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Eiga Sai 2012 Entry: Tomorrow’s Joe

I can miss Cine Europa and many other international film fest in Shangri-La, but Eiga Sai (Japanese Film Festival), no. Never. Today’s plan was Virgin Labfest marathon but after learning that the tickets are sold out for all remaining shows, I  rushed to follow my good friend Grace to Shang, who’s early in line for the 4:30PM film. 

The film Tomorrow’s Joe is a story about two boxing rivals: The slum-dwelling amateur, Joe and a world class professional, Rikiishi. Powered with their strong will to destroy each other, each led different ways to make the most-awaited match happen in their boxing careers.

  • The film, as most Japanese films I’ve seen, is very unpredictable. 
  • Musical scoring is perfect. Different guitar distortions that adds excitement on every fight scene and a remarkable guitar riff every time Joe rises up from knockdown.
  • They didn’t speak of boxing as a technical sport. Identifying weight limits of featherweight and bantamweight was the hardest. 
  • Japanese films are seldom set in slum areas (this is actually the first I’ve seen) in around 1930’s or 40’s (personally identified as hinted the cameras used) That alone piqued my interest.
  • The Japanese are excellent in creating a movie character personality, not necessarily a strong one, but always interesting. Keeping the consistency  of ones character (through gestures or/and dialogues) from start to end of the film is another great thing. In this film, Joe never laughed or cried. He speaks very little and there you’ll get yourself acquainted with him. The writer must have spared him the memorizing for he needs to learn boxing. 
Disclaimer: This is my personal review-reviewhan of this film, not a critic or anything expert on film reviews. To gain myself a little credibility, let me share that I have been watching Eiga Sai since 2007 when it wasn’t even shown in malls but in a small theater in CCP (Manuel Conde Theater). 
This also serves as my invitation to you to give Eiga Sai a try. This may mean combating a bigger crowd for me but may earn me more Japanese film buddies, right? By the way, the tickets are normally distributed 30 minutes to an hour before the film starts, be there an hour ahead, believe me, you don’t want to disappoint yourself. 

  • Watch Tomorrow’s Joe full-length with English subtitle here. (If you can find all other entries from the internet, send me links please.)
  • Download the Eiga Sai 2012 flyer/schedule here.

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