JAPAN FLIX MUSINGS

daily dose of japanese pop and subculture

Valentine’s Day Special – 50% off

Announcements - February 14, 2012 - Jeffrey

Why not stay in tonight and enjoy a special Valentine’s Day gift from Japan Flix?

From romantic fun to anime and horror; from pink films to sci-fi and action! 50% off all items.

The sale runs from February 14th through Monday, February 20th!

Browse our wide selection of Asian cinema and you will find something to suit your entertainment needs. And for those of you outside of the US and Canada, all of our Pink Eiga titles are now available to stream worldwide (except Japan). Join Japan Flix today and become part of one of the fastest growing streaming sites online.

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[Trailer Watch] Will jhorror make a come-back? With “POV,” there’s a good chance

Interestingness - February 13, 2012 - Jin

POV Norowareta Film Shida Mirai jhorror

This Saturday, a new jhorror called POV Norowareta Film (or Haunted Film in English) starring Shida Mirai will hit theaters in Japan. Jhorror has been on a decline recently, but POV looks like it has the elements that made jhorror a global phenomenon, as well as the much needed updates in style and subject matter that will make it relevant today.

pov norowareta film stills

POV follows actresses Shida Mirai and Kawaguchi Haruna playing themselves, as they go to a school where they are filming a series for a Youtube-like mobile video-sharing site. This week, their show, which introduces popular videos online and investigates their background, is sharing a video of paranormal activity. But when they roll the camera, strange things begin to happen.

It’s been a while since I last saw a trailer for a jhorror and thought, “I want to see that.” POV has a believable enough plot and the acting looks solid, something that’s been lacking in the genre the past few years. It doesn’t rely on special effects, an area that Japan is weak in. The horror is more subdued and tasteful, something jhorror used to be renown for.

Most importantly, POV’s style reflects the changes that we’ve seen over the past decade in film. Other Japanese films, especially jhorrors, seem to have been left in the ’90s, ignoring the changes in technology such as smartphones and social media. In the last ten years, we’ve come to expect films to be more real. We’ve seen increases in lower budget, YouTube-influenced, found footage-style films like Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside. With POV it feels like Japanese filmmakers have finally caught up with the times.

pov norowareta film stills

POV is directed by Tsuruta Norio, a regular in the jhorror genre. Most of his repertoire consists of straight-to-video horrors, but he has had a couple notable feature length films such as Ring prequel Ring 0 Birthday, Premonition, and manga adaptation Orochi. It stars the very cute Shida Mirai of jdrama Jyoou no Kyoushitsu and 14 sai no haha, who I must add is becoming a beautiful actress. Costarring is Kawaguchi Haruna of jdrama Ouran High School Host Club.

POV Norowareta Film comes out in theaters in Japan on February 18th. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see this film abroad sometime soon. Leave your thoughts and comments on the trailer and more below.

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Subtitles – Why I hate people who bitch about them

Interestingness - February 10, 2012 - Jeffrey

Working for Japan Flix, I have quite a bit of experience with subtitling and it’s a complete pain in the ass. For those of you who think subtitling is just translating, you’re 100% wrong.

Often, those of use who can speak two languages look for accuracy when we see translations. That is not how subtitling works though, and it pisses me off to listen to people whine about how the Japanese was “butchered” or the “that’s not what they said” comments.

Christ! They’re different cultures! Of course it’s never going to be perfect.

It’s not supposed to be perfect; it’s supposed to be smooth. Whether that means the character’s subtitles read as how they would talk or the subtitles are short enough for the viewer to read and still be affected by the visual.

I subtitled stuff for NHK and was limited to 1 character (spaces count) per 1/10 of a second. For example, “What are you doing?” has to be on screen for 1.9 seconds even though it may have only taken the actor 1.5 seconds to say it in Japanese and now the scene has ended and the shot has changed. There is no flexibility.

So then I have to pay attention to the placement of the subtitle to try and make sure it doesn’t overlap a cut awkwardly or appears before the actor starts speaking but the priority is always the length. Every character and space gets 1/10 of a second.

In addition, I don’t subtitle shit for your Asiaphile ass. I subtitle it for people like my mom who hates subtitles. Many people find subtitles distracting and annoying.

Here’s a secret…

THEY’RE RIGHT!

Subtitles suck. Since film’s invention, it has been a visual medium and dialogue has always been secondary. Producers and directors don’t think about subtitles when they make the movie. Storyboard artists don’t put subtitles in the storyboards to make sure that they work with the image. Subtitles are the best thing we’ve got though because even more distracting is a live-action dub where the actor’s mouth doesn’t match the words we’re hearing them speak.

Subtitles can be great if we don’t get caught up in the translation. They allow us to experience films we would never have had the opportunity to otherwise. Not to mention, we want more people to be interested in foreign movies so we try and make the subtitles less of an impediment. We want to grow the audience don’t we?

So, next time you read a subtitle and it doesn’t match what’s being said, take it easy and think about the big picture.

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s jdrama, Shokuzai debuts to rave reviews

Interestingness - February 9, 2012 - Jeffrey

shokuzai

Originally penned by critically acclaimed author Minato Kanae and now directed for television by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shokuzai tells the story of four students who witness the brutal murder of their classmate but cannot remember the killer’s face. “Shokuzai” is Kanae’s third book and the live-action adaptation is Kurosawa’s first work since his 2008 brilliant film, Tokyo Sonata.

The five-episode mini-series premiered on WOWOW recently and really grabbed an audience debuting to rave reviews. One reviewer wrote that Shokuzai “was just awesome in terms of acting, directing and emotion. Kept me glued to the screen and eating up every scene.”

Much of the praise surrounding the series has centered on the acting, muted color scheme, and lack of melodrama. Hopefully we’ll get something from Kurosawa of this quality in the theater soon!

[via Tokyo Hive]

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