Japanese

  • Kenchi Iwamoto – Kikuchi (1991)

    Saddled with a slavish, boring laundry job and no social life whatsoever, Kikuchi rarely leaves his bare apartment except to follow home and spy on a supermarket check-out girl. But there’s no one he can tell about his secret passion, least of all his gawping, work-shy colleague. Even a stray kitten can’t alleviate Kikuchi’s frustration; clearly, something’s got to give…Read More »

  • Toshiaki Toyoda – Go Seppuku Yourselves (2021)

    Completing Toshiaki Toyoda’s politically urgent Resurrection Trilogy following Wolf’s Calling (2019) and The Day of Destruction (2020), this electrifying short follows a man tasked with assisting in the ritual suicide of a samurai who won’t die without condemning the corrupt powers that be.Read More »

  • Toshiaki Toyoda – Nakimushi Shottan No Kiseki AKA The Miracle Of Crybaby Shottan (2018)

    Toshiaki Toyoda takes on the true story of Shogi (Japanese chess) player Shoji “Shottan” Segawa. Despite consistent dedication, Shottan (Ryuhei Matsuda) fails to go professional by the time he’s 26, permanently forfeiting his chance according to the game’s strict rules. When he makes a name for himself as an amateur years later, however, he makes an unprecedented bid to go professional at 35 and forever changes the game. Informed by Toyoda’s personal Shogi experience (he trained to go professional as an adolescent), this star-studded biopic of late-blooming self-realization is an inspirational study of perseverance against all odds.Read More »

  • Kazuhiko Yamaguchi – Aku no shin’eitai AKA Troops of Darkness (1971)

    A disgraced yakuza member, framed for the murder of his boss, emerges from prison eight years later with revenge on his mind.Read More »

  • Tetsuji Takechi – Genji monogatari (1966) (HD)

    Quote:
    Based on the classic novel by Murasaki Shikibu, written over 1000 years ago. Genji, the son of the emperor, has gained renown among the nobility of Kyoto for his charm and good looks, yet he cannot stop himself from pursuing the one object of desire he must never obtain: his father’s young and beautiful bride. Following the tragic consequences of his obsession, Genji wanders from one affair to another, always seeking some sort of completion to his life.Read More »

  • Shunichi Nagasaki – Yawaraka na hou AKA A Tender Place (2001)

    Trainee designer Kasumi has married her employer in Tokyo, the manager of a design workshop, and has had a two-year affair with one of his clients. She and her unsuspecting husband are vacationing in Hokkaido with her ex-lover and his wife when their five-year old daughter Yuka disappears without a trace. Distraught, Kasumi clings to the idea that Yuka is somewhere alive and safe. She returns to the spot every year, hoping to find a clue. Meanwhile her marriage nearly collapses, and her ex-lover’s marriage does collapse. On her fifth visit to Hokkaido, she is shadowed by Utsumi, a detective who has his own ominous reasons for wanting to be involved…Read More »

  • Yoshishige Yoshida – Kokuhakuteki Joyûron AKA Confessions Among Actresses (1971)

    Synopsis:
    The film’s narrative follows three leading actresses, all appearing in the same movie (but not appearing in the same shot until the end of the film), and all undergoing their own personal crises. It’s very formally worked out, through a series of carefully balanced dialogues with confessors, synchronized confrontation scenes, and staggered flashbacks. If Farewell was Yoshida’s self-conscious Resnais tribute, this is him in Bergman mode (Mariko Okada’s story even begins with her experience hysterical mutism, à la Persona), though the finished product is much livelier and more pungent than anything Bergman would have come up with (maybe Zetterling’s The Girls is a more apposite reference point). On another level, it’s also referencing a big old Hollywood melodrama, pastel panoramas in various shades of bitch (there are also nods to All About Eve).Read More »

  • Yûzô Kawashima – Bakumatsu Taiyoden aka Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate AKA The Sun Legend of the End of the Tokugawa Era (1957)

    Synopsis:
    Set in the last few years of the shogun’s rule, this period/ensemble movie depicts the lives of the young and the restless at a whorehouse. The protagonist is Saheiji, a resourceful, witty free spirit. It’s 1862, 6 years before the Shogun turned his political power over to the Emperor. Penniless Saheiji splashes out at a famous Shinagawa whorehouse. He’s forced to stay on at the whorehouse to repay his debt. At first Saheiji is regarded as an unwelcome guest who never leaves but it turns out he is not just a poor grifter. None of the whorehouse’s guests, hosts, servants and attending ladies are innocent but they are pragmatic schemers. Saheiji soon endears himself to them all and solves many whorehouse disputes with his wit. But it is slowly revealed that the seemingly perfect Saheiji is suffering from tuberculosis and his future is uncertain…Read More »

  • Kinji Fukasaku – Funky Hat no kaidanji: Nisenman-en no ude aka Hepcat in the Funky Hat: The Case of the 2,000,000 Yen Arm (1961)

    Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba returns as the reckless son of a private detective takes on the case of a minor league baseball pitcher who disappears right before signing a contract into the major leagues. Meanwhile, the body of an orthopedist is discovered in the river. Two cases come into play and are finally connected into one case. A sequel created by Director Kinji Fukasaku and Superstar Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, chock full of action and refreshing laughter that will satisfy any audience!Read More »

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