Yasujirô Ozu – Akibiyori AKA Late Autumn (1960) (HD)

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When college nostalgia inspires a group of middle-aged businessmen to match-make for the widow – played with measured dignity by Setsuko Hara – of one of their friends and her daughter, they have no idea of the strife their careless interference will cause. Late Autumn’s examination of familial upheaval moves effortlessly from comedy to pathos and is amongst the finest of legendary director Yasujiro Ozu’s post-war films. (-BFi) Continue reading

Mika Ohmori – Pûru aka Pool (2009)

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Quote:
Love, that’s all it takes.
A story of 6 days with 5 Japanese gathered around a small sparkling pool at Chiang Mai in Thailand.
With the same staff of “Kamome Diner” and “MEGANE” that brought a new wave in Japanese movies, another inspiring film is coming. The new title “POOL” is a story about unique but ordinary people who live their lives the ways they believe.

4 years ago, Kyoko started to live alone in Thailand, leaving her mother and her daughter, Sayo, in Japan. Just before the graduation of University, Sayo sets foot on Thailand to visit her mother. However, contrary to her expectation, it was not her mother who came to pick up Sayo, but Ichio who works for Kyoko.
After 4 years, Sayo finds her mother not changed at all. Kyoko always lives her own way no matter where she lives or whom she lives with, and it perplexes Sayo though she knew it. Continue reading

Kei Kumai – Umi to dokuyaku aka The Sea and Poison (1986)

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Uni to Dokuyaku (1987)
July 22, 1987
FILM: ‘SEA AND POISON,’ FROM JAPAN
By Walter Goodman
Published: July 22, 1987

LEAD: EARLY in ”The Sea and Poison,” the harrowing Japanese movie now at Film Forum 1, a surgical team performs a lung operation on a young woman. It is probably the most graphic view that most of its audience will ever have had of the scalpel and forceps doing their work, and you may find yourself joining the young intern Suguro, who confesses, ”Today in the operating room, I had to close my eyes.

EARLY in ”The Sea and Poison,” the harrowing Japanese movie now at Film Forum 1, a surgical team performs a lung operation on a young woman. It is probably the most graphic view that most of its audience will ever have had of the scalpel and forceps doing their work, and you may find yourself joining the young intern Suguro, who confesses, ”Today in the operating room, I had to close my eyes.” Continue reading

Shinji Imaoka – Onna no kappa aka Underwater Love (2011)

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Plot / Synopsis

From Germany’s Rapid Eye Movies and Japan’s Kokuei Company comes a whimsical pink film musical about a woman and a sea creature.

Directed by pink-film veteran Shinji IMAOKA (Lunch Box, Frog Song), shot by Christopher Doyle – the famed cinematographer behind Hero and countless films by Wong Kar Wai – and with music by Germany’s Stereo Total, Underwater Love – A Pink Musical promises to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Asuka works in a lakeside fish factory. She is just about to be married to her boss. One day, she encounters a Kappa, a water creature living in the lake and learns that it is the reincarnation of Aoki, her first love.
What ensues is a zany spectacle of love, music and sex. Continue reading

Hitoshi Matsumoto – Saya zamurai aka Scabbard Samurai (2010)

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Recently widowed samurai Kanjūrō (Nomi Takaaki) puts down his sword and abandons his master, with nine-year-old daughter Tae (Kumada Sea) in tow. Now wanted for desertion, Kanjūrō is captured by a rival lord (Kunimura Jun), who makes an unusual offer. Kanjūrō will be released if he can bring a grin to the lord’s son (Shimizu Shūma), who hasn’t smiled since his mother’s death. If Kanjūrō can’t succeed within thirty days, he must commit seppuku. With the help of his jailers — and some harsh reinforcement from his daughter — the humorless Kanjūrō devises comically desperate (or desperately comic) methods to save his skin and crack the son’s stony exterior. Though more sentimental than writer/director Matsumoto Hitoshi’s previous films (Big Man Japan, Symbol), Scabbard Samurai is unmistakably in the same spirit, with deadpan absurdism and bizarre stunts recalling the variety shows that made his name.) Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)

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– from Variety-

“POWERED BY
A Tetsuo Group presentation of a Kaijyu Theater, Asmik Ace Entertainment production. (International sales: the Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Shinichi Kawahara, Masayuki Tanishima.
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Screenplay, Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki.

With: Erik Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto, Stephen Sarrazin, Yuko Nakamura, Tiger Charlie Gerhardt.
(English dialogue)

Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy. Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Akumu Tantei 2 aka Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)

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Yukie and two of her girlfriends are being haunted by the ghost of a classmate, they once heavily bullied. When the other two die under mysterious circumstances, Yukie sees only one chance for herself. With the help of the Nightmare Detective (Ryuhei Matsuda) she hopes to escape her hopeless situation.

From IMDB:
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 surpasses it’s predecessor on almost all levels. For one thing, though the film has a slightly more poetic feel to it (as opposed to the dark and chaotic nature of the original), it’s laden with depression and grief, adding a foreboding atmosphere that grows stronger as the film progresses. While the first film had a more straightforward plot (albeit still following Tsukamoto’s puzzling logic at times), now the story features a well-balanced duality. When Kyoichi starts to learn more about the origin of Yukie’s nightmares, he discovers parallels with his own past which will eventually lead to more discoveries concerning the mystery of his own, cursed persona. Continue reading