Japan

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 »

Pedro González-Rubio – Inori (2012)

A dying town in the lush, water-fed mountains of Japan’s southeastern Nara Prefecture inspires Mexican multihyphenate Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio to ruminate on natural wonders and the melancholy inevitability facing an aging population in “Inori.” Produced by Naomi Kawase as part of her Nara Film Fest’s Narative project, the docu adheres closely to the Kawase model of nature lensed in a minor key, and fans of Gonzalez-Rubio’s “Alamar” will find gentle pleasures in this agreeable yet slight work. Read More »

Kihachi Okamoto – Samurai aka Samurai Assassin (1965)

IMDb user comment:
The year is 1860 and Japanese society is very unstable. A time when the 300-year rule of the Shogunate was drawing to a close, an event which would simultaneously bring Imperialism to Japan and cause the death of the Samurai age. This is the setting of Samurai Assassin, a highly complicated and character-driven chambara film that is shot in brilliant black and white. It also features one of Toshiro Mifune’s best performances, as well as an astounding ending battle sequence that’s just too cool for words. Read More »

Hideo Gosha – Goyokin (1969)

Synopsis: “Former samurai Magobei is forced to return to his sword-dueling ways when the gang he once ran with puts an innocent woman in danger. Coming to this woman’s defense, Magobei is tortured and made to pay for abandoning his people in the past.” Read More »