by Chris MaGee
This is something that Japanese film fans have been waiting for since the turn of the year, Midnight Eye's top picks of 2008. It seems that with Jasper Sharp and Tom Mes deservedly getting more work writing and programming around the world the granddaddy of all Japanese cinema websites was updating less frequently and a few of us bloggers wondered when (or if) we would see a list for last year, but thankfully it's here and there's a lot of great films mentioned.
Of course the big critical successes are represented across the board with "Tokyo Sonata", "All Around Us", "Fine, Totally Fine" and "Departures" appearing again and again, but it's nice to see some lesser known titles popping up as well. Tom Mes continues to champion Tsuki Inoue's brilliant "A Woman Who is Beating the Earth" and Jasper Sharp gives us a wonderfully eclectic list which includes eveything from the gentle comedy of Satoshi Miki's "Adrift in Tokyo" to a documentary I am dying to see, Risa Morimoto's "Wings of Defeat" about the history of the kamikaze during WW2.
I'm really glad to see fellow blogger Catherine Munroe Hotes' list of her picks for best short animated films of 2008. I'm still anxiously awaiting her comprehensive book on the subject of experimental and underground Japanese animation, so this really whets the appetite.
Enough of me gabbing though. To read up on which 2008 films Mes, Sharp, Nicholas Rucka, Bryan Hartzheim, Rea Amit, Jason Gray, Dean Bowman and of course Cathy Munroe Hotes both picked and panned click here.