Kazuo Kuroki

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Utsukushii natsu kirishima AKA A Boy’s Summer in 1945 (2002)

    Kazuo Kuroki2001-2010AsianDramaJapan

    Commencing well-respected Nippon director Kazuo Kuroki’s sixth decade behind the camera, “A Boy’s Summer in 1945” (literally “A Beautiful Summer in Kirishima”) is a lyric, novelistic drama set in the countryside in the last days before Japan’s surrender ending WWII. Striking a welcome retro note in its languid pacing and delicate handling of seriocomic ensemble threads, handsome production is a natural for fests. It might also prove a cornerstone for retrospectives or ancillary releases of works by a helmer (“Preparation of the Festival,” “Ronin-gai”) who’s long been appreciated at home but has won just limited attention abroad.Read More »

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Suri aka Pickpocket (2000)

    1991-2000AsianJapanKazuo KurokiThriller

    Kaido is a professional pickpocket who works the Tokyo subway with his young foster-daughter, Rei: She lets herself be groped while Kaido relieves the groper of his wallet. More often than not they’re observed by a middle-aged cop, who generally lets Kaido go free. Rei is unsettled when Kaido takes on a young street punk, Kazuki, as an apprentice — with instructions to make Kaido stop drinking. Kazuki, however, would like to go into business with Rei.Read More »

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Rônin-gai aka Street of Masterless Samurai (1990)

    1981-1990AsianJapanKazuo KurokiMartial Arts

    Kazuo Kuroki’s international award-winning period drama was produced in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the death of Shozo Makino, “the father of Japanese films.” Set in the 1830s near the end of the age of the samurai, Ronin Gai is populated by an ensemble of colorful characters, social outcasts who patronize a restaurant and brothel on the outskirts of Edo. Among them are prostitutes and masterless samurai reduced to drunkenness and debauchery. The disgraced and disillusioned former warriors get a chance at redemption when renegade samurai invade the area to murder the prostitutes.Read More »

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Matsuri no junbi AKA Preparation for the Festival (1975)

    1971-1980ArthouseAsianJapanKazuo Kuroki

    Tateo is a young man living in a small rural village. He is a credit bank clerk, but his work is tedious. He tends to be interested in sex, but he does not quite fit in with the sexually loose milieu. The only thing he is really interested in is cinema. He dreams of becoming a screenwriter and writes some fragmentary scripts. But he cannot find any good subjects around him. Pretty much everything there is boring to him. One day, Tamami, his neighbour’s daughter, comes back from Osaka, where she worked in a cabaret. And things start slightly changing.Read More »

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Kamiya Etsuko no seishun aka The Youth of Kamiya Etsuko (2006)

    2001-2010DramaJapanKazuo KurokiWar

    “Very sweet, wryly funny in spots, but always haunted by war (described sparingly but never shown). It was based on a stage play and betrays its theatrical roots in some of the pacing and staging. It’s slow, perhaps too slow for action film fans, but it’s not boring. Rather, it’s delicate and precise like tea ceremony.Read More »

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Tomorrow – ashita (1988)

    1981-1990DramaHiroshima at 75JapanKazuo Kuroki


    On August 9, 1945, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. This film, based on a story by Mitsuharu Inoue, describes the daily life of people in Nagasaki the day before that fateful event. It presents the human drama of people’s lives, and their feelings of joy and sadness. These include a newlywed couple, an expectant mother, an American prisoner of war, and star-struck lovers who must say farewell because the boy is called to serve in the army. Each of these people, like others in the city, hoped to live with their dreams for ‘tomorrow’. However, tomorrow never comes for them, as their lives are brought to an abrupt and unexpected end. But in this case, knowing how the story ends doesn’t detract from the experience at all; rather, it heightens the emotional impact, which is further enhanced by the poignant musical score from Teizo Matsumura. ‘Ashita’ is the first film in Kazuo Kuroki’s ‘War Requiem Trilogy,’ which also includes ‘Utsukushii Natsu Kirishima’ (2002) and ‘Chichi to Kuraseba’ (2004).Read More »

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Ryoma ansatsu aka The Assassination of Ryoma (1974)

    1971-1980ActionAsianJapanKazuo Kuroki


    This was also voted No.55 on 1999’s Kinema Jumpo Poll of Top 100 Japanese Films of All Time.
    It’s a samurai film but its style is rather different from those Toei & Daiei jidaigeki in 50s & 60s (probably not surprising as an ATG production), It has a non-heroic (or at least, unorthodoxy) portrait of the protagonist: Ryoma, at times even a parody, with the wry humor everywhere in the film. But it also looks a bit like a documentary, as the film is very grainy and the cinematographer is Masaki Tamura, who’s responsible for the look of many Shinsuke Ogawa & later, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s films. Read More »

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