Hello, I’m back. Saiko reporting once again for JFF. First of all, I regret to announce that Master Sion Sono’s films won’t be screening at this year’s Festival. I’m rather broken hearted about it. Although, I’ve been able to transform my sadness into a worthwhile article on (I can hear the drumroll) date night flicks.
Who takes a date to watch a romance film nowadays? As far as I know with Japanese films, ‘romance’ means girls night out. So I, Saiko, have taken it upon myself for the good of the greater public, to advice you all on some really cool titles that will either: (1) up your cool points for having good taste, or (2) ensure some your companion will grab your arm (or knock your popcorn) in fright.
Lovey-dovey header image from TERRAFORMARS © YU SASUGA, KENICHI TACHIBANA/SHUEISHA © 2016 ”TERRAFORMARS” FILM PARTNERS
This ain’t Scary Movie
Horror is always a good date night choice… No, really! There are two horror films this year at JFF: The Inerasable and Haunted Campus.
The Inerasable, in comparison with Haunted Campus, is like a heavy-weight champion – it’s definitely a well-made film with a solid cast and a cool narrative. While it is a horror flick, it straddles the boundary of the paranormal and the real, and almost tries to convince you that ghosts aren’t real. But I’m not here to sing more praises about The Inerasable… What we should be really talking about is Haunted Campus.
Here’s a film with a group of idols. But they don’t just try to act, they actually act and are pretty convincing! It’s a unique horror flick because it manages to keep the spook factor and also be comical at the same time. The love story line, and how it inspires silliness, is too good to ignore we’ve listed Haunted Campus in the Romance genre.
If you’re looking for an entertaining film to take your date too, then this would be it.
Maximum chill factor
Now, if there’s one film that would send your heart racing, there’s no better title than Creepy. I dare say it’s one of the best thrillers this year – it’s so creepy you’ll feel like running out the cinema door, but it’s so riveting you’d be glued to (the edge of) your seat. There’s really nothing more that I can say about this film except for the fact that I’m glad Kiyoshi Kurosawa is making a thriller again. (Journey to the Shore is impressive and all, particularly with rave reviews from Cannes last year, but I reckon Kiyoshi my man = thrillers.)
Pochi thinks The Top Secret: Murder in Mind is a good date night film but that one’s particularly bad news for guys. I may sound like I have low self-esteem (I don’t, really) but Toma Ikuta is in it. As well as a bunch of those young movie hotshots. I mean, look.
For fans of Japanese culture
If you’re both fans of Japanese culture then an entertainingly humorous period film like The Magnificent Nine is the answer. It ticks various boxes: engaging plot, comedy, traditional Japanese scenery.
The Magnificent Nine would transport you right into the heart of old Japan. Cool sets, even cooler costumes, and an epic-ly silly story which is actually based on real events! A rag-tag bunch of merchants join forces to outsmart the samurai class – whose tax demands are draining their small town’s resources. Our unlikely heroes can’t fight with swords but as merchants they make use of what they have: money and bargaining powers.
If you really want cheese
Since I’m not completely jaded, I’ll throw in an actual romance title. If there’s one movie in the romance category, My Korean Teacher is not a bad choice for date night. This movie is particularly enjoyable if you’ve had a bad day and just want to sit back and be entertained. Bonus points to the movie for being filmed in beautiful Okinawa, an island in the south of Japan. I suppose it will be an extra enjoyable watch if you’re a k-pop fan but that’s beside the point.
Another word of advice for guys, unless you’re fine with fangirling, don’t take your date to see Wolf Girl & Black Prince. I’m positive it’s the ultimate fangirl indulgent movie disguised in date night clothing. However, I am a fan of Fumi Nikaido so it’s not too bad. I just hate how I end up wishing I’m as cool as Kento Yamazaki, which is very uncharacteristic of me. I am quite comfortable just being Saiko.