Japan

Shôhei Imamura – Buban No Kaizoku AKA The Pirates of Bubuan (1972)

Quote:
Imamura reveals remote and impoverished islands in the Philippines to be the home of rival factions of pirates in this absorbing investigation into a little-known way of life.

“In ballsy, proto-Nick Broomfield fashion, Shohei Imamura puts himself directly in the line of danger to film THE PIRATES OF BUBUAN, a startling documentary glimpse of shady activity on the Phillipine high seas in the early 1970s. As an unintended side effect of bringing a camera crew into relatively unknown territory, Imamura also captures the experiences of native islanders eking out their day-to-day lives on both the poverty line and the idyllic shoreline.” —The Cinefamily Read More »

Nobuhiro Yamashita – Linda Linda Linda (2005)

Story: A music group of girls need to learn to play a song before the school festival.

Quote:
What distinguishes Nobuhiro Yamashita’s Linda Linda Linda from the crowd is a refreshing modesty. Rather than the usual underdog struggle against the odds culminating School of Rock style in the obligatory spectacular stage show and a fat recording contract, Linda Linda Linda’s story revolves around four highschool girls for whom learning how to play a single song in time for the school festival is the ultimate challenge. Read More »

Takashi Shimizu – Tomie: Re-birth (2001)

“An art student disappears after murdering his model. Now his friends and family are being haunted by the resurrected woman, Tomie.” Read More »

Kaneto Shindô – Fukurô aka The Owl (2003)

Quote:
It is often said that comedy is the most untranslatable element from culture to culture. This is perhaps even more the case with surreal mixed genre films like this. In Shindo Kaneto’s film (his 101st!) the old sensei has given us a strange meditation on male lusts and women’s struggle for independence. It is like a play in that the action takes place almost exclusively in a small cabin in a deserted region of Western Japan. A mother and daughter are stranded in a ghost town and are starving to death. They hit on a plan to get them out of their plight which involves exploiting the few men who stray into their cabin. They offer sexual services and then bump off the happy customers. All goes well until a local cop shows up and, then, a relation of theirs from way back. Read More »

Daisuke Itô – Hangyakuji AKA The Conspirator (1961)

Synopsis:
During an era of civil wars, in the 7th year of Tenso, Yoshimoto Imagawa was overthrown by Oda Nobunaga with the help of Ieyasu Tokugawa. Ieyasu’s wife, Lady Tsukiyama, was of the ruined Imagawa clan. She was basically abandoned by Ieyasu lest his fealty with Oda Nobunaga be doubted. Ieyasu’s son, half Tokugawa & half Imagawa, was married to Oda’s first daughter Tokumine Gozen, to further assure Oda that there would be no attempt at revenge over the downfall of the Imagawa clan. Read More »

Eiji Okuda – Kyôko to Shûichi no baai AKA Case of Kyoko, Case of Shuichi (2013)

Quote:
The fifth directorial effort and the first in around six years from film director and actor Okuda Eiji. This drama, set before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake, offers a delicate depiction of a man and woman forced to leave their hometown in Miyagi Prefecture due to the ‘sins’ they have committed. Read More »

Shigehiro Ozawa – Tosei-nin retsuden AKA Yakuza’s Tale (1969)

Synopsis
A yakuza member embarks on a trail of revenge for his murdered boss. Senzo, the successor of the Mita Family, searches for the man bearing a tattoo of a dragon who is said to be responsible for the death of their former leader. – Letterboxd Read More »