Takashi Miike – Kaze ni tatsu raion AKA The Lion Standing in the Wind (2015)

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Jack-of-all-trades director Miike Takashi takes on more serious material in the human drama The Lion Standing in the Wind about the experiences of a Japanese doctor in Africa. Featuring location shooting in Kenya, the film is based on Sada Masashi’s novel and song Kaze ni Tatsu Lion, which were inspired by the true story of a Japanese doctor who operated a mobile clinic in the African nation. Continue reading

Takashi Miike – Gokudô kuroshakai AKA Rainy Dog (1997)

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“The quietest and, in some ways, most impressive film of the trilogy tells the story of Yuji, an exiled Yakuza, now living in Taiwan. In one of the film’s many similarities to Luc Besson’s Leon, Yuji is left with a young boy, supposedly his son, when an ex-girlfriend dumps the child on him without explanation. Yuji does not let the child’s presence disrupt his violent lifestyle and he continues killing rival gang members for a local crime lord. When a hit leaves Yuji with a suitcase full of Triad money, he tries to escape Tiawan. However, when you are a stranger in a strange land and cannot trust anybody, escape and survival is almost impossible. Continue reading

Takashi Miike – Kaze ni tatsu raion AKA The Lion Standing in the Wind (2015)

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(from Japanese Film Festival)
Lion Standing in the Wind is based on a real story and chronicles the inspirational life of Dr Koichiro Shimada who sets off to Kenya to serve as a medical doctor. In a turn of events, he finds himself stationed in a hospital in Lokichogio in the heart of the Kenyan conflict. Witnessing death and the grim reality of child soldiers rocks him to the core and propels him on a path that he did not expect. He abandons his life in Japan and devotes himself to saving lives in Kenya.

Released in March this year, this candid drama is the latest instalment from the prolific director Takashi Miike, usually known for his ultra-violent and outrageous works (As the Gods Will, Ichi the Killer). Continue reading

Takashi Miike – Ôdishon AKA Audition (1999)

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from allmovie:

Controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike creates this unnerving horror film about a widowed TV producer auditioning prospective wives. In his search, one candidate particularly stands out, a lovely ex-ballerina dressed in white. The widower cannot believe his good fortune, until he starts looking more closely at his potential bride-to-be: her autobiographical details don’t quite check out, she has a number of ugly scars on her legs, and he learns that people in her life have a habit of disappearing. When he discovers a man trussed up in her living room with his tongue and feet lopped off, he concludes that she is perhaps not the woman of his dreams. Audition was screened at the 1999 Vancouver Film Festival. — Jonathan Crow
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Takashi Miike – Ichimei aka Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)

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Plot / Synopsis

Seeking a noble end, poverty-stricken samurai Hanshiro requests to commit ritual suicide at the House of Ii, run by headstrong Kageyu. Trying to dismiss Hanshiro’s demand, Kageyu recounts the tragic story of a similar recent plea from young ronin Motome. Hanshiro is shocked by the horrifying details of Motome’s fate, but remains true to his decision to die with honor. At the moment of the hara-kiri, Hanshiro makes a last request to be assisted by Kageyu’s samurai, who are coincidentally absent. Suspicious and outraged, Kageyu demands an explanation. Hanshiro confesses his bond to Motome, and tells the bittersweet tale of their lives… Kageyu will soon realize that Hanshiro has set in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against his house. ~ (C) Cannes Continue reading

Takashi Miike – Jûsan-nin no shikaku aka 13 Assassins [International Version] (2010)

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Plot / Synopsis

Based on actual events that served as the inspiration for the 1963 film of the same name, Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins follows a group of noble samurai as they seek to slay a tyrannical, politically connected lord before he seizes control of the entire country. Japan, 1844: as the era of the samurai winds to a close, a sadistic young lord uses his powerful political ties to commit heinous atrocities against the common people. Recognizing the dangers to both his country and its citizens should the lord manage to gain any more power, a concerned government official secretly recruits 13 of the most skilled swordsmen he can find to defeat the evil lord once and for all. But reaching their target won’t be easy, because the elusive lord is constantly flanked by legions of fearless bodyguards. Realizing that the bodyguards would decimate his modest task force in a traditional battle, the assassins’ leader (Koji Yakusho) lays an ingenious trap that will give his men the upper hand, and waits patiently for their prey to take the bait. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Continue reading