In Japan in 1701, Asano, the daimyo of Ako, assaulted Kira (Rie Miyazawa), an official of the Shogunate, in Edo Castle, for which offense he was ordered to commit suicide. The following year, one of Asano’s former retainers, Kuranosuke Oishi (Ken Takakura), gathers a group of his lord’s other followers and with them plots to take vengeance on Kira, whom he holds responsible for Asano’s death. Continue reading
Ben’s wife wants some attention. Ben’s boss wants some dedication. Ben’s father wants some grandchildren. And Ben just wants a minute to sort it all out in Wayne Wang’s gentle comedy, “Eat a Bowl of Tea.” In New York’s Chinatown of the late 1940s, young Ben Loy (Russel Wong), fresh out of the service, has his whole life spread out before him — including a job, an apartment, and a marriage arranged by his father (Victor Wong) to the beautiful Mei Oi (Cora Miao). But as eager as the couple is to see what America has to offer them, that’s how eager the whole of Chinatown seems to see some first-generation U.S. offspring. And when Ben’s celebrated young marriage threatens to crumble in the face of this pressure, it’s up to him to separate his dreams from his father’s, and to find a future for himself and his wife in their new adopted homeland. Directed by Wayne Wang, “Eat a Bowl of Tea” is a charming, warm-hearted film based on the classic underground novel by Louis Chu. (from DVD jacket.) Continue reading
Hou Hsiao-hsien’s masterpiece about the childhood and early adulthood of octogenerian Taiwanese puppet master and actor Li Tien-lu. This is the second part of a trilogy about Taiwanese life in the 20th century, covering all but the first few years of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan (1895-1945). Hou’s preference for filming entire scenes in long takes from fixed camera angles and for eschewing close-ups has never been as masterfully employed and modulated as it is here–some of the landscape shots are breathtaking. The film alternates between re-created scenes from Li’s life, Li speaking directly to the camera about his past, and extracts from his puppet and stage performances, creating a layered density in the narrative that does full justice to the complexity and poetry of Hou’s investigation. Continue reading
The film is set during the mighty Tang Dynasty-period in Chinese history. Nie Yinniang returns to family after several years in exile. The mission of her order is to eliminate the tyrany of the Governors who avoid the authority of the Emperor. Now she will have to choose between sacrificing the man she loves, or break definitively with the “order of the Assassins”.
The Assassin (Chinese: 刺客聶隱娘) is a 2015 martial arts film directed by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien. A Taiwan-China-Hong Kong co-production, it was an official selection in the main competition section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Hou won the award for Best Director.It was released in China on 27 August 2015. It was selected as the Taiwanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. Continue reading
Here is the 1935/1936 original version of “An Actor’s Revenge”, which was hugely popular at that time and a high point in Kazuo Hasegawa’s career. In fact, he even chose to remake this film as his 300th film work, helmed by Kon Ichikawa.
The original film has 3 parts and runs 310 mins long, released. However, like most pre-1945 jidaigeki, it has been seized and re-edited by GHQ during the occupation era. And now, only this truncated version which runs only 97 mins exists. Continue reading
Two sexually energized young women who live in a high-rise apartment building happen one day to spy from their window a mother and son making love in the apartment across from theirs. They decide to stage a rescue attempt to free him and in the process one of the young women ends up falling in love with the son despite having a boyfriend and enjoying sex with her female companion. Of course, the mother they are warring against has her own plans when she feels her privacy invaded. [imdb] Continue reading
Koreyoshi Kurahara’s ingeniously plotted, pocket-sized noir concerns the intertwining fates of a desperate bank manager, blackmailed for book-cooking, and his resentful but timid underling, passed over for a promotion. Elegantly stripped-down and carefully paced, Intimidation (Aru kyouhaku) is a moody early film from one of the Japanese New Wave’s preeminent stylists. Continue reading