Tag Archives: Japanese

Makoto Satô – Aga no kioku AKA Memories of Agano (2005)

Satō Makoto discovered documentary film when he visited Minamata (well known as the former site of an environmental disaster) as a student, and worked on Katori Naotaka’s The Innocent Sea. While touring Japan with the film, he met people who lived by the polluted Agano River in Niigata and decided to make a film about them. Living there with seven crew members for three years, Living on the River Agano was completed in 1992 and showed people who live with the river and work in agriculture and fishing, quietly probing the cruelty of nature destroyed. Ten years later, and after attending several funerals of people who appeared in the first feature, the team returned to the area. The resulting film Memories of Agano is a ghostly poem on people, fields, stories, songs and buildings receding into absence, the power of images and the strength of sound to revive the past. Read More »

Shinsuke Ogawa – Nippon-koku Furuyashiki-mura AKA Furuyashiki: A Japanese Village (1984)

Quote:
This is Ogawa Productions’ first major film from their Yamagata period. They had already started photography on Magino Village: A Tale but they were drawn to this village deep in the high country above Magino when a particularly cold bout of weather threatened crops. Inevitably, their attention strayed from the impact of weather and geography on the harvest to the “life history” of Furuyashiki Village. On the one hand, Ogawa returns to his roots by playing with the conventions of the science film. At the same time, he discovers a local, peripheral space in which to think about the nation and the state of village Japan. From this “distant perspective” in the very heart of the Japanese mountains, Ogawa discovers a village still dealing with the trauma of global warfare and struggling for survival as their children flee for the cities. Read More »

Masaki Môri – Kaidan Kagami-ga-fuchi AKA Ghost Story: Depth of Kagami AKA The Ghosts of Kagami Pond (1959)

Synopsis:
In feudal Japan, there is a famous store called Edoya. The store manager Kinbei has no doubt that he will inherit everything some day, since the owner’s family has no children. But suddenly, the owners adopt a ronin Yasujiro, and Kinbei wants to eliminate them. Kinbei kills the sister of Yasujirou’s fiancee and dumps her body in Kagami Pond. Soon a ghostly revenge is upon him… Read More »

Toshiya Fujita – Nora-neko rokku: Bôsô shûdan ’71 AKA Stray Cat Rock: Beat ’71 [+Extras] (1971)

A wealthy man frames his son’s girlfriend (Meiko Kaji) to keep them apart. She briefly goes to prison for a crime she didn’t commit before breaking out to reunite with the man she loves. Along the way she befriends a group of hippies who try to reunite her with her boyfriend. Read More »

Yoju Matsubayashi – Matsuri no uma AKA The Horses of Fukushima (2013)

Synopsis:
Fukushima’s Minami-soma has a ten-centuries-long tradition of holding the Soma Nomaoi (“chasing wild horses”) festival to celebrate the horse’s great contribution to human society. Following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the wake of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, local people were forced to flee the area. Rancher Shinichiro Tanaka returned to find his horses dead or starving, and refused to obey the government’s orders to kill them. While many racehorses are slaughtered for horsemeat, his horses had been subjected to radiation and were inedible. Yoju Matsubayashi, whose Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape is one of the most impressive documentaries made immediately after the disaster, spent the summer of 2011 helping Tanaka take care of his horses. In documenting their rehabilitation, he has produced a profound meditation on these animals who live as testaments to the tragic bargain human society made with nuclear power. Read More »

Yoshiaki Kawajiri – Jûbei ninpûchô AKA Ninja Scroll (1993)

Quote:
A vagabond swordsman is aided by a beautiful ninja girl and a crafty spy in confronting a demonic clan of killers – with a ghost from his past as their leader – who are bent on overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate. Read More »

Toshiya Fujita – Imouto aka Younger Sister (1974)

Synopsis (from [email protected]):
A Seishun Kayo Eiga (youth film featuring songs), about the “interesting” relationship btw a
brother and his younger sister. Actually one entry of a trilogy Toshiya Fujita made at that time
with Kumiko Akiyoshi. Also, One of the top 10 films voted by Jumpo that year.

One of the only few non-Roman Porno Nikkatsu films made after 1971 in 70s.
Starring Kumiko Akiyoshi. Jūzō Itami is also in it (as an actor of course). Read More »