Sunday, May 30, 2010

Silver Screen and a pack of Pocky,anybody?

June is around the corner and so is the 7th Japanese Film Festival 2010! Taking place from the 17th to the 21st of June at GSC Mid Valley and GSC 1 Utama and from the 25th to the 27th June 2010 at GSC Gurney Plaza, Golden Screen Cinemas has selected a series of 8 movies to be screened this year. To celebrate for the 7th anniversary of this film festival, "Dear Doctor" starring Shofukutei Tsurube and Eita is chosen to be the opening film.

Here are the list of films that are participating for this festival. (Source: JFKL)

"Dear Doctor"(2009)

【Cast】SHOFUKUTEI Tsurube, Eita, YO Kimiko, YACHIGUSA Kaoru
A young doctor, a recent graduate of a Tokyo medical school is assigned as an intern to a small mountain village. Tidy rice paddies layer the mountainside and there’s not a store in sight. It is a typically under-populated village with a majority of elderly villagers. There, he encounters Ino, a veteran doctor who is awfully friendly.

“Dog in a Sidecar”(2007)

【Dir】NEGISHI Kichitaro
Kaoru looks back on her summer holidays in her 4th year at school 20 years ago. During the holidays, her mother suddenly left home. Instead, Yoko-san appeared. She is bold, easy-going, not bothered by details and jauntily drives a German-made Road Racer. Shy and introvert Kaoru is gradually attracted to Yoko whose character is completely opposite to hers.

“Feel the Wind”(2009)

【Dir】Omori Sumio
【Cast】KOIDE Keisuke, HAYASHI Kento, NAKAMURA Yuichi
Anyone would agree, that the challenge they undertook was impossible. Haiji was an elite runner until his fateful injury. He encounters Kakeru, a gifted runner who got kicked out from the track team after a trouble with his high school coach. Haiji immediately feels that Kakeru is the runner that will make his dream come true.

“NORIBEN ~the Recipe of Fortune~ ”(2009)

【Dir】OGATA Akira
【Cast】KONISHI Manami, OKADA Yoshinori, MURAKAMI Jun
Komaki leaves her good-for-nothing husband and takes her daughter back to live with her mother at the home that she was raised in. She doesn’t want to become a burden to her mother, so looks for a job. But there are few employment opportunities for an over-30 single mother with no qualifications and no experience. The only thing she is good at is making lunch box.

“One Million Yen Girl”(2008)

【Dir】TANADA Yuki
【Cast】AOI Yu, MORIYAMA Mirai, Pierre TAKI
Suzuko graduates from a college, but without any skills to speak of, she becomes a job-hopping part-timer. Then she gets convicted for a trivial incident and neighbors and her family treat her as a nuisance. Suzuko decides to save up one million yen to leave for somewhere where no one knows her, and then to move onto another town with another one million yen saved up.

“THE SUMMIT: A Chronicle of Stones”(2009)

【Dir】KIMURA Daisaku
【Cast】ASANO Tadanobu, KAGAWA Teruyuki, MATSUDA Ryuhei
The year is 1907. Shibasaki, renowned for his skills as a surveyor, is suddenly called to General Staff Headquarters, where he receives orders to conquer Mt. Tsurugidake, the last uncharted region of Japan. The mountain stands 2,999m above sea level and sometimes referred as “needle mountain” or “mountain of death” for its inaccessibility.

“YAMAZAKURA – The Cherry Tree in the Hills”(2007)

In the late Edo period, Noe has lost her first husband and under advisement, has married into the Isomura family. However, Noe is unable to adapt to the family traditions, making her everyday life miserable. One day, on the way home from visiting her aunt’s grave, she encounters a samurai under a wild cherry tree. The man cuts off a branch of the tree for her.

“5 Centimeters per Second” (2007)

【Dir】SHINKAI Makoto
【Cast】MIZUHASHI Kenji, KONDO Yoshimi, HANAMURA Satomi
Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari had been apart since they left elementary school, however, they kept in touch by exchanging letters as they had feelings for each other. One day in winter, Takaki left Tokyo and set off for Tochigi where Akari lives. The train is delayed by heavy snow and he is alone in his carriage, as the time ticks away.


I've just IMDB-ed the movies and so wanna watch all of these movies! Every movies sounds so interesting, especially "Dear Doctor". Besides that, the cast for the movies listed above are really strong. I'm really curious to see Higashiyama san in a Jidaigeki (period drama) and Takeuchi Yuko, she's one of my favorite actress. There is also Kagawa Teruyuki who did an awesome job in Kaiji, Konishi Manami, Aoi Yu Okada Junichi's ex girlfriend, Koide Koisuke of Gokusen 2, and also Eita who is doing really well with his acting career these days.

