Shinsedai 2010 Review: Kakera: A Piece of Our Life

Director: Momoko Ando
Writer: Momoko Ando, from the manga Love Vibes by Erika Sakurazawa
Producers: Sakura Momoyama, Keiko Watanabe
Starring: Hikari Mitsushima, Eriko Nakamura, Ken Mitsuishi, Tasuku Nagaoka, Rino Katase
Running time: 107 min.

Haru (Hikari Mitsushima), the character at the centre of Kakera: A Piece of Our Life, is a charming creature who swiftly engraves herself in viewers’ memories with her big eyes, frequently dazed expression and a fat grey scarf that envelops her head. She is unfortunately trapped in a relationship with a boorish boyfriend who only ever meets with her just to have sex. But one day in a café, she meets Riko (Eriko Nakamura), who introduces herself by dabbing away a layer of cocoa from Haru’s lip. She openly states that she is intrigued by Haru and leaves her phone number along with a charming little sketched drawing, thus beginning an affectionate yet sometimes challenging relationship.

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Community and Contrarianism: Almost 3 Years of Row Three


So, we do not actually turn three until some time in October, but there is no time like the present for a little bit of back-clapping, narcissism and nostalgia! Here we offer the Row Three Posts that generated the largest number of comments, for one reason or another. Click the links and re-live the great digital water-cooler and film forum on offer. We are glad you keep coming back and bring all the feist and fury (and wit and knowledge) to the conversation.

A little bit about the numbers. We have a plug-in on the site which feeds back the most commented posts here at Rowthree. Commenting and conversation and recommendation and elucidation are what we are all about, and it is satisfying that we more than 30 posts on the site that generated over 100 comments and almost a handful that broke the 200 comment mark

Here is the countdown:

#11. Kurt’s Review of Shutter Island – From continuity errors to psychiatric patient weaponization, to the sweet final piece of dialogue in Martin Scorsese’s sharp genre film – yes, we pretty much cover it all in the comments section. (139)
#10. Kurt’s Transformers 2 Challenge – When an archival audio snippet of how much Kurt hated Transformers 1 is posted on the eve of Transformers 2 things get ugly. (160)
#9. Kurt’s Inglourious Basterds Review – For the Love of Cinema, we talk a lot of Basterds! (166)
#8. Andrew picks The Five Films That SHOULD Have Been Nominated for Best Picture Oscars in 2008 – “I Am Your Sensei And if You Do not Agree I will interrupt you!” It’s a cornucopia of come-uppance in there, but we do go to the old standby – The Lady In The Water Debate. Michael Haneke, WallE, Bergman vs. Antonioni, Speedracer and Norwegian Black Metal makes for one of the more tangential comment treads of the site (and that is saying something!) (166)
#7. Cinecast #118 – In Fabulous 2D! – Lots of debate on Observe and Report. (174)
#6. Kurt’s Review of The Wrestler – Wherein Gamble brings up the whole ‘contrived and manipulated’ argument against the picture and once that gauntlet is thrown down, things drift to the WWE and There Will Be Blood and the whole high art / low art debate ensues. Let it not be said that the comments section does not have range. (190)
#5. Cinecast #114 – The “Major League” Solution – Matt Gamble joins the cinecast as a regular and oh, boy – so many things in the comment section, Our rambling Watchmen review, but also a lot of love/hate for Dear Zachary and Behind The Mask and Time Crimes and even The Staircase. (213)
#4. Brave New Worldview – 30 Science Fiction Films of the 21st Century Bringing out fans of hard science fiction, fanboys of all stripes and sizes, and a lot of StumbleUpon folks that had trouble reading the title yet commented anyway. Some savvy folks chime in with a few more obscure titles too. (218)
#3. Rot’s Collapse Review Wherein the Rowthree community takes sides in calling Rot a conspiracy obsessive, or a passionate follow-up guy. (260)
#2. David’s Avatar Review – Wherein Spectacle vs. Originality is the starting point, and the merits of Kung Fu Fighting as a soundtrack is brought up (again) along with the ever popular 3D debate. The chaser: Alfred Hitchcock’s vs. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho (seriously.) (336)
#1. Rot Rewatches and Reconsiders Paul Haggis’s Crash – Oh boy. All bets are off folks, it is flat out war in there. (375)

