Japan

Takashi Miike – Tengoku kara kita otoko-tachi AKA The Guys from Paradise (2000)

Quote:
Allegedly based on a number of true cases, The Guys From Paradise is a prison story set in the Phillipines against a background of corruption, drug trafficking and paedophilia. This being a Takashi Miike film however, the results are far from conventional. It’s essentially a film of two parts: the first set in a prison named “Paradise” where a small community of Japanese prisoners led by veteran criminal Yoshida (Tsutomu Yamazaki) enjoy a life of relative freedom and privilege, the second the story of their exploits outside prison walls with police and a deranged yakuza on their trail. Read More »

Akira Kurosawa – Akahige AKA Red Beard [+commentary] (1965)

Synopsis:
In a charity hospital, a hard-bitten but honorable older doctor, Dr. Niide, takes a young intern under his guidance through the course of a number of difficult cases. Read More »

Masahiro Shinoda – Chinmoku AKA Silence (1971)

Synopsis:
Two Jesuit priests encounter persecution when they travel to Japan in the 17th century to spread Christianity and to locate their mentor. Read More »

Teinosuke Kinugasa – Jigokumon aka The Gate of Hell (1953)

Synopsis:
In 1159, during an attempted coup, one of the court’s ladies in waiting disguises herself as the lord’s wife, and a loyal samurai conveys her from the city. This diversion allows the royal family to escape. After the coup fails, the samurai asks his lord to let him marry the woman as his reward. The lord grants the request and then discovers she is already married to one of the ruling family’s lieges. The samurai clings to his desire, importuning her to leave her husband, then challenging the husband to release her. Although the husband stays calm and she stays faithful, the samurai remains intemperate and stubborn, with tragic consequences. Read More »

Shintarô Katsu – Shin Zatôichi monogatari: Oreta tsue AKA Zatoichi in Desperation (1972)

Synopsis:
When the legendary blind swordsman attempts to make up for his role in the death of an elderly woman by rescuing her daughter from a life of prostitution, he soon finds himself beset by deadly foes on all sides in this entry in the long-running swordplay series directed by Zatoichi himself, Shintaro Katsu. Upon arriving in a small town in search of the old woman’s daughter, Nishikigi, Zatoichi discovers that the beautiful young woman is the most popular prostitute in the brothel. In a desperate bid to collect the money needed to steer the sinful Nishikigi from a life between the sheets, Zatoichi hustles a local Yakuza gang who don’t take kindly to his profitable ruse. Now facing the wrath of the local Yakuza boss, a deadly swordsman, and Nishikigi’s jealous lover, Zatoichi faces the fight of his life. Read More »

Akio Jissoji – Nami no bon AKA Lanterns on Blue Waters (1983)

This Jissoji starring Chishu Ryu is the story of a Japanese man who went to Maui to work in the sugar cane fields in order to support his family back in Japan. Now retired and still living in Hawaii he is visited by his grandchild who brings him a letter from his disinherited and recently dead 4th son. Lot’s of conflicting feelings about him having stayed in America during the war. Have a box of tissues handy. This was a made for TV movie. Read More »

Kenji Mizoguchi & Seiichi Ina – Asahi wa kagayaku AKA The Rising Sun is Shining [Reedited version] (1929)

Partially lost film. Exactly it is said only 1/4 are extant.

Original story is like the following (translated from the accompanying booklet):

After finishing university, Hayafusa (Eiji Nakano) and Kusaka (Hiroyoshi Murata) enter Osaka Asahi Shimbun Co. Akizuki (Heitarô Hirai), the president of some company, who is from the same province with them, does not pleased of their entrance because he dislikes newspaper, however, his daughter Asako (Ranko Sawa) prays their future successes. At the office of Shinzaki (Shin Minobe), that are located at the same building with Akizuki, dubious foreigners have frequented, Hayafusa and Kusaka can obtain Shinzaki’s encrypted telegram with the help of elevator operator Kurie (Takako Irie). When Aurora, steamship round the world meets with a disaster off the coast of Sumoto, they goes there as reporters. Read More »