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
“Throw away your books, Go out into the streets!” is Terayama’s adaptation of Terayma’s eponymous book and play. This actually is his first full-length film as a director after shooting a few shorts experimental footage, and writing scenarios for other directors as Hani Susumu (Nanami Inferno of first love 1968) or Shinoda Masahiro (Buraikan 1970). Basically the story is about a teen in Japan, who plays soccer and deals with his highly dysfunctional family. His grandma is senile, his sister loves her pet rabbit to the point of sexual obsession, and his father gets him a prostitute so he can be more of a man. Out of rage our protagonist runs away and hits the street. But the main story is broken up by random short narratives of various Japanese strangers, punk like sing along and psychedelic surreal imagery. Continue reading
Billy the Kid waits tables in the Schlächtenhaus Saloon, last refuge of humanity from marauding, nihilistic gangs; co-workers include a samurai, Marx-Engels, an artist and the Tokyo telephone enquiries number made flesh. This bastion of global history and culture is duly invaded, clearing the decks for our spiritual and cultural rebirth…
Master Director Kon Ichikawa’s 1963 classic is considered by many to be one of the finest films ever made in Japan.Kasuo Hasegawa stars as Yukinojo, a talented kabuki actor who specializes in playing female roles (women were not allowed on the stage during the period of the film). But his success on the stage is but a means to an end; his true goal is to visit vengeance upon the three ruthless and powerful men who destroyed his family’s business and drove his parents to commit suicide.Yukinojo’s vengeance will be carefully scripted, and skillfully acted. But the price of admission will be high indeed. 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