Bookmarks for Early August

  • “The film we had imagined”, or: Anna and Jean-Luc Go To the Movies
    An exploration of the trope of fllmgoing within films, centering on the Passion de Jeanne d’Arc quotation in Vivre sa vie. “In this case, Nana’s response to Jeanne’s tears is, of course, tears of her own [...] But this sequence also has other curious and sympathetic qualities. [...] The off-centre, often literally decapitating framing that characterises passages of Dreyer’s film, is also paralleled by Godard’s. This suggests that we can read this sequence as both homage and an act of identification by the director. [...] These are a series of connections and possibilities that deepen if one has an intimate knowledge of Godard’s cinema and Dreyer’s film. So the quotation of this particular mode of framing refers to other moments in Dreyer’s film and, specifically, the points it makes about Jeanne’s existential and spatial – she is separated, out of place, often framed alone – plight.”
  • Put Julia Roberts On Hold: Seven Big-Name Movies That Have Yet to Reach Theaters or DVD
    Plenty of films don’t ever see a theatrical release, but it’s rare in this day and age for something not even get released on home video in the U.S., especially if it stars Julia Roberts or Jim Carrey. With issues both economic and otherwise, there’s a growing collection of films gathering dust
  • The Nic Cage Factor
    Cage’s oddly unhinged energy and cadence made most of his early film appearances in the mid- to late ’80s unforgettable. But instead of sticking to modest or interesting projects, Cage, after winning his Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, embraced an action star future with Con Air, and since then his work has been patchy at best. Here are his 5 best reviewed films, 5 most underrated and 5 worst.
  • Arts and Leisure Preview – ‘Inception’ Criticism Raises Questions for Critics
    A.O. Scott takes a step back and looks at the frenzied reaction and re-reaction to Inception in the days before (!) its release. A bit of a commentary on the insane speed of reactionaryness in internet-culture criticism.
  • Top 10 Movies That Mess with Your Mind
    With Inception out there gnawing away at everyone’s conscious (and possibly subconscious), TIME magazine has put together a list of film that are sometimes tough to wrap your head around. From Last Year at Marienbad to pi, here are ten films that will mess with your head.
  • Interview: Filmmaker Vincenzo Natali |
    The Canadian director of “Splice” talks about the origin of his story, science, what scared him as a kid and his next project, the much anticipated adaptation of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”
  • Creepshow 2 is Better than the Original
    A simple case of wrong. But worth a look just to comment with the correct answer.


You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:

Shorts Program: “Jammin’ the Blues” (1944)

I hesitated between posting this here or over at MorePop, but I decided, what the heck, it’s a short film, even if it is all music. Released in 1944, it’s a jazz jam session with Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Sid Catlett, Barney Kessel, Jo Jones, John Simmons, Illinois Jacquet, Marie Bryant, Archie Savage and Garland Finney, and it’s things like this that remind me how much I like jazz and how I need to listen to it more. It’s also well-done as a film, interestingly shot and edited despite its limited focus. Apparently the Academy agrees with me; it was nominated for best one-reel short subject that year. But it’s the music that remains.

Found via Looker.

I’m Still Here (Are you Still Interested?)

Many of you will recall the shenanigans of Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck (well mostly Phoenix while Affleck captured it on camera) in the public sphere. Most people called it as some sort of Borat-like stunt-project, and most people were right. Now that we are at the point where things are comfortably in post-production, witness the one-sheet above, is there still an interest in this project or merely exhaustion to this sort of filmmaking. Or are you waiting for a trailer or sample of finished film to make a judgment call. It remains unlikely that this film, I’m Still Here, (despite a lot of blog coverage) will see anything beyond a festival followed by DVD release. But Magnolia (Who picked up the film earlier this year) has often been kind to out-of-the-box releasing, so I could be wrong.

Cinecast Episode 177 – Veneer of Terrible

Without the Gamble here to grace us with the newest multi-plex fare and zero interest in anything going on theatrically, Kurt and Andrew got together over a couple of virtual beers and looked at Agora once again with new vigor. There were also some recent DVD screenings to discuss including Kurt’s swan dive into season one of another popular TV show, “Breaking Bad”, and Andrew’s slight reassessment of Rian Johnson’s Brick. And finally(!) the store shelves are seeing a nice selection of newly released movies on video this week including a healthy dose of Blu-ray re-releases which provide enough fodder for a longer than normal walkabout through the weekly DVD picks. All these things and a few nuggets more – hopefully you’re into the whole brevity thing as we are able to keep it under an hour and a half.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader or right click the link and “save as…”:

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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“Here Lies Poop Face” Oregon Trail: The Movie

This is quite possibly the greatest piece of news of all time. The Oregon Trail is coming to the big screen! With an epic cast, loads of adventure and adapted from one of the most beloved franchises of all time, I can’t wait to see how they caulk the wagon and float across (plus I actually got to add the word “dysentery” as of the post tags for this article!). If you don’t see the greatness in this trailer, please just rest for four days and keep moving.

thanks to topless robot for the heads up!


More Amazing than the Time Michael Jackson Came Over to My House to Use the Bathroom

Behold! November 2nd will see a completely awesome ultimate collector’s pack of The Goonies for it’s 25th Anniversary.

• A full board game
• A souvenir mag from 1985
• A new Empire mag with set photos and an update on the cast
• Storyboards
• Commentary by director Richard Donner and all seven main castmembers
• The special packaging you see above

One of my favorite childhood movies returns with a 1080p, VC-1 encoded transfer and 5.1 TrueHD Dolby Surround. Chunk doing the truffle shuffle in my living room will never have looked and sounded so grand. Hopefully they’ll reinsert the long lost octopus scene.

This also gets my hopes up for some sort of reunion sequel. That may not sound like the best idea, but if placed properly in th right hands, something interesting might emerge from that.

Okay, now input some of your favorite Goonies quotes below…