Reviews, Views & Signposting to what's on your Screen - Film, TV & Web
BBC2 - Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands
Now you may or may not have noticed that I’m a little bit if a Japanophile as well as being a bit of nature nerd! So I was excited to see a new documentary series on BBC2 starting this month. The first episode was shown on Monday 8th June and there will be three episodes in the series, starting with the island of Honshu.
Highlights from the first episode had to be the ingenious eco-washing up system featuring giant carp, no washing up liquid or harsh detergents needed! We saw living animals that must have inspired some of the fantastical creatures seen in some of my favourite Anime, such as the shy Japanese Serow, a small dear like creature that made me think of the ‘Forest Spirit’ in Princess Mononoke, and who hasn’t seen a cheeky Tanuki popping up causing mischief in many Manga and Anime stories.
All in all Earth’s Enchanted Islands did not disappoint, it’s hard to capture the beauty of Japan on TV but this series looks to be an interesting nature documentary, whilst neatly blending in some snippets of Japanese culture.
Ping Pong The Animation - Taiyo Matsumoto & Masaaki Yuasa
'Ping Pong the Animation' is based on a popular Manga series about Table Tennis by Taiyō Matsumoto of Anime Tekkokinkreet. It was first released between 1996-1997 in Manga magazine - 'Big Comic Sprits', and is directed by Masaaki Yuasa of unusual Anime Tatami Galaxy. Adapted into an Anime series and produced by Tatsunoko Production, it first aired on Japanese TV between April and June 2014 and received rave reviews.
The series follows 'Smile' and 'Peco', two radically different childhood friends who compete in the world of high school Table Tennis. The series protagonist 'Smile' is a reluctant hero in this anime, coached to fulfill his potential by overcoming the usual high school psychological barriers. It's an unexpected hit, the animation style is very different but beautiful its own way and well worth a watch.
Read my full review here.
'Black Dandy' - Documentary
In March 2015 Channel Canal + France aired a 55minute documentary on the Black Dandy phenomena - a mixture of classical 50's tailoring, African prints and street wear. There's no info on whether the Documentary will be shown elsewhere, but the trailer makes me want to see it. I love tailored style, and the fusion with street style and traditional African prints makes me want to run out and change my whole wardrobe!!
'The filmmakers say that they want to pay tribute to the men who fight against the stigma that sometimes comes with being a man who pays very special attention to his appearance, his style, adding that, "The idea was to restore dignity to a global African culture and find a certain conception of independence vis-à-vis white-black codes," said Ariel Wizman.' (Taken from Shadow an Act)
See the full trailer here