Toshiya Fujita – Shurayukihime aka Lady Snowblood (1973)

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Quote:
Out of all the films director Quentin Tarantino pays homage to in his interpretation of the revenge flick, “Kill Bill”, the 1973 classic film “Lady Snowblood” takes credit for probably being the most influential to him. And rightly so; “Lady Snowblood” is one of the most original revenge films ever, particularly because of the protagonist who deals out the vengeance is not a man…but a woman. Based on a manga written by Kazuo Koike, who also created the “Lone Wolf and Cub” and “Crying Freeman” manga series, “Lady Snowblood” is one of the best revenge films I’ve seen. Continue reading

Yasujirô Ozu – Tôkyô boshokuAKA Tokyo Twilight (1957)

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Synopsis:

Two sisters live with their father. The younger sister is embroiled in an affair and becomes pregnant. The elder sister has run away from her husband and returned with her child to her parent’s home. Both sisters are astonished when their mother, long thought dead, turns up alive. The sisters are even more stunned when they learn what their mother’s life has been. Continue reading

Masaru Konuma – Tsuma-tachi no seitaiken: Otto no me no maede, ima… AKA Wife’s Sexual Fantasy Before Husband’s Eyes (1980)

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I just love Japanese pinku eiga:the genre filled with rape,misogyny and erotic submission. Masaru Konuma is among the most prominent directors of Japanese erotic cinema.”Wife’s Sexual Fantasy:Before Husband’s Eyes” tells the story of a noble businessman who has a sexual affair with a prostitute. Some thugs are trying to blackmail him by framing him for the murder of his mistress and making him agree to pay a large sum of money. They viciously rape his sexy wife too. Of course the woman becomes sexually aroused by the act of rape… Another piece of utter sleaze made by Masaru Konuma. Plenty of sex,two gang-rape scenes and lots of filthy talk-what more can you ask for? However the overall tone of the film is pretty light in comparison to many other nihilistic pinku eiga films. (HumanoidOfFlesh for IMDb) Continue reading

Momoko Andô – 0.5 miri AKA 0.5 mm (2014)

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From japansociety.org
Sawa, a home helper for a middle class family with an elderly infirm grandfather, is forced to stretch her morals to keep her job. As a result, she finds herself broke and out on the street. She survives her first night by striking up an ambiguous friendship with a kindly old man, gaining access to a portion of the immense wealth held by Japan’s aging population. She continues with similar encounters, and while these begin as scams or revenge on rampant sexism, they ultimately become vulnerable intergenerational exchanges. Director Momoko Ando (Kakera: A Piece of Our Life, 2009) masterfully crafts this journey through Japan’s embattled sexual landscape, confronting aging, class and patriarchy. Adapted from the director’s first novel, 0.5mm features Sakura Ando (the director’s sister), who charges each scene with as much humanity as its impeccably photographed frames can handle. This is a dark and profound comedy of the best sort. Continue reading

Naomi Kawase – An AKA Sweet Bean (2015)

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It is easy to forget what a breath of fresh air Kawase Naomi once seemed within Japanese filmmaking circles when she first emerged, aged just 18, at the turn of the 1990s with a series of highly personal Super 8 diaries and experimental films. The subsequent international recognition for her Caméra d’Or-winning feature debut Suzaku (1997) trailblazed a path for a new generation of women directors, such as Nishikawa Miwa and Tanada Yuki, who have since established successful commercial careers, slowly eroding the long-entrenched gender imbalance within the industry. Continue reading

Yûji Makiguchi – Onna gokumon-chô: Hikisakareta nisô AKA Nuns That Bite AKA Torn Priestess (1977)

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Synopsis:
By Yûji ‘Shogun’s Sadism’ Makiguchi. Another medieval tale of barbarism amidst civilized Japan. A girl urinates right in front of two horny travelling strangers in the forest and is surprised and shocked when they suddenly attack and rape her. She runs and finds herself in one of the millions of convents populated by heroin-smoking, man-hating, cannibalistic, cult, lesbian nuns that we know so well. Any man who falls in their clutches gets the brutal treatment, and is then eaten by a mad cannibal. This super-intelligent girl is then not so sure she likes this new arrangement any better. Continue reading