Tag Archives: Okuribito

“Okuribito/Departures” to open Eiga Sai 2011

One of my most favorite Japanese movies (and one that made me cry) “Departures” will open the 2011 Eiga Sai – Japanese Film Festival , in celebration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month.

Departures is a 2009 Oscar-winning movie directed by Yojiro Takita. It tells the story of Daigo Kobayashi, a cellist who played in an orchestra in Tokyo who lost his job, and went on to answer an add for someone who will “assist departures”. Daigo goes on to find that the job is actually someone who prepares the dead.

The story is very poignant and heart-tugging, without the usual melodramatic drivel usually present in most Asian films. The simplicity yet beauty of the movie has earned it a host of recognitions worldwide, including the Best Foreign Language Film during the 2009 Oscars; the Best Actor Award for Masahiro Motoki during the 3rd Asian Film Awards, and then went on to cop most of the awards during the 32nd Japan Academy Prize.

Seriously, I am quite frustrated with my lack of contacts from Japan Foundation Manila or the Japanese Embassy in Manila since I really wanted to attend this year’s opening of the Eigqa Sai. Hopefully, someone will take pity of me and send me tickets to the Eiga Sai opening on 01 July.

To see film screening schedules, go here


Hollywood plans to remake “Okuribito”

Trust Hollywood to ruin good Asian movies — they butchered My Sassy Girl, they butchered Il Mare, “Shutter” was a downer and now they sight their sights on “Okuribito” (Departures) the Oscar-winning movie of 2008 (Best Foreign Film).

“Okuribito” tells that tale of the men (and women) involved in the traditional undertaking business in Japan. Unlike in the West where they prepare the body for the final viewing, the traditional morticians of Japan shows a moving step-by-step process on preparing the body of the departed for its final journey.

I really do hope to God that the machinations of the uber-powerful Hollywood will not butcher this movie. As someone who watched it (and cried and laughed with the characters of the film), I will simply be devastated when Hollywood messes this up again.

Do tell me–why does Hollywood insist on making Asian remakes? Are they running out of stories?

Tokyo Hive