Satomi Kobayashi

  • Kana Matsumoto & Kayo Nakamura – Tôkyô Oashisu aka Tokyo Oasis (2011)

    2011-2020DramaJapanJapanese Female DirectorsKana Matsumoto and Kayo Nakamura

    The floating clouds between the high buildings, the lines of the taillights under the moonlight, the swirling human waves… Every view in Tokyo looks as if it is alive. Before even she realizes, TOUKO starts to run away from somewhere in the city. As an actress in a fantasy world, Touko seems to have lost her grip on reality. Along her journey, she makes acquaintance with people who carry similar issues. A midnight truck driver NAGANO, who happens to give Touko a ride, is grappling with the discovery of his soul, and his soul is unable to move forward. His escape from reality is to continually move from place to place. Read More »

  • Mika Ohmori – Pûru aka Pool (2009)

    2001-2010ArthouseDramaJapanMika Ohmori

    A story of 6 days with 5 people gathered around a small sparkling pool at Chiang Mai in Thailand. 4 years ago, Kyoko started to live in Thailand and has been working in a Guest house outside in Chiang Mai, leaving her mother and her daughter Sayo, in Japan. Just before the graduation of University, Sayo sets foot on Thailand to visit her mother with mixed feelings. However, emotional experiences with the people living there changes such feelings toward her mother.Read More »

  • Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Haishi AKA The Deserted City (1984)

    1981-1990DramaJapanNobuhiko Obayashi

    After reading a newspaper article about a town being destroyed in a fire, Eguchi begins to recall the summer he spent there writing his thesis. It’s a beautiful canal town, the “Venice of Japan.” As he arrives, he is greeted by the daughter of the Kaibara household, Yasuko. The rest of her family seems mysteriously absent. On his first night, Eguchi hears the stifled sound of crying. He attempts to find the source, and is soon drawn into the conflict that is tearing the family apart. While he likens the town to a dream, some of the inhabitants do not share his feelings. There is a sense of being stuck in time, with ruin and death the only future.Read More »

  • Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Tenkôsei AKA Exchange Students (1982)

    1981-1990ComedyFantasyJapanNobuhiko Obayashi

    This hilarious movie catapults two youngsters hitting puberty into the opposite sex after a fall from which they recover in each other’s bodies. The timid sensitive girl becomes the effeminate insecure boy, and the unredeeming prankster becomes the loud clumsy girl with a chip on her shoulder. Both lead actors do tremendous jobs portraying the opposite sex, and often do so delivering more than a laugh. It ends in a bittersweet tone, but it is a really cute movie with hilarious moments.Read More »

  • Naoko Ogigami – Kamome shokudo AKA Ruokala Lokki AKA The Seagull Diner (2006)

    2001-2010ComedyDramaJapanJapanese Female DirectorsNaoko Ogigami


    On a summer day, a small Japanese restaurant by the name of Ruokala Lokki (The Seagull Canteen) opens for business in the Punavuori district of Helsinki. The restaurant is run by 38-year-old Sachie who wishes to offer her Finnish patrons not only Japanese food but Japanese-style food for the soul, too. Attracting Finns to the small restaurant run by a lone Japanese woman proves quite difficult, however.

    Luckily Sachie gets to know Midori and her restaurant’s only customer, Tommi Hiltunen, with the help of whom she slowly begins to bring in more customers and settle down in her new life. Kamome Shokudo is a charming little tale of people in the middle of a foreign culture. The film is based on a novel by popular Japanese writer Yoko Mure. Director Naoko Ogigami received an award at the Berlin International Film Festival for her previous film Barber Yoshino.Read More »

  • Hirokazu Koreeda – Umi yori mo mada fukaku AKA After the Storm (2016)

    2011-2020ArthouseDramaHirokazu KoreedaJapan

    A prize-winning author that wastes his money on gambling struggles to take back control of his existence as his aging mother and ex-wife move on with their lives, until a stormy summer night offers him a chance to bond with his young son once again.Read More »

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