fireworks Festival. She has been treated for Leukemia, and returns home only to find out that her brother Taro has become an outsider, living in his own world. Despite her own problems, Hana is determined to make him open up to the world again. FIREWORKS FROM THE HEART is directed by Masahiro Kunimoto, and stars Kengo Kora, Mitsuki Tanimura, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Saori Koide, Hiroyuki Onoue, Rei Okamoto, Ryuta Sato, Kuranosuke Sasaki and Sansei Shiomi.




JAPAN 2010  Directed by: Miki Takahiro Manga by: Asano Inio Written by: Izumi Takahashi Produced by: Keiko Imamura, Osamu Kubota, Masaro Toyoshima  Cinematography by: Ryuto Kondo Editing by: Soichi Ueno  Music by: Asian Kung-Fu Generation  Cast: Aoi Miyazaki, Kengo Kora, Kenta Kiritani, Yoichi Kondo, Ayumi Ito, Arata, Kento Nagayama, Sayuri Iwata, Jun Miho, Kazuo Zaitsu

SOLANIN, based on the popular manga by Asano Inio, tells the story of Meiko who lives with her boyfriend Taneda in a small apartment at Tama river. They met in college six years ago, but today they both still have no clue what to do with their lives. Meiko works in an office, while Taneda is a freelance illustrator and part-time guitarist in a rock band called Roche that also features Meiko’s best friend Kato. Problems arise when both decide to quit their jobs, while Taneda can’t decide if and how to continue with the band.

When they finally complete their demo CD and get in touch with a major record company, things don’t go exactly as expected, causing Taneda to disappear and Roche going on an indefinite hiatus. Everyone’s life is in serious disarray, until Meiko discovers a song written by Taneda called “Solanin”; the band decides to carry on with Meiko replacing Taneda, giving their career another shot despite the surrounding uncertainty.

Music ain’t a rational thing, and hardly ever are “music films” too rational either. Expecting SOLANIN to impress with a complex story, flawless writing, sharp logic or an explanation why the sun rises in the East would be naïve. SOLANIN is a film about the troubles of youth and growing up, the difficulties finding your place in society, and the ultimate task for any of us: making somewhat sense of life.

Consequently, SOLANIN is a dystopian description of how Japan’s youth timidly makes their way into the world, how they respond to the challenges of growing up and what’s on their minds when dealing with the future. SOLANIN may not be about how they actively pursue their goals (for that they’d need goals in their lives in the first place), but it wonderfully depicts how Meiko et al. indefatigably are, without necessarily going anywhere.

Existing consumes most of their energy, and what’s left is used up defending their dreams. Their struggle undeniably has an irresistible charm, and is loaded with emotions we are all too familiar with. SOLANIN captures the monochromatic moods of growing up, and consequently it relates to the audience in unspoken ways, making it a beautiful experience rather than a film following the textbook.

Sometimes it all comes down to the question if you feel it. Ultimately, this will draw the line that divides the audience and decide if you’ll fall in love with SOLANIN, or not.




A CROWD OF THREE tells the story about two men, Kenta and Jun, who grew up together and now are fed up with their McJobs. They decide to take a break and drive up north to visit Kenta’s brother who is in prison.

The coming-of-age drama is written and directed by Tatsushi Omori. Starring Shota Matsuda, Kengo Kora, Sakura Ando, Hirofumi arai, Akira Emoto, Kaoru Kobayashi, Tasuku Emoto, Yoriko Douguchi, Mikako Tabe, Jun Miho and Masashi Yamamoto. Out in June.