Eiga Sai season has begun and after a couple of years of trekking to Shangri-La Mall and queuing for tickets two hours before a movie airs, this year I was given an opportunity by my good friend Apa to go with her to the opening night of the film festival. It seemed serendipitous that my most awaited film, Otouto, for this season was shown that night. I made a little jump for joy when Apa reminded me of the fact.
I’ve wanted to see this film mostly because Aoi Yuu (my all-time favorite Japanese actress) is one of the main cast members alongside Kase Ryo (who is one of my biggest Japanese actor crushes) with a small but very significant role in the film. But setting their minor story line aside, Otouto is truly one of those films that deserve the two hours or so out of your time to appreciate life and its many simple moments and how these simple moments contribute to your whole life.
Apa pointed out how Japan has this ability to create beautiful films out those tiny pockets of reality. Like in Otouto, which is basically what you call your younger brother in Japan, focuses on Ginko’s relationship with her unruly younger brother, Tetsuro, who even at his old age manages to cause trouble and act in a way that is very “teenage- or child-like.” It came off as a movie about unconditional love, especially after you’ve seen the contrast in the relationship between Ginko’s daughter, Haruko, and her first husband and Ginko’s relationship with her brother.
It is a tear-jerker so tissues are a must-have if you intend to catch it while Eiga Sai is still happening.
I also wanted to share some photos from last night’s opening:
There is a Japan’s World Heritage Sites exhibit by the fountain area of Shang that will be there I believe until July 11 so if you feel like indulging your inner Japanese, you should definitely check that out.
There was also a beautiful performance last night by Mia Cabalfin and Rhosam Prudenciado, Jr. to prime us up before the premiere.
Throughout the month, they have tons of other activities that I do believe are posted on Japan Foundation’s site. One thing I’m particularly excited about is that they are airing two Makoto Shinkai films at SM Mall of Asia at the end of the month. They’ll be showing A Place Promised In Our Early Days on July 20 at 7 pm and July 21 at 2:30 pm and 5 Centimeters Per Second on July 21 at 11:30 am and 4:30 pm. I’m a Studio Ghibli girl but the visuals in Makoto Shinkai’s animations are just so breathtakingly beautiful. I’ve seen 5 Centimeters Per Seconds far too many times than I can count but I’m excited to get the chance to watch it on the big screen.