Japanese Female Directors

Yumi Yoshiyuki – Mibôjin apâto: Kyonyû no uzuku yoru (2007)

Misaki’s husband Ken’ichi dies in a car accident soon after their marriage. He had managed the Sunrise Villa apartments, which his parents have managed after his death. A psychic claims to have received word from Ken’ichi’s spirit that he wants the apartments to be kept running responsibly. Read More »

Naomi Kawase – Tarachime (2006)

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n April 24, 2004, Kawase Naomi had a son, Mitsuki. Following Japanese tradition, she gave birth on a tatami mat, assisted by a midwife and surrounded by all her family. As soon as the umbilical cord was cut, she tools up her camera and films every day her child and her ninety-year-old grandmother. With this highly emotionally affecting «docu-diary» the filmmaker continues to reflect on the world around her, her origins and the future. Although she initially wanted to describe only the life she carried within her for nine months, Kawase Naomi eventually extended the scope of her film to include Mitsuki’s interaction with those around him. By deliberately breaking with any notion of linear temporarily, she creates, with gentleness but also with harshness and violence, a pendulum like movement between moments, past and present feelings. Read More »

Yoko Ono & John Lennon – Rape (1969)

One of the most radical and influential works of experimental television produced by the famous couple of the late 60s, Yoko Ono and John Lennon.

In November 1968 work began on one of one of John & Yoko’s most ambitious film ventures, a 75-minute mini-feature called Rape. It starred Eva Majlata, a 21 year old Hungarian actress who couldn’t speak English. She cannot escape the prying attentions of the camera which follows her around the streets of London, through a park, allowing her no privacy and almost causing her to walk into the path of a truck. She attempts to escape in a taxi, but is still followed. She is eventually cornered in an apartment from which she apparently cannot escape and her tearful pleas to the camera remain ignored. Rape was shot when John and Yoko were both at Great Charlotte Street Hospital following Yoko’s miscarriage. The cameraman was Nick Knowland, who worked on most of John and Yoko’s productions. Read More »

Mariko Miyagi – Nemunoki no uta ga kikoeru AKA Mariko-Mother (1977)

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Mariko-Mother is the second film in a four-part documentary film, directed depicting the children of Nemunoki Gakuen, a nursing home for the physically handicapped. It is a video poetry that spells out the daily life of the school on a beautiful screen. Read More »

Mariko Miyagi – Kodomotachi ganbare AKA Hello, Kids! (1986)

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The fourth film in a four-part documentary film depicting children of a nursing home for the physically handicapped, Nemunoki Gakuen, which celebrated its 45th anniversary. Projecting friendship through music and dance between Nemoki children and New York Harlem children. Read More »

Mariko Miyagi – Niji o kakeru kodomo-tachi AKA Children Drawing Rainbows (1975)

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Mariko Miyagi is back documenting the activities of disabled children from her own school, Nemunoki. This time, the whole documentary focuses itself on the powers of creativity and drawing. Read More »

Miwa Nishikawa – Yureru AKA Sway (2006)

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On the anniversary of the death of the mother of a hip and happening Tokyo-based photographer, the son returns to his hometown for the funeral. What follows is a return to the past that is more than just a trek home. Old relationships, love, conflicts and memories resurface and collide. Apparently, old perspectives don’t wither. Read More »