Posts Tagged ‘ Hana and Alice ’

J-Film Thoughts & Commentary: 2001-2009 – Contemporary Masterpieces (Five-Star Films)

Contemporary Japanese cinema is a tough area to navigate.  You’ve got the idol fluff, the TV-Corporation produced C-movies, the mainstream films that are actually good, and the art-house, among others.  Here’s a list that includes my favorite films released between the years of 2001 and 2009.  It will be updated as new films are added to it, as it will be used as a reference post.  Ever wondering what you should watch next?  There’s a good chance that you’ll find something you love in every one of the following films.  Some films are graded higher because I just loved them so damn much, some are graded higher because they are just damn well-made.  In any case, this is a good list.  Hopefully you can enjoy these films as much as I have.

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Great Scenes: “Ballet Scene” from Hana and Alice

Hana and Alice (花とアリス) is a comedic teenage romance film written, directed, and edited by Iwai Shunji (he also composed the music himself).  The story revolves around two best friends: Alice, played by Aoi Yu, and Hana, played by Suzuki Anne.  Hana falls in love with a boy, so naturally she stalks him.  One day, he hits his head on a garage door while walking and reading at the same time and obviously Hana is there right behind him.  She decides to pretend like he has amnesia and state that she is his girlfriend.  Alice is soon dragged into the elaborate story as the boy’s ex-girlfriend, but she falls in love with him as well and the story goes from there.  Hana and Alice is not only a comedy, it is very touching as well–particularly when examining the family life of Alice and her relationship with her father.  The film is uniquely filmed in typical Iwai Shunji fashion, employing hand held camera work and intimate angles.  I gave it 4.5/5 stars in my review, and it is definitely a recommended watch.

This scene moved me deeply.  Video after the break. Continue reading