The film concerns Dr. Akagi, a doctor on an island in the Seto Inland Sea area during World War II. He runs into conflict with the military while trying to combat a hepatitis epidemic. Akagi earns the nickname “Dr. Liver” (カンゾー先生 Kanzō-sensei) because of his work, though the townsfolk use it as a humorous dig at his persistent diagnosis. Though the broad circumstance of Japan slowly losing the war is the setting, many of the interactions and situations tilt into humor, for instance; the very music used for the doctor running from patient to patient has an upbeat and light-hearted tone.Read More »
Shôhei Imamura – Kanzô sensei AKA Dr. Akagi (1998)1991-2000ArthouseDramaJapanShohei Imamura
Yoshitarô Nomura – Giwaku AKA Suspicion (1982)1981-1990CrimeDramaJapanYoshitarô Nomura
A car with two passengers plunges into the sea. The man dies, his wife (Kaori Momoi) is barely scratched. So did she or didn’t she? Shima Iwashita stars as her lawyer.
1982 Mainichi Film Awards Best Screenplay. Fourth place on Kinema Junpo’s 1982 top ten.Read More »
Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Reibyo densetsu AKA Legend of the Cat Monster (1983)1981-1990HorrorJapanNobuhiko Obayashi
Another stunning Tuesday Suspense Theater movie from Obayashi. I love how there is some music playing almost every second of the film. That gives the movie an special feeling of drama and I think of it as another way to telling the viewer like Hey, don’t forget you’re watching a movie!
And the fact that this is a cat monster movie about making a cat monster movie featuring Takeko Irie, also known as the cat monster actress, and her daughter playing a character inspired in herself! I will sure give a rewatch to this after I watch some of Takako Irie’s cat monster movies.Read More »
Toshiya Fujita – Daburu beddo AKA Double Bed (1983)1981-1990AsianEroticaJapanToshiya Fujita
Kato (Ittoku Kishibe) is a small time TV producer. He has a wife Masako (Naoko Otani), and a young son Taro. Kato also has a friend Yamazaki (Akira Emoto) who he knew since college. Yamazaki has a girl friend Riko (Eri Ishida) who lives with her younger sister Yuko (Hitomi Takahashi) who’s an actress. Yamazaki is a lyric writer/womanizer and he starts to have an affair with Masako, but he’s still going out with Riko.Read More »
Ryuichi Hiroki – Yawarakai seikatsu aka It’s Only Talk (2005)2001-2010AsianDramaJapanRyuichi Hiroki
Yuko is 35 years old, single, out of work, and on medication from her psychiatrist to combat her manic depression. Living in Kamata Town, Yuko divides her time between a variety of men friends, each with his own peculiarities. Her university classmate, Homma, suffers from impotence. “K”, whom she meets on the net, is a self-confessed pervert. Then, there is a young gangster, Yasuda, who is a fellow manic depressive. Her cousin, Shoichi, is also on the scene, having left his family to pursue his mistress, only to be given the cold shoulder by her, too. Yuko seems to create a different persona depending on whom she is talking to at the time. Human contact is just as important for her as for anyone else, but sometimes her condition makes it difficult for others to relate to her for as long as she would like.”Read More »
Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Kono sora no hana: Nagaoka hanabi monogatari AKA Casting Blossoms to the Sky (2012)2011-2020ArthouseAsianJapanNobuhiko Obayashi
Reiko is a journalist who travels to Nagaoka to report on the victims of the Tohoku earthquake. She will also run into her ex-boyfriend Kenichi, who hopes to convince her to star in a play based on the bombing the city underwent during the Second World War. Through his magnificent and unmistakable signature, Ôbayashi reflects on Japan’s historical wounds.Read More »
Kaneto Shindô – Fukurô aka The Owl (2003)2001-2010AsianComedyJapanKaneto Shindô
It is often said that comedy is the most untranslatable element from culture to culture. This is perhaps even more the case with surreal mixed genre films like this. In Shindo Kaneto’s film (his 101st!) the old sensei has given us a strange meditation on male lusts and women’s struggle for independence. It is like a play in that the action takes place almost exclusively in a small cabin in a deserted region of Western Japan. A mother and daughter are stranded in a ghost town and are starving to death. They hit on a plan to get them out of their plight which involves exploiting the few men who stray into their cabin. They offer sexual services and then bump off the happy customers. All goes well until a local cop shows up and, then, a relation of theirs from way back.Read More »