Yasujirô Ozu – Tokkan kozô AKA A Straightforward Boy (1929)

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Strictly Film School wrote:
A purely fun, entertaining, and lighthearted short film, A Straightforward Boy follows the (mis) adventures of a kidnapper (Tatsuo Saito) who, on an idyllic, sunny day (that, as the film comments, is conducive for such nefarious activities), lures a cherubic, bespectacled boy (Tomio Aoki) with toys and treats back into the hideout. However, when the mischievous and precocious boy becomes too much of a handful, the kidnapper’s attempts to get rid of him proves to be a greater challenge than the abduction itself. Continue reading Yasujirô Ozu – Tokkan kozô AKA A Straightforward Boy (1929)

Shion Sono – Anchiporuno AKA Antiporno (2016)

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Japan’s oldest major movie studio asks a batch of venerable filmmakers to revive its high-brow soft-core Roman Porno series.

Review:
Whenever you hear of the director Sion Sono, you expect a little controversy, a little surrealism and something a little extreme. And with films like Love Exposure, Suicide Club and Strange Circus to name a few, he has earned the reputation of being a maverick director. But in some of his recent work, he has gotten onto themes which are surprisingly in contrast to his earlier work. Much like in the schoolgirl horror/fantasy Tag, he delves into themes which reflect the faults in present Japanese society. And in his latest film, Anti-Porno, Sono does it again with spectacular results. As part of the five-film saga of the Roman Porno Reboot, Sono certainly makes his mark. Continue reading Shion Sono – Anchiporuno AKA Antiporno (2016)

Shion Sono – Ai no mukidashi AKA Love Exposure (2008)

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Three emotionally abused people from the fringes of society get locked in a convoluted love triangle. Yuu, a Catholic boy searching for true love ends up taking erotic photographs of women in public until he discovers Yoko, whom he sees as his Virgin Mary. Yoko, an antifamily, misandristic girl finds that her foster mother will be marrying Yuu’s father. Koike, an “original sinner”, coordinates a plan to convert Yuu’s family to her cult. Under her careful direction, their lives come crashing together in one fateful street fight. Continue reading Shion Sono – Ai no mukidashi AKA Love Exposure (2008)

Sion Sono – Koi no tsumi AKA Guilty of Romance [Extended Japanese Cut] (2011)

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A grisly murder occurs in Maruyama-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo – a love hotel district – a woman was found dead in a derelict apartment. Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) is a police officer called to investigate on this case, she will discover the story of two women who, despite appearing respectable on the outside have all manner of darkness hidden away. Continue reading Sion Sono – Koi no tsumi AKA Guilty of Romance [Extended Japanese Cut] (2011)

Akira Kurosawa – Waga seishun ni kuinashi AKA No Regrets For Our Youth (1946)

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In Akira Kurosawa’s first film after the end of World War II, future beloved Ozu regular Setsuko Hara gives an astonishing performance as Yukie, the only female protagonist in Kurosawa’s body of work and one of his strongest heroes. Transforming herself from genteel bourgeois daughter to independent social activist, Yukie traverses a tumultuous decade in Japanese history. Continue reading Akira Kurosawa – Waga seishun ni kuinashi AKA No Regrets For Our Youth (1946)