Japan

Kenji Mizoguchi – Zangiku monogatari AKA The Story Of Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Quote:
In Tokyo in 1888, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father’s heir, and that the troupe complains how bad he is behind his back. The only person to talk to him honestly about his acting is Otoku, the wet-nurse of his adoptive father’s child. She is fired by the family, and Kikunosuke is forbidden to see her, because of the gossip a relationship with a servant would cause. Kikunosuke falls in love with Otoku, and leaves home to try to make a living on his own merits outside Tokyo. He is eventually joined by Otoku, who encourages him to become a famous actor to regain the recognition of his family. Read More »

Toshiaki Toyoda – Kuuchuu Teien AKA Hanging Garden (2005)

Quote:
Meet the Kyobashis, a model suburban Japanese family. Or are they? In director Toshiaki Toyoda’s skillful examination of contemporary domestic malaise, a mother’s plan for the perfect family initially seems to be working, but we soon learn that her perceived perfection is a lie that each family member chooses to believe at the expense of reality. Read More »

Hiroshi Teshigahara – Otoshiana AKA Pitfall (1962)

When a miner leaves his employers and treks out with his young son to become a migrant worker, he finds himself moving from one eerie landscape to another, intermittently followed (and photographed) by an enigmatic man in a clean, white suit, and eventually coming face-to-face with his inescapable destiny. Hiroshi Teshigahara’s debut feature and first collaboration with novelist Kobo Abe, Pitfall is many things: a mysterious, unsettling ghost story, a portrait of human alienation, and a compellingly surreal critique of soulless industry, shot in elegant black and white. Read More »

Ishirô Honda – Mekagojira no gyakushu AKA Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Plot Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
A race of malevolent aliens bent on world domination unleash the ultimate weapon of destruction on mankind, leaving them with no hope for survival but the power of the mighty Godzilla. Their galaxy dying, the endangered aliens discover a planet that could save them from extinction if it wasn’t already populated. In order to solve that significant problem, the scheming extraterrestrials construct Mechagodzilla, a 400 foot destroyer of worlds armed with powerful lasers and guided missiles. As Godzilla prepares to face off against his powerful intergalactic doppelganger, the traitorous Professor Mafuni lends his genius to the aliens to create the mighty Titanosauraus. Read More »

Shirô Toyoda – Wakai hito aka Young People (1937)

Quote:
This film depicts the delicate relationship between Keiko, who was born an illegitimate child and was regarded as a problem child at the mission school, and her teacher Mazaki, who understands her, and Hashimoto, a female teacher with whom he has a close relationship. One day, Keiko becomes pregnant, and rumors spread that the partner is Mazaki… A film that gave Toyoda Shiro the opportunity to show his talent in literary works. Later, the film was adapted by Kon Ichikawa, Katsumi Nishikawa, and Keisuke Kawasaki. Read More »

Nobuo Nakagawa – Kenpei to yûrei AKA M.P. and the Ghost AKA Ghost In the Regiment (1958)

Synopsis:
Desiring another officer’s new wife, a military police lieutenant fabricates evidence of treason that consigns the innocent man to torture and a firing squad. The lieutenant rapes the wife, but is haunted by bad dreams which after he is assigned to a battalion with the victim’s brother Read More »

Toshiaki Toyoda – Nain souruzu AKA 9 Souls (2003)

Quote:
Nine convicts escape from prison; most are convicted murders. They commandeer a van from a strip club. Their plan is to find a stash of counterfeit money that a deranged cell mate told them about, divide it, then part ways. They make it to the site where the money is supposed to be hidden, and then one by one, each seeks out the place he wants to be, a version of home, somewhere to connect. Will it end well for any of them? Read More »