Tickets cost only RM5! Twice cheaper than your usual movie ticket. Looks like it's time to stock up some Japanese snacks and head to the cinema soon!

For more information, visit JFKL's event page here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good day, nama saya ialah Nishio, Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!

Long brown hair with a smile as bright as the sun, Nishio Akiko is always passionate about meeting new people and learning more about other’s culture. This hot blooded teacher, probably even hotter than Malaysia’s weather, has just recently embraced her 10th year of teaching career in Malaysia.

Physically, she appeared to be Japanese. Her love for beer is like any other Japanese. What makes her different from any other Japanese is “I am 70% Malaysian, “claimed Nishio sensei.

Always dreaming to be a Japanese teacher in a foreign country, Nishio sensei came across a vacancy notice on Japanese schools out of Japan. China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong… and finally, she chose Malaysia as her stepping stone. “Because it is the furthest of all,”said Nishio sensei. It was not a rebellious thought, wanting to stay away from her family or whatsoever. However, the ever adventurous teacher thought that it would be interesting to get out from her comfort zone.

Having Japanese as her only spoken language, she had a hard time getting used to the Malaysian life. Communication was indeed a big problem, but she did not let it get into her way. Five years of hard work paid off when she set up her very own ‘A to Z Language Centre’, a language centre which teaches Japanese by using English. Furthermore, A to Z offers not only Japanese language but also English and Mandarin classes.

Besides that, her effort in learning the Malay language was put on a test when she was given a chance to teach Malay boatmen of Kuala Selangor Japanese two years ago. She brought back a report card with an A+ grade.

Teaching on boats with life jackets on was definitely not an experience many teachers had. Nishio sensei was really moved by the boatmen who worked really hard in learning Japanese, hoping to provide better services to Japanese tourist who came to see the fireflies at Kuala Selangor. She indeed cherished the moments spent with the boatmen as they are in the same tune in “wanting to provide happiness to others as much as possible.

Intimidated by Nishio sensei’s loud voice at first, student, Ivy Chong, soon found the friendly side of Nishio sensei. “I was really nervous when I found out that the principal (Nishio sensei) will be teaching my class.” Ivy admitted. She remembered how tense she was whenever she was talking to her teacher. But now, everything is fine and “next time I’ll ask her where she got her nails done.”

What keeps the ever energetic teaching running is her long term goal. “I hope that my students will be more interested in things related to Japan,” said Nishio sensei passionately. She also hoped that the teachers and staff of A to Z will feel proud by being apart of the school. “I want to build a school like that, and I will build it.”
A decade of teaching in Malaysia…Of course she did not only see her students grow and succeed. Nishio sensei, from someone who does not know how to drive, speaking only a single language and only have a couple of friends underwent a total change.

Now, a managing director of a language center, a guest columnist for ‘Durian Navi’, a Malaysian based Japanese print magazine, owned a car and able to mobile around without a map, with a whole lot of friends to hang out with and not forgetting to be able to converse in English, Malay and also Mandarin way more fluent than any average Malaysians. Nishio sensei’s key to the person who she is today lies within her motto, “Must always improve, even if it takes time.”

(*in the Malay language “nama saya ialah” means my name is)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Where to?

Bought a new pair of sandals from Jaspal this afternoon. I wonder what road is ahead for this pair of sandals. Where will it lead me to?

Sorry for the blogging blackout. Will be back in action soon, real soon!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Soldier down, soldier down

One thing I dislike about being an art student is our assignment comes together in a bundle. When you're free, you're super free. When deadline comes, suddenly everyone's qualified to be a cosmetic tester, especially for dark eye circles or eye bags related cosmetic products.

Monday night before going to bed, I was scheduling my Tuesday plan and suddenly I realize that I'm in deep trouble. Three assignments due on the 14th of May and two more on the 21st of May and a couple more after that. And what I did last Saturday night? Trying to be experimental and edited a time lapse video. Oh God, what's wrong with me? Suddenly major assignments just hit me like a bullet, straight through my heart. I panicked a little and starts typing like crazy for the next 2 days and progressed a little. Phew.

Anyway, I won't be updating my blog lately and I'm sorry if I've not replied your comments yet. Will look into that soon when I'm done with a couple more assignments. In the mean time, to all readers of The Rene Report,

Keep on smiling =)