Japan

Shôhei Imamura – Kamigami no fukaki yokubô AKA Profound Desire of the Gods (1968)

Quote:
The culmination of Shôhei Imamura’s extraordinary examinations of the fringes of Japanese society throughout the 1960s, Profound Desires of the Gods [Kamigami no fukaki yokubô] was an 18-month super-production which failed to make an impression at the time of its release, but has since risen in stature to become one of the most legendary — albeit least seen — Japanese films of recent decades. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Tabi no Owari Sekai no Hajimari AKA To the Ends of the Earth (2019) (HD)

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A young Japanese woman named Yoko finds her cautious and insular nature tested when she travels to Uzbekistan to shoot the latest episode of her travel variety show. Read More »

Isao Yukisada – Kita no zeronen aka Year one in the north (2005)

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Quote:
In 1868, after the fall of the Shogun-dominated Japan, the new government orders people from Awaji, near Kobe, to re-locate to the northern part of Hokkaido. These people once supported the now displaced Samurais of the older days. After two years, over 500 of them settled in their new land under the leadership of Hideaki, husband of Shino. However, as crops fail he is to go to Sapporo to learn new techniques of farming, leaving his wife and daughter for 5 years. All this time, the new community is constantly watched by the government which choose to again uproot them from their new homes.[imdb] Read More »

Makoto Satô – Aga no kioku AKA Memories of Agano (2005)

Satō Makoto discovered documentary film when he visited Minamata (well known as the former site of an environmental disaster) as a student, and worked on Katori Naotaka’s The Innocent Sea. While touring Japan with the film, he met people who lived by the polluted Agano River in Niigata and decided to make a film about them. Living there with seven crew members for three years, Living on the River Agano was completed in 1992 and showed people who live with the river and work in agriculture and fishing, quietly probing the cruelty of nature destroyed. Ten years later, and after attending several funerals of people who appeared in the first feature, the team returned to the area. The resulting film Memories of Agano is a ghostly poem on people, fields, stories, songs and buildings receding into absence, the power of images and the strength of sound to revive the past. Read More »

Shinsuke Ogawa – Nippon-koku Furuyashiki-mura AKA Furuyashiki: A Japanese Village (1984)

Quote:
This is Ogawa Productions’ first major film from their Yamagata period. They had already started photography on Magino Village: A Tale but they were drawn to this village deep in the high country above Magino when a particularly cold bout of weather threatened crops. Inevitably, their attention strayed from the impact of weather and geography on the harvest to the “life history” of Furuyashiki Village. On the one hand, Ogawa returns to his roots by playing with the conventions of the science film. At the same time, he discovers a local, peripheral space in which to think about the nation and the state of village Japan. From this “distant perspective” in the very heart of the Japanese mountains, Ogawa discovers a village still dealing with the trauma of global warfare and struggling for survival as their children flee for the cities. Read More »

Masaki Môri – Kaidan Kagami-ga-fuchi AKA Ghost Story: Depth of Kagami AKA The Ghosts of Kagami Pond (1959)

Synopsis:
In feudal Japan, there is a famous store called Edoya. The store manager Kinbei has no doubt that he will inherit everything some day, since the owner’s family has no children. But suddenly, the owners adopt a ronin Yasujiro, and Kinbei wants to eliminate them. Kinbei kills the sister of Yasujirou’s fiancee and dumps her body in Kagami Pond. Soon a ghostly revenge is upon him… Read More »

Toshiya Fujita – Nora-neko rokku: Bôsô shûdan ’71 AKA Stray Cat Rock: Beat ’71 [+Extras] (1971)

A wealthy man frames his son’s girlfriend (Meiko Kaji) to keep them apart. She briefly goes to prison for a crime she didn’t commit before breaking out to reunite with the man she loves. Along the way she befriends a group of hippies who try to reunite her with her boyfriend. Read More »