Japan

Mikio Naruse – Tsuma no kokoro aka A Wife’s Heart (1956)

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Quote:
The best moments of A Wife’s Heart involve things not said or seen and this is most explicit in the interactions between Kiyoko (Hideko Takamine) and her bank clerk bachelor confidant Kenkichi (Toshiro Mifune). Kiyoko, along with her husband Shinji (Keiju Kobayashi), wants to open a coffee shop and so goes to Kenkichi to ask for a loan. Director Mikio Naruse never focuses on the duo’s talk of money; as filmed, their entire relationship is a series of beginnings and endings with the middles cut out. It is at first purely a business association, though after Shinji (at the manipulative behest of his matchmaker mother) gives a majority of the loan to his deadbeat brother Zenichi, Kiyoko starts to think that her feelings for Kenkichi may be more then platonic. Following through on his setup, Naruse never lets either character nakedly confess their heart’s desire. The closest they come is during a sequence, set against the backdrop of a torrential downpour, where Kenkichi utters the first few words of a thought that he will never finish. In other hands this scene might have played as masochistic repression, but Naruse allows the rainstorm to act as an expressive emotional outlet—nature thus concludes what Kenkichi cannot. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Hanagata senshu aka A Star Athlete (1937)

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Quote:
From acquarello at Strictly Film School Blog: Hiroshi Shimizu’s government-pressured, militarism-era film A Star Athlete is a breezy, refreshingly lighthearted, and subtly subversive slice-of-life comedy that centers on an all-day student march in formation and armed combat drills through the rural countryside for military training exercises. Shimizu demonstrates his deceptively facile adeptness and virtuoso camerawork through a series of extraordinarily choreographed plan sequence shots: a track-and-field race around the campus track between the school’s start athlete Seki (Shuji Sano) and his constantly spurring – and sparring – team mate (Chishu Ryu); an extended dolly sequence of the students’ march as bemused villagers and flirtatious, love-struck young women alternately respectfully step aside, playfully trail, obliviously obstruct, and amorously chase the dashing students in uniform; a mock battlefield charge assault through muddy fields as a guilt-ridden motley crew of travelers on the road scramble to flee from the students in a mistaken belief of being chased in retribution for their petty transgressions during their brief stay in the village. Read More »

Katsuhiro Otomo & Yoshiaki Kawajiri & Rintaro – Meikyû monogatari AKA Neo-Tokyo (1987)

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From AMG:
Neo-Tokyo consists of three fast-paced tales set in a surreal cyberpunk landscape. Most of the tales center around either cops pursuing criminals or criminals running from the cops — none of the stories has a great deal of psychological depth. What makes this film an essential part of the animae canon is its particularly wonderful and inventive envisioning of the Tokyo of the future (which, in America, always seems like the Tokyo of today). As the late twentieth century counterpart to early modernist city symphonies and mid-century noirs, Neo-Tokyo has a good deal to say about 21st century metropolitan life and its effects on the human condition. It’s merely icing on the cake that it does so with a fabulous blend of humor and technological terror. – Read More »

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Toki o kakeru shôjo AKA The Little Girl Who Conquered Time (1983)

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Quote:
Tomoyo Harada is an average student in high school. She has an old friend Toshinori Omi who goes to the same school, and Ryoichi Takayanagi who is also her classmate, but is not quite the old friend she thinks he is. One day after a routine cleaning of the school’s chem lab, she starts to experience a time warp in her life where she experiences the same event multiple times. Quite by accident, she is getting drawn into the plan that came from the future. She soon discovers why she is experiencing the time warp. Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – 11·25 jiketsu no hi: Mishima Yukio to wakamono-tachi AKA AKA 11.25: The Day He Chose His Own Fate (2012)

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On November 25th 1970, a man committed ritual suicide inside the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese Ministry of Defence, leaving behind a legacy of masterpieces and a controversy that echoes to this day. The man was Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s greatest and most celebrated novelists. With four members of his own private army – the Tatenokai – Mishima had taken the commandant hostage and called upon the assembled military outside the Ministry to overthrow their society and restore the powers of the Emperor. When the soldiers mocked and jeered Mishima, he cut short his speech and withdrew to the commandant’s office where he committed seppuku – the samurai warrior’s death – tearing open his belly with a ceremonial knife before being beheaded by one of his colleagues. What was Mishima truly trying to express through his actions? And what did he witness during his final moments? Read More »

Sogo Ishii – Kuruizaki Sanda Rodo aka Crazy Thunder Road (1980)

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Synopsis
Jin, an antagonistic youth, tries to take over a motorcycle gang once its leader, Ken, announces he’s going to retire and settle down with his girlfriend. But things aren’t so easy for Jin. The other gangs have united, and decide that Jin’s reckless ways are a thing of the past, so they band together to take him and his four followers out. Read More »

Takashi Makino – Still in Cosmos (2009)

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A product purposed of an installation project held at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Recomposed as completed film work in 2009.

It originally was theme for “Complete Chaos” visualized bydouble exposure method, however it appeared entire opposite phenomenon as “Birth of Cosmos”, and that is unparalleled miraculous story behind the film.

This film visually demonstrates the fact that human has ability to change Chaos to Cosmos.
A transcend Free Jazz sound is presented by band Osorezan commanded of Jim O’Rourke.
Now images and sound break the wall of the universe and plunge in the new world. Read More »