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The Golden Rock - July 5th, 2007 Edition

- Director Satoshi Miki’s The Insects Unlisted in the Encyclopedia (review by Japan Times, and more info from Ryuganji) first got attention because it’s Oscar nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi’s first post-Oscar role (more on her later). But as the release date approached, the film picked up attention due to its director. Miki Satoshi got his start on TV doing variety shows. While he made his film debut in 2005, he went back to TV, writing and directing the cult favorite drama Jikou Keisatsu. At least it was popular enough to bring it back for a second run this past Spring season, and it became the most “satisfying” drama of the season (trust me, those rankings held up throughout the season, although the ranking came from right after its start). The popularity of the show has now come to explain the film’s relative success at one Tokyo theater. Opening on June 23rd, the opening day drew 772 admissions and grossed 1.19 million yen(4 shows a day, with a capacity of 218). For the entire week, it drew 2842 admissions, grossing 4.17 million yen at that theater alone. Even though it’s nowhere near full capacity, this is still better than Miki’s debut film Into the Pool.

- In addition to Insects, Rinko Kikuchi also stars in a new “web movie” for a popular cosmetics brand. However, the idea itself is better than the actual film, and try not to let Rinko’s hair distract you too much.

- In “Who cares Hollywood hasn’t sold us the rights yet?” news today, China’s Zonbo Media is going ahead with production for the Chinese version of the American series Prison Break, except 1) The production company states that it has nothing to do with the hit Fox series, and 2) Fox has denied ever selling the rights to China, even though Zonbo Media said they bought it. Huh…..

- The Bangkok International Film Festival, who hit yet another snag when the government took away its opening film Persepolis to maintain friendly relations with Iran and stave off the Muslim insurgency, decided to put in the Children of Glory as its new opening film. Apparently it’s about “the bloodiest water polo match in history.” What?

- Kenji Uchida, who made a brilliant debut with Unmei Janai Hito (Stranger of Mine), is moving on up with his follow-up film After School, about a teacher who searches for her childhood friend with a private detective. Just started shooting last week, the film has 7 times the budget of Stranger of Mine, though it’s still at a fairly small 180 million yen.

- The first Kansai Film Festival is starting late next month. Don’t worry, you don’t have to make a film about the Kansai region to get in, you just have to be a foreign director making a film in or about Japan.

- In DVD news today, Twitch announces the pre-order for the South Korean sleeper hit Paradise Murdered, and the Hong Kong editions for Japanese films Retribution and Studio Ghibli’s Tales from Earthsea.

- I should have seen this coming. Fuji Television, who managed to milk the novel Tokyo Tower for all its worth by making a made-for-TV movie, a 11-episode drama, and a hit movie, is now bringing the 11 billion yen-hit family drama Bizan(review by Hollywood Reporter) to TV. Starring Takako Tokiwa, Bizan the mini-series will start shooting at the end of the month with no broadcasting date set.

- The South Korean theatre chain Megabox just opened its first multiplex in China, and plans to open two more in Bejing. Sorry, I’m just a nerd for theatre openings everywhere.

- Associated Press’s entertainment writer Min Lee reviews the new Milkyway thriller Eye in the Sky.

- The Cinefan festival in India is putting a focus on Japanese and Arabic films this year, including a tribute to director Kenji Mizoguchi.

- I posted a long time ago that even Japanese music tend to copy each other, but I couldn’t even find the songs. Now I have - check out Porno Graffiti’s Sister, Undergraph’s Tsubasa, and BoA’s Everlasting. I posted these in the order of the release - one copies the same musical pattern, and the other copies the chorus of another. All three were pop hits, and all three are kind of crappy. Then again, the point is that it happens everywhere.

2 Responses to “The Golden Rock - July 5th, 2007 Edition”

  1. glenn ( Says:

    Kahimi Karie first got known (among hipsters) in the West due to her association with singer/songwriter Momus. Momus was on Creation Records in the pre-Oasis era along with Primal Scream and The House of Love.

    Momus is the real-life cousin of the lead singer of Del Amitri who started off as a vaguely alternative/indie band before having mainstream top 40 hits in the US and UK.

    Love your site and I check it on a daily basis.

    - Glenn

  2. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    Hi, Glenn,

    Thanks for the information. I don’t know much about French pop. In fact, I bought Kahimi Karie’s album based on the little audio clip I heard on the Tokyo Recohan site.

    Thanks for the kind comment as well =)

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