Like a flowing river

Moonlight Shadow, released in Japan on September 10, was chosen to be part of the Nippon Cinema Now selection at the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival, TIFF.

Moonlight Shadow Review

The sound of a bell lingers in my ear. It all started with that bell. This sound represented every single second I spent with Hitoshi. Every single day and night ! Sunny, rainy, cloudy and snowy days. The films we watched together, the books we read. The fights we had, our laughter and tears...” Before a tape recorder, a young woman spells out her grief. This touching scene is the opening sequence of the film; it will be repeated later on, complete and with an even stronger emotional load.

This young woman is Satsuki. The love of her life was killed in a car accident. With him was Yumiko, the girlfriend of Hiiragi, Hitoshi‘s younger brother, who also lost her life. Hiiragi wears Yumiko’s school uniform for mourning. For Satsuki, the process of healing is to run around breathlessly. She barely eats and is losing weight in a frightening way. She looks exhausted. One day, from the bridge where Satsuki and Hitoshi liked to meet, she sees a strange woman all dressed in black. She puts her finger to her lips as if to say ‘shhh’, an invitation to silence, to calm and to mystery.

Malaysian director Edmund Yeo‘s adaptation of Banana Yoshimoto‘s famous short story lives up to its promise. Kong Pahurak‘s photography is superb and the lights enhance the emotions. The soundtrack, composed by Aaken/Ton That An, has the same function, it delicately accompanies the film without intruding. While taking certain liberties in the construction of the narrative and in the introduction or development of secondary characters, the director conveys the very essence of the original work, its message and its tone: mourning, the inevitable passage of time, love and bitter-sweet humor. …

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Sayonara? No, Tadaima (update)

Fan’s Voice silences a fan’s voice

On Friday September 24, Mr Mitsuo Yoshizawa, the editor of Fan’s Voice*, a media outlet based in Japan filed a complaint against me on Twitter for copyright infringements. Actually, they hunted down lots of accounts, including very young fans. (*mind your computer, their site is not even secure: no https)

  1. Use of pictures exclusive to their interview
  2. Link to an ‘unauthorized’ English translation -mine- of the same interview

The pics must have been downloaded and reposted a thousand times and they are all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (not mentioning other networks, blogs etc…). As to the interview, chances it might be translated by professional and legit sites are zilch, if not below zero. Nana Komatsu is no doubt famous beyond Japan, they’re not !

I’ve been working on my own, no team, no connexions, and little money, I actually pay a rent to Word Press for what is just a fan thing. No ads, no benefits from any site whatsoever, it is absolutely non profit making and I naively thought that the sources I always mention would be happy to get some extra exposure. Those who have used their pictures on pages paved with Google Ads, porn redirections and god-knows-what ways to make money must feel like it’s Independence Day thanks to the likes of Yoshizawa and Fan’s Voice -sigh- 

No wonder Japanese cinema is lagging behind and that corporate Japan is going down when the zillion laws they have are used not to target true pirates and thieves but rather dedicated fans who are generally harmless and well-intentioned Netizens. They make me think of those police forces who harass law-abiding citizens while true and ruthless criminals parade in the neighbourhood.

Update: After consulting some “competent authorities”

1) it is not certain that my initial publication (Moonlight Shadow Talk) was not -at least partly- in conformity with my web host policy of Fair Use for copyrighted material.

2) anyway, as I have deleted everything, there is no more room for any complaint whatsoever. I have been told that I have nothing to fear and that I can continue my activities as usual.

Comments are open again, let’s move on…

The Last Ten Years

Rumors of actor Kentaro Sakaguchi and actress Nana Komatsu co-starring in a movie surfaced on a regular basis throughout 2021. On Wednesday September 22, it has been finally and formally announced ‘The Last Ten Years‘ will hit Japanese theaters in Spring 2022. Filming actually took a whole year, with periods of breaks, through the four seasons…

Directed by Michihito Fujii (The Journalist, Day and Night, Yakuza and the Family…) it is based on the true life and sad story of Ruka Kosaka whose novel Yomei 10-nen (余命10年) was published in 2007. The writer suffered from an incurable disease and passed away in 2017.

Plot (Yahoo Japan): Nana Komatsu plays Matsuri, a 20-year-old girl who learns that she has only 10 years to live due to an incurable disease that affects only one in tens of thousands of people. Knowing her own life expectancy, she vows not to fall in love, but is attracted to Kazuto (Kentaro Sakaguchi), whom she meets at a local reunion of former schoolmates.

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Moonlight Shadow Talk (downgraded)

Fan’s Voice have asked actress Nana Komatsu to comment and develop on her filming experience with director Edmund Yeo in what is possibly the most in-depth Moonlight Shadow interview published so far.

Post entirely edited: all pics deleted. Translated paragraphs erased following an official complaint on Twitter (see below) and a possible lawsuit to come. Updated with more details.

FAN’S VOICE silences a fan’s voice

On Friday September 25, Mister Yoshizawa Mitsuo, Editor of Fan’s Voice, lodged an official complaint against me and other fans on Twitter. They literally hunted down lots of accounts, including very young fans on the famous SNS. Next step might be a lawsuit, then I would probably have to hire a lawyer? Here’s what I received from Twitter Support (summary):

Copyright owner: Fan’s Voice – Name: Mitsuo Yoshizawa – Company: Fan’s Voice – Job title: Editor – Address: 3-7-5-1001 Irifune – City: Chuo-ku – State/Province: Tokyo – Postal code: 104-0042

Description of original request: Photographs of Japanese actress Nana Komatsu, exclusively shot for use in our interview article.

Description of infringement: The users have copied the photograph from our article and reposted on their Twitter account (the first image of both tweets) without permission. In addition, the second tweet contains a link to a page that contains non-permitted translation and duplicated photographs of our interview piece.

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Moonlight Shadow x Parallax

Naoki Obukuro wrote and performed the song Parallax, Moonlight Shadow’s director Edmund Yeo made the clip. Obukuro came under the spotlight back in 2016 when he performed a duet -Tomodachi- with J-pop super star Utada Hikaru for her come-back album Fantôme.

With this music video, viewers can get a taste of the luscious visuals and cinematography of the movie…

Edited with the director’s comments below

See and watch more: clip, vidcaps