Saburo and Keiko fall in love with each other but the tide of the war separates them.
It’s a scene that would be cherished and preserved in the cinema’s pantheon of moments were it known; a simple scene – a young man saying goodbye to his girl at her home. They are trying to come to terms with the fact that the fates don’t seem to want to be together. He leaves, and she goes back to the living room and moves to the window to watch him go. Snow is falling steadily. She waits for him to look back, which he does about 10 yards or so away. He starts to come back and stops in front of the window. He’s positioned lower down than her, but after longingly staring at each other, and the camera showing us each of their anguished faces in turn, he stands on tip toe to pucker up his lips to the glass. She in turn motions her head down to meet his lips. Continue reading
Plot: The police are after a mysterious bank robber who disappeared “into thin air.” Continue reading
1998 was the peak of his “Big Bang” years, in terms of the number of works released and his explosive beauty. In addition to 4 movies and a few TV dramas, he also played Hamlet with Ninagawa. Sanada-san in 1998 has a special aura that makes me chill. Among his 1998 movies, D-zaka is my top favorite, in which Sanada’s beauty and elegance are fully exploited, and I got totally glued to this erotic mystery. Continue reading
A Hitchcockian narrative and noirish atmosphere characterise this effective, taut thriller, made the same year as the director’s magnum opus, JIGOKU (Hell). Set in the present day, DEATH ROW WOMAN is at once a prison film, an innocent-man/woman-on-the-run story, a police procedural, and a family melodrama, that is equal parts Hitchcock, Samuel Fuller and Douglas Sirk. Continue reading
A care-giver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two wind up stranded in a forest where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journey. Continue reading
A married kleptomaniac (Sonoko) and a younger woman (Mitsuko) begin an unusual love affair which develops fast into a kinky sexual love triangle when Sonoko’s husband gets involved. Continue reading
In 1951 Yoshimura had approached Daiei in order to realise – again from Shindo’s script – his outstanding study of women in Kyoto’s Gion district, Clothes of Deception (Itsuwareru seiso). Once at the studio he went on to work on a number of prestige projects, such as the lavish 1951 adaptation of the Heian-era prose classic The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), commissioned by Daiei to celebrate the studio’s tenth anniversary and supervised by respected novelist Tanizaki Junichiro, who had translated Murasaki Shikibu’s original 11th-century text into modern Japanese. Yoshimura won critical acclaim, and the film became Japan’s biggest commercial hit up to that date. Continue reading