Tag Archives: Tadanobu Asano

Katsuhito Ishii – Cha no aji AKA The Taste of Tea [+Extras] (2004)

A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead working on an animated film project at home. Uncle Ayano has recently arrived, looking to get his head together after living in Tokyo for several years. Meanwhile, Yoshiko’s daughter Sachiko is mainly concerned with why she seems to be followed around everywhere by a giant version of herself. Read More »

Hideaki Anno – Love & Pop (1998)

Quote:
It is the ’90s and the tradition of ‘compensated dating’ is well underway in Japan. Four high school girls are engaged in enjo kosai in order to satisfy their desire for different things. You can usually find them in Shibuya district of Tokyo where they will give you their time, and sometimes more, in exchange for money that buys pretty things. Read More »

Katsuhito Ishii – Samehada otoko to momojiri onna AKA Shark Skin Man And Peach Hip Girl (1998)

While escaping from the clutches of her sexually warped uncle, Toshiko meets Samehada who pos up in front of her in his underpants. The dude is also escaping from the gangsters he has stolen a pile of loot from, and the two make a daring escape together with the gangster thugs and the little weird guy the uncle sends on their trail. Ultra-violence, bizarre sex, and killer costumes ensue. Read More »

Gen Sekiguchi – Survive Style 5+ (2004)

A man continually trying and failing to get his wife to stay dead; a self-absorbed ad agency creative director who comes up with one unworkable inane idea after another; a British hitman who only wants to know everyone’s function in life; and an unfortunate office worker and father whose brain is left scrambled after a stage hypnotist is murdered in mid-performance. Starting off as unrelated plot lines, they intertwine with each other as they continue on their respective ways. Read More »

Shinji Aoyama – Sad Vacation (2007)

Kenji, abandoned by his mother, scrapes out a meager existence doing odd jobs including driving bar hostesses and their customers home. Besides this he takes care of the sister of an old friend in jail and a young illegal immigrant. But his life reaches a turning point when he happens to meet Chiyoko, his long lost mother. She is now married to Mamiya, the owner of an express package delivery service. They also have a teenage son, Yusuke. Subdued feelings of alarm, discomfort and resentment between Chiyoko, Kenji, and his half brother Yusuke hide underneath and are seemingly caused by the inseparable blood ties that seem to wield control over everyone’s destiny. Is blood that powerful? What exactly defines a mother or a father? While Kenji struggles with these questions and attempts to escape his fate, Chiyoko seems content to let these issues unfold and find a solution. Where will it ultimately lead them? Read More »

Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Kôhî jikô AKA Café Lumière (2003)

Quote:
Hou’s latest film continues in a similar vein Cafe Lumiereof hermetic environment and translucently slight narrative that have come to define his later, apolitical (and largely transitional) works (beginning with The Flowers of Shanghai). Opening with the reassuringly familiar sight of the Mount Fuji Shochiku logo that can be seen at the beginning of many of Yasujiro Ozu’s films as well as a train traversing a horizon demarcated by power lines at dusk, Café Lumière then sharply diverges from Ozu’s familiar camerawork and images of Japan in the film’s inherent asymmetry, aesthetically irregular compositions, awkward angles (during the parents’ visit in Yoko’s apartment, Hou seemingly attempts an Ozu-like low angle then, faced with a troublesome, truncated image of the stepmother standing in the foreground, inexplicably pans up to reveal her face before resuming the low angle), and opaque and unengaging characters (except for Yoko’s stepmother, played by Kimiko Yo). Read More »

Shinya Tsukamoto – Vital (2004)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
A beautiful meditation on love, memory and mortality. After surviving a car accident which kills his girlfriend, an amnesia-struck student (Tadanobu Asano) returns to medical school and confronts his slowly emerging past on the autopsy table. An enthralling movie with probably the tenderest autopsy scene in movie history and engrossing interplay between Asano, his masochistic girlfriend (Kiki), the affected families, and his own past feelings of love. Read More »