Japan

Masaaki Yuasa – Kimi to, nami ni noretara AKA Ride your Wave (2019) (HD)

A surfer and firefighter meet and fall in love. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Taketori monogatari AKA Princess from the Moon (1987)

The old Japanese folktale of the Bamboo Cutter is here reinterpreted to make Kaguya an alien visitor. Sticking fairly closely to the original 9th century tale of a bamboo cutter finding a mysterious baby girl, this film puts a modern spin onto it by turning the beautiful visitor from the moon into an alien entity lost from a crashed spaceship. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Hi no tori AKA Firebird: Daybreak Chapter (1978)

This extraordinarily complex film is not only a send-up of every samurai film ever made, it is also an extrapolation of the value of life. The Yamatai, represented by Prince Susano-O and elderly advisor Sumuke, hire Yumihiko of Matsuro to hunt the phoenix so that Queen Himiko, sister of Susano-O can have eternal life. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Kagi AKA Odd Obsession (1959)

Winner of Cannes’ Special Jury Prize, Odd Obsession is one of acclaimed director Kon Ichikawa’s (Tokyo Olympiad, The Burmese Harp) greatest works. This captivating blend of comic satire and drama follows an elderly man’s attempts to satisfy his younger wife (Machiko Kyo, Rashomon, Gate of Hell). When “potency” injections fail, Mr. Kenmochi incites his own jealousy by orchestrating an affair between his wife and his doctor, who happens to be his daughter’s fiance. The wife and doctor are eager to oblige Kenmochi, his daughter is furious, and the scheme proves both a success and a deadly disaster. With dazzling imagery, rich irony, and superb acting, Odd Obsession illuminates the ongoing battle between personal desire and societal convention. Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Danryu AKA Warm Current [+Extra] (1957)

Remake of Yoshimura Kozaburo’s 1939 film of the same title, originally adapted from a novel by Kishida Kunio. Together with scenarist Shirasaka Yoshio, Masumura re-imagines a traditional melodrama as a fast-paced comedy of manners. Includes a cameo appearance by the singer Miwa Akihiro.

The story revolves around a young man appointed to rescue a troubled hospital, and who must choose between two women, a dedicated nurse or a spoiled rich girl. Read More »

Hayao Miyazaki – Kaze no tani no Naushika AKA Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

In the far future, man has destroyed the Earth in the “Seven Days of Fire”. Now, there are small pockets of humanity that survive. One pocket is the Valley of Wind where a princess named Nausicaa tries to understand, rather than destroy the Toxic Jungle. Read More »

Kazuo Kuroki – Suri aka Pickpocket (2000)

Quote:
Kaido is a professional pickpocket who works the Tokyo subway with his young foster-daughter, Rei: She lets herself be groped while Kaido relieves the groper of his wallet. More often than not they’re observed by a middle-aged cop, who generally lets Kaido go free. Rei is unsettled when Kaido takes on a young street punk, Kazuki, as an apprentice — with instructions to make Kaido stop drinking. Kazuki, however, would like to go into business with Rei. Read More »