Japan

Yoshimitsu Morita – Mohou-han AKA Copycat Killer (2002)

This horrifying thriller, which stars Smap member Masahiro Nakai revolves around a lunatic killer who announces his crimes before he carries them out! All victims are killed in hideous ways, most of them being tortured before death. This nerve-wrecking shocker will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat until its startling climax! Read More »

    Kon Ichikawa – Kagi AKA The Key AKA Odd Obsession (1959) (HD)

    Winner of Cannes’ Special Jury Prize, Odd Obsession is one of acclaimed director Kon Ichikawa’s (Tokyo Olympiad, The Burmese Harp) greatest works. This captivating blend of comic satire and drama follows an elderly man’s attempts to satisfy his younger wife (Machiko Kyo, Rashomon, Gate of Hell). When “potency” injections fail, Mr. Kenmochi incites his own jealousy by orchestrating an affair between his wife and his doctor, who happens to be his daughter’s fiance. The wife and doctor are eager to oblige Kenmochi, his daughter is furious, and the scheme proves both a success and a deadly disaster. With dazzling imagery, rich irony, and superb acting, Odd Obsession illuminates the ongoing battle between personal desire and societal convention. Read More »

      Kiyoshi Nishimura – Hairpin Circus (1972)

      A retired racing champion, now a driving instructor, gets involved with the speed tribes after impulsively taking to the streets to relive his former glory. Read More »

        Shinji Sômai – Rabu hoteru AKA Love Hotel (1985)

        Quote:Looking at the title and poster art, Love Hotel may seem like just another late roman porno film by the Nikkatsu Studios. That, however, could hardly be further from the truth. The talent involved in this production alone should be a enough to make Love Hotel one of the most interesting films from Nikkatsu’s roman porno era. And, one of the best, too. Read More »

          Sogo Ishii – Totsugeki! Hakata Gurentai aka Charge! Hooligans of Hakata (1978)

          The film that put ISHII on the map, thanks to a Grand Prize at Japan’s bastion of indie cinema, the PIA Film Festival. Those who know the director mainly for his punk style films will be surprised, not to mention delighted, by this ode to 1970s yakuza movies à la Kinji FUKASAKU. A movie like a good rock band: it stars a charismatic young cast, has energy to spare, and thumps with a pace and rhythm that sweep you breathlessly along. (Tom Mes) Read More »

            Hirokazu Koreeda – Aruitemo aruitemo aka Still Walking (2008)

            Quote:
            The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore – eda’s most personal work to date. Created as a tribute to his late mother, the film depicts one day in the life of the Yokoyamas, gathered together for a commemorative ritual whose nature only gradually becomes clear. Rather than focus on big dramatic moments, Kore – eda relies on simple gestures and domestic routines (especially cooking) to evoke a family’s entire life, its deep regrets and its daily joys. Featuring vivid, heartrending performances and a gentle naturalism that harks back to the director’s earlier, documentary work, Still Walking is an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us. Read More »

              Katsuhito Ishii – Cha no aji AKA The Taste of Tea [+Extras] (2004)

              A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead working on an animated film project at home. Uncle Ayano has recently arrived, looking to get his head together after living in Tokyo for several years. Meanwhile, Yoshiko’s daughter Sachiko is mainly concerned with why she seems to be followed around everywhere by a giant version of herself. Read More »