Japan

Kunitoshi Manda – Seppun AKA The Kiss (2007)

Synopsis:
One day Kyoko watches television and sees a man turning himself in to the police after murdering a family. Something within Kyoko connects with the man, as she recognizes a similar soul. Despite the worries of the killer’s lawyer, she approaches the killer and the two start corresponding… Read More »

Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Yôkai hantâ: Hiruko AKA Hiruko the Goblin (1991)

Quote:
A school was built on one of the Gates of Hell, behind which hordes of demons await the moment they will be free to roam the Earth. Hiruko is a goblin sent to Earth on a reconnaissance mission. He beheads students in order to assemble their heads on the demons’ spider-like bodies. Hieda, an archaeology professor, and Masao, a haunted student, investigate the gory deaths and eventually battle Hiruko. Read More »

Hideaki Anno – Love & Pop (1998)

Quote:
It is the ’90s and the tradition of ‘compensated dating’ is well underway in Japan. Four high school girls are engaged in enjo kosai in order to satisfy their desire for different things. You can usually find them in Shibuya district of Tokyo where they will give you their time, and sometimes more, in exchange for money that buys pretty things. Read More »

Hajime Satô – Kyuketsuki Gokemidoro AKA Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)

While a plane is being hijacked, a report of a bomb on board, another report of a UFO in the area is cut short as the hijacker shoots the radio and the controls. This while they encounter a UFO, causing them to crash on an uncharted island in the middle of nowhere. They soon find out there is an assassin on board. Panic ensues when it is discovered that there is a UFO on the island, taking them one by one… changing them. Read More »

Akio Jissoji – Dialogue (1992)

A man hires a Private Investigator in order to find proof that his wife has been cheating on him. Soon, we learn that the man’s plan is to set the wife up, divorce her and remarry again in America with the daughter of his boss. The woman, being confronted with the suggestive evidence of her infidelity, has no other solution than to work on the sex industry for a while to pay for the Private Investigator’s silence. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Sasame-yuki AKA The Makioka Sisters (1983)

This lyrical adaptation of the beloved novel by Junichiro Tanizaki was a late-career triumph for director Kon Ichikawa. Structured around the changing of the seasons, The Makioka Sisters (Sasame-yuki) follows the lives of four siblings who have taken on their family’s kimono manufacturing business, in the years leading up to the Pacific War. The two oldest have been married for some time, but according to tradition, the rebellious youngest sister cannot wed until the third, conservative and terribly shy, finds a husband. This graceful study of a family at a turning point in history is a poignant evocation of changing times and fading customs, shot in rich, vivid colors. (~Criterion) Read More »

Seijun Suzuki – Kawachi Karumen AKA Carmen from Kawachi (1966)

Synopsis:
‘Carmen from Kawachi brings the nihilist Suzuki universe to a woman’s life in the decidedly unsentimental education of a provincial factory worker, Tsuyuko, whose rape by two fellow villagers starts her on the road to sexual awareness and finally, independence. It is a long, picaresque road indeed, meandering from Osaka’s Club Dada, through liaisons with a millionaire, a dominatrix, and an action painter–all the while cohabiting with a degenerate if loving roué. The determining encounter is with a corrupt monk, whose sordid affair with her mother had been for Tsuyuko a primal introduction to sexual hypocrisy and male brutality.’
– James Quandt Read More »