Hiroshi Teshigahara – Suna no onna AKA Woman in the Dunes (1964)

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Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and educator, is in a poor seaside village collecting specimens of sand insects. As it is late in the day and as he has missed the last bus back to the city, some of the local villagers suggest that he spend the night there, they offering to find him a place to stay. That place is the home of a young woman, whose house is located at the bottom of a sand pit accessible only by ladder. He later learns that the woman’s husband and child died in a sandstorm, their undiscovered bodies buried somewhere near the house. The next morning as he tries to leave, he finds that the ladder is gone – he realizing that the ladder he climbed down was a rope ladder which is anchored above the pit – meaning that he is trapped with the young woman as the walls of the pit are sand with no grip. He also realizes that this entrapment was the villagers and the young woman’s plan for him to stay there permanently to be her helper in the never-ending task of digging out the sand, which if not done will swallow them alive. Continue reading

Masato Ishioka – Scoutman (2000)

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This is an intense, romantic, deeply human, dramatic, realistic and surprising film about the japanese AV industry, and about the feelings of a very young couple.

[Source: Japan times]

“You oughta be in show business, baby!” That’s been a pickup line of “producers” since the days of D.W. Griffith, though in Japan today the pick-up artists are likely to be young men with stylishly coiffed, tea-colored hair, tanned pretty-boy faces and dressed in dark designer mufti. They prowl places like Shibuya, Harajuku and Ikebukuro, hitting on one woman after another with a coaxing, teasing, wheedling urgency.
The men are usually selling, not themselves, but an arubaito in the AV industry, with “AV” standing for “audiovisual,” but meaning porn. Called “scout men,” they are the subject of “Pain,” an excellent new film by Masato Ishioka, a veteran porn director himself, who spent two years researching his subjects. Though weathering serial rejections that would wither the average male ego to the size of a quark, the scout men at first shied away from Ishioka. “They didn’t take me seriously,” he told me after a screening. “It took a long time to win their confidence.” Continue reading

Masahiro Shinoda – Himiko (1974) (HD)

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An imagined life of the prehistoric Japanese Queen Himiko, based loosely on a few mentions in Chinese chronicles. Himiko is presented as the head priestess of the Sun Goddess cult and a spirit medium. This cult later was used by the Japanese Imperial family as their claim to rule. Himiko is made queen when the king is killed, but lets the men around her rule. She is then deposed and killed because she lusts after her half-brother, who is more interested in Adahime, who supports the Earth Goddess. Continue reading

Sabu AKA Hiroyuki Tanaka – Miss Zombie (2013)

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A doctor and his family receive an unexpected delivery from an old friend at their remote country home – a large wooden crate containing a gun, a female zombie and an instruction sheet telling them not to feed her meat. The family is concerned, of course, but she seems harmless enough. Perhaps she can help clean up outside?

Welcome to the unusual world of MISS ZOMBIE, a world in which the zombie virus is clearly a well-known phenomenon and in which more docile sufferers are bought and sold to hobbyists or those looking for cheap labor. It’s a practice not without controversy – the neighborsaren’t thrilled about the newly arrived undead – but she’s quiet, requires little supervision and is an immediate hit with the family’s young son. Continue reading

Yôji Yamada – Chiisai ouchi AKA The Little House (2014)

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Synopsis:

Takeshi finds several notebooks by his late aunt Taki Nunomiya, who never married. Through the notebooks Takeshi learns of his aunt’s life.
Prior to World War II, in a little house with a red triangular roof in Tokyo, Taki works as a housemaid. The family that lives in the little house consists of 3 members: the husband who works at a toy company, his beautiful wife Tokiko and their five year old son Kyoichi. Taki longs for her employer Tokiko. The husband then hires a young art school graduate named Shoji Itakura. Tokiko and Taki are both excited by the man’s artistic talents. Meanwhile, the war situation deteriorates as well as the relationships in the little house. Continue reading

Tomu Uchida – Kiga kaikyo aka The Straight of Hunger (1965)

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A very complete article about Tomu Uchida :
Here some words coming from it and about this particular film :
“Straits of Hunger is a definite attempt on his part to essay the modernist style and subject matter then being mined by such as Imamura (whose work in my opinion it surpasses). By this time Uchida worked invariably in colour; for this film only, the grainy look of ’60s black and white ‘Scope was aped and intensified by the decision to shoot on 16mm before blowing up to 35. The film is the story of a criminal, Inukai, who escapes justice after a theft which caused the destruction of a Hokkaido town. A brief encounter with a prostitute leads her to become romantically obsessed with him; years later, seeing his photograph in the newspaper, she goes to look for him, only to be killed by him when she threatens to betray his now hidden past. The narrative construction is masterly. The film is divided into three segments, each of different timbre: the first, an action-packed account of Inukai’s flight; the second, a bleak and realistic study of the life in Tokyo of the lovelorn prostitute; the third, an account of the psychological duel between cop and criminal. The drama moves, with geographical symmetry, from the strait dividing Hokkaido from Japan’s main island of Honshu, through northern Honshu to Tokyo, then northward again to conclude at the strait. The symmetry gives the film a sense of inevitability, as the past exerts a controlling influence on the present. Continue reading