Japan

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Futari aka Chizuko’s Younger Sister (1991)

Quote:
Futari (Two of Us) is about two sisters, one of them the perfect child, the other clumsy and slow. One day, the perfect sister dies, and comes back as a ghost to guide her little sister.

I’m not into old movies, but I’ve been told by a friend that this movie was the “ultimate seishun (coming-of-age) movie” and the overwhelmingly high user ratings at Japanese sites stirred my curiosity.

The movie had a lengthy runtime of over 150 minutes, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. The story and characters developed very well throughout the movie, with many memorable scenes. Read More »

Koji Hashimoto & Sakyo Komatsu – Sayônara, Jûpetâ AKA Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984)

wikipedia says:
“Sayonara Jupiter (さよならジュピター Sayonara Jiupitā?, English release: Bye Bye Jupiter) is a 1984 Japanese science fiction film directed by Koji Hashimoto and produced by Toho. The script was adapted by pioneering science-fiction author Sakyo Komatsu from his novel Sayonara Jupiter (1982). The special effects were directed by Koichi Kawakita. Cast with an unusual mix of actors speaking English, French and Japanese, the film was conceived by the struggling Toho film empire as a rival to the forthcoming box office blockbuster hit 2010. The two films bear comparison of plot elements. This was actor Akihiko Hirata’s final film role. He was set to star in The Return of Godzilla (1984), but died of throat cancer before he was cast. In one scene, Captain Hoger Kinn watches Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, which featured a much younger Akihiko Hirata. Read More »

Shimako Sato – Eko Eko Azaraku aka Eko Eko Azarak: Wizard of Darkness (1995)

Quote:
Misa Kuroi is an adorable high-school girl who arrives at her new school when it is falling under an evil supernatural force. Trying to figure out who’s behind the supernatural attack, Misa also has to deal with assumptions by her fellow classmates that believe she is the one behind it all. Misa and twelve other students are kept late after school hours one day to retake an exam. Then, after sunset, the entire school is deserted, and the students find themselves trapped inside and their teacher no where to be found. One by one, the thirteen students are picked up and disposed of in horrific and graphic fashion. It is up to Misa to try and gain the trust of her fellow students so that she can protect them and stop the evil before it’s too late. Read More »

Motoyoshi Oda – Tômei ningen AKA The Invisible Man (1954)

A car strikes an unseen object; blood spreads from an invisible source which becomes visible as the bleeding man dies. He carries with him a suicide note dedicated to his only friend, who is also an invisible man. An eager young reporter tracks down Takemitsu Nanjo, a war veteran who makes his living visibly, painting his face like a clown’s and carrying advertising signs. His favorite neighbor is a little blind girl whose mother is running afoul of local gangsters. The gangsters have been terrorizing the city as “the invisible gang,” wrapping themselves up in scarves and trenchcoats so as to be visible to their victims, even though they are supposed to be invisible underneath. Once they discover Nanjo, who is defending his only friends, they beat him and leave him for dead. Read More »

Ishirô Honda – Uchu daisenso aka Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Quote:
With his name firmly ensconced in film history as the creator of the Godzilla and Rodan films, director Inoshiro Honda continues to shape and mold a dramatic sci-fi story in Battle in Outer Space. As in the record-setting Star Wars sagas of the future, special effects also get star billing here. The nations of the earth are banding together to fight off invaders from outer space. At the core of their defense is an attack in which two space ships from the earth land on the moon — the aliens have set up their base of operations there. But this pre-emptive strike is not enough because back on terra firma, heat-ray guns are called into action as the invasion of flying saucers swings into a full-scale operation. Read More »

Ishirô Honda – Bijo to Ekitainingen aka The H-Man (1958)

When a narcotics deal goes sour and a suspect disappears, leaving only his clothes, Tokyo police question his wife and stake out the nightclub where she works. His disappearance stumps the police – until a young scientist appears who claims that H-Bomb tests in the Pacific, evidenced by a “ghost ship” that has turned up in the harbor, have created radioactive creatures – “H-Men” – who ooze like slime and dissolve anyone they touch. Read More »

Kazuhiro Soda – Mental aka Seishin (2008)

People with various mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, panic disorder, and personality disorder visit Chorale Okayama to see Dr. Masatomo Yamamoto. Read More »