Japan

Eizô Sugawa – Kimi mo shusse ga dekiru AKA You Can Succeed, Too (1964)

Japan Society wrote:
The closest Japanese cinema ever came to the full-blown Broadway style musical, with singing and dancing on the streets of Tokyo, music by avant-garde composer and jazzman Toshiro Mayuzumi, lyrics by renowned poet Shuntaro Tanikawa, and direction by one of Toho’s most prominent “new wave” directors, Eizo Sugawa. Popular jazz drummer and actor Frankie Sakai stars in this comic version of the “industrial competition” genre: two tourism companies compete for foreign clients in the run up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Highlighting the coming internationalization of Japan, the film dramatizes the felt tensions between tradition and modernity, the pressures of the “economic animal” lifestyle, and the energy of high economic growth. Read More »

Makoto Satô – Agano ni ikiru AKA Living on the River Agano (1992)

Quote:
In 1964, a chemical factory in Niigata Prefecture dumped mercury into the Agano River, the beginning of a manmade tragedy that would affect locals for years to come. Mercury poisoning led to high occurrences of Minamata disease, a neurological syndrome that causes severe physical and psychological ailments and death. Sato Makoto and his crew of seven spent three years in Niigata documenting the life and thoughts of locals. Read More »

Yasuharu Hasebe – Ryuketsu No Koso AKA Blood For Blood / Bloody Feud (1971)

Late Nikkatsu Action – One of Hasebe’s last for the studio before the Roman Porno films genre became their mainstay.

Nikkatsu Classic Library wrote:
The Akiba and Shimura crime families run the streets of “K City.” With the construction of new buildings and new factories underway, the city has sprouted into a boomtown and business is good. Two of the most infamous mobs of Tokyo take notice and want a piece of the pie. As out-of-town yakuza flood the city overnight, the crime boss of the Akiba family, Tezuka (Jo Shishido), is released from prison after a five year sentence. He does not like the “change” he sees. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Karisuma AKA Charisma [+Extras] (1999)

Quote:
A seasoned detective is called in to rescue a politician held hostage by a lunatic. In a brief moment of uncertainty, he misses the chance for action. Leaving his job and family without explanation, he makes his way to a mountain forest, where there is a peculiar tree called charisma. Should it be destroyed or protected? People stand divided over this one tree. Read More »

Hideyuki Hirayama – Warau kaeru AKA The Laughing Frog (2002)

Synopsis
A woman has a fine life with rewarding work, a nice house, and a serious boyfriend in the lowlands of Japan. In walks her long lost husband who years ago disappeared and abandoned her. The wife allows her lost husband to secretly live in her house. More specifically, he lives in the wife’s closet. The closet has a peep hole, so he does nothing day and night but watch his wife live her life. Read More »

Katsuhito Ishii – Samehada otoko to momojiri onna AKA Shark Skin Man And Peach Hip Girl (1998)

While escaping from the clutches of her sexually warped uncle, Toshiko meets Samehada who pos up in front of her in his underpants. The dude is also escaping from the gangsters he has stolen a pile of loot from, and the two make a daring escape together with the gangster thugs and the little weird guy the uncle sends on their trail. Ultra-violence, bizarre sex, and killer costumes ensue. Read More »

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Riyû AKA The Reason AKA The Motive (2004)

Quote:
A storm rages over Tokyo. Meanwhile, inside a high-rise apartment block, the bodies of four people are discovered – apparently the victims of a brutal crime. At first, the victims are all thought to be members of one family, but then it transpires that they were not related to each other at all. Investigations run aground. Who were the victims? Who was responsible for – it has to be said – having slaughtered them in such a way? And why on earth were the murders committed? What could possibly have been the motive? Innocuous citizens who do not normally have anything to do with such horrific crimes are dragged onto the case. And the more testimonies that are collated, the closer the case moves towards a surprising conclusion. Read More »