Tag Archives: Tadanobu Asano

Yuri Nomura – Eatrip (2009)

An exploration of the act of eating, both as an interaction among people and between people and nature.

Eatrip is a Japanese documentary about food. An exploration of the act of eating, both as an interaction among people and between people and nature. Read More »

Macoto Tezuka – Hakuchi AKA The Innocent (1999)

Harrowing drama is set in an alternate version of the 1990s in which World War II never ended and the citizens of Japan are subjected to nightly bombing raids.

Hakuchi (1999) is based off of Ango Sakaguchi’s novel of the same name and directed by Makoto Tezuka, Osamu Tezuka’s son. “Hakuchi” means “Idiot” (and is in reference to a mentally handicapped woman in the storyline). It stars my favorite Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (Kakihara in “Ichi the Killer”, Mamoru in “Bright Future”, etc.) as a directing assistant named Izawa who works at a television station in a war-ravaged Japan. He gets harassed and abused by a pop star/actress named Ginga who he works for. One day Izawa returns home to find that the mentally-challenged wife of the crazy man next door is hiding in his closet. Read More »

Gakuryû Ishii – Yume no ginga AKA Labyrinth of Dreams (1997)

‘Tomiko is a conductor in a rural bus driven by the handsome Niitaka. Tomiko had received a letter from her best friend Tsuyako, a conductor in another bus company, just after Tsuyako was killed in a bus accident. Tsuyako wrote that she felt that her fiance and driver, Niitaka, planned to kill her. Tomiko therefore plans to take revenge on Niitaka. However Tomiko falls in love with Niitaka, even though she also suspects him of being the Tokyo bus driver serial killer, who killed his female conductors after tiring of them.’
– Will Gilbert Read More »

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – Invisible