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Archive for 松田龍平

Toshiaki Toyoda: the slow burn

Might seem a strange choice of tagline for a director with a police record for possessing stimulants. However, fans of Toshiaki Toyoda will know exactly what I mean.

Toyoda is a director who brings to mind slow-motion, didactic scene jumps, and achingly real-time story arcs. There is no falling back on ‘Japaneseness’ to snare either native or foreign markets, no glorification of the mundane, and he restrains from that common desire of directors to make his presence known on the screen. The man knows himself, knows his work, and simply sticks to it.

Hence the slow burn, a result of complete artistic confidence. His catalog errs on the side of quality rather than quantity, with just six films since he began writing and directing his own work in 1998. Personally, I have so far only seen Aoi Haru (Blue Spring) and 9 Souls, and read fan reviews of the others.

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