For his final film, Mizoguchi brought a lifetime of experience to bear on the heartbreaking tale of a brothel full of women whose dreams are constantly being shattered by the socioeconomic realities surrounding them. Set in Tokyo’s Red Light District (the literal translation of the Japanese title), Street of Shame was so cutting, and its popularity so great, that when an antiprostitution law was passed in Japan just a few months after the film’s release, some said it was a catalyst. (Criterion) Continue reading
The film traces the growth and friendship of two very different high-school ping-pong players. “Peco” Hoshino is a brash, arrogant player, determined to turn pro. He taught his quiet, nerdy childhood friend “Smile” Tsukimoto. Smile frustrates his coach and rivals, who recognize his talent for the game since it is just a game to him. To teach him, his high-school coach learns that coaching is more than just training the students to be good ping-pong players. Ironically, as Smile begins to develop his game, Peco undergoes a severe crisis after his defeat by rival players and is unable to play well until he rediscovers the original reasons why he plays ping-pong. Written by nakataohana Continue reading
Plot from allmovie by Hal Erickson
Veteran Japanese writer/director Yasujiro Ozu’s second postwar production was 1949′s Late Spring or Banshun. Chisu Ryu plays another of Ozu’s realistic middle-class types, this time a widower with a marriageable daughter. Not wishing to see the girl resign herself to spinsterhood, Ryu pretends that he himself is about to be married. The game plan is to convince the daughter that they’ll be no room for her at home, thus forcing her to seek comfort and joy elsewhere. What makes this homey little domestic episode work is the rapport between Chisu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, who plays the daughter. Late Spring is no facile Hollywood farce; we like these people, believe in them, and wish them the best. Continue reading
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin’s three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Summary written by Yocke on imdb. Continue reading
Prolific Japanese filmmaker Koji Wakamatsu’s Go, Go Second Time Virgin tells the tale of two Japanese teens brought together by sexual violence, revenge, and rebellion. A girl (Mimi Kozakura) is forcibly carried to a rooftop and gang-raped, as a boy of similar age (Michio Akiyama) stands to the side watching the events unfold. The boy remains on the roof until the next morning, waiting for the girl to wake. When she does finally rise, the two teens begin sharing intimate details about their lives, including the fact that the boy has recently killed four people that forced him to take part in an orgy. As the two kindred spirits sink lower and lower into depression and delusion, they exact revenge for the crimes against the girl and take a bold, tragic step to end their misery once and for all.
~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide Continue reading
A cult film master, Koji Wakamatsu, reveals the Japanese taboo!! Shot by 35mm film.
Various tortures have been executed in the Japanese history. Director, Koji Wakamatsu has put together a collection of these tortures to reveal its bloody history…. Continue reading
- from Variety-
A Tetsuo Group presentation of a Kaijyu Theater, Asmik Ace Entertainment production. (International sales: the Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Shinichi Kawahara, Masayuki Tanishima.
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Screenplay, Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki.
With: Erik Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto, Stephen Sarrazin, Yuko Nakamura, Tiger Charlie Gerhardt.
Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy. Continue reading