Kô Nakahira – Getsuyôbi no Yuka AKA Only On Mondays (1964)

Directed by Ko Nakahira. With Mariko Kaga, Akira Nakao, Takeshi Kato. Yuka is a “good-time girl” from Yokohama who is persuaded by her papa to sleep with a foreign business executive so that he can close an important deal. Nakahira presents a shrewdly observed portrait of a modern, sexually assertive woman—an unsettling character for a changing but still patriarchal society. 93 min. – MoMA note: this film played under the title of Monday Girl for the MoMA’s Japanese film retrospective in 2005 Read More »

Hideo Nakata – Kaidan (2007)

KAIDAN-Ghost Story (2007) is a breath of fresh air in the genre of J-horror; the film is a homage to classic romantic ghost stories. The film is directed by Hideo Nakata, the same director responsible for Ringu and Dark Water. Forget cursed objects, haunted technology and long-haired ghosts, the film like Kobayashi’s 1960`s classic “Kwaidan” is a welcome change for those viewers very familiar with modern J-horror such as Ju-On;Ringu and Kairo Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Sengoku burai AKA Sword For Hire (1952)

Set in the civil wars of the 1570s, the film follows three samurai, Hayate, Jurata, and Yakeiji after the fall of their castle. Jurata escapes by pretending to be Hayate and escorting Hayate’s love Kano to safety, while the other two survive the fighting despite their wounds. Yakeiji becomes the leader of a bandit group while Hayate is saved by Oryo, the daughter of the leader of a different set of bandits. Jurata falls in love with Kano, but she leaves him to search for Hayate, just missing him several times, and Oryo also falls in love with Hayate and tries to track him down after she believes he killed her father. Numerous changes of sides, adventures, and confrontations follow for all. Read More »

Kwon-taek Im – Chunhyangdyun (2000)

Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams. Chunhyang, being the daughter of a courtesan, is also legally a courtesan. She is beaten and imprisoned when she refuses to obey the new Governor Byun, as she wishes to be faithful to her husband. After three years, Mongryong passes his exam and becomes an emissary to the King. He returns to Namwon, disguised as a beggar, just before Chunhyang is to be flogged to death at the governor’s birthday celebration. Read More »

Patrick Leung – Sip si 32 dou aka Beyond Hypothermia (1996)

In the ’80s and early ’90s, Hong Kong’s star-rich cinema was one of the most fascinating, fully evolved of national cinemas. Orgiastic violence and radical shifts from humor to romance to tragedy coexisted easily with themes of loyalty and humility in narratively rich films. Drawing equally from western and eastern models, these works spanned every genre, from classic ghost stories (Mr. Vampire) and historical epics (Once Upon a Time in China) to low-brow comedies (Wheels on Meals) and blood-drenched gangster movies (practically anything by Woo or Ringo Lam). Read More »

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Nerawareta gakuen AKA School in the Crosshairs (1981)

Based on the juvenile sci-fi novel by Taku Mayumura. An ordinary high school girl finds that she has ESP power.
Merit Health Enacted (Pharmacist pill Bo-decorated) with a special Super Power, it will not only arbitrary mobile objects, but also to foresee the future! Day, a mysterious well-to-school suddenly, strangely, the whole school students are attracted to her! Read More »

Koji Hashimoto & Sakyo Komatsu – Sayônara, Jûpetâ AKA Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984)

wikipedia says:
“Sayonara Jupiter (さよならジュピター Sayonara Jiupitā?, English release: Bye Bye Jupiter) is a 1984 Japanese science fiction film directed by Koji Hashimoto and produced by Toho. The script was adapted by pioneering science-fiction author Sakyo Komatsu from his novel Sayonara Jupiter (1982). The special effects were directed by Koichi Kawakita. Cast with an unusual mix of actors speaking English, French and Japanese, the film was conceived by the struggling Toho film empire as a rival to the forthcoming box office blockbuster hit 2010. The two films bear comparison of plot elements. This was actor Akihiko Hirata’s final film role. He was set to star in The Return of Godzilla (1984), but died of throat cancer before he was cast. In one scene, Captain Hoger Kinn watches Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, which featured a much younger Akihiko Hirata. Read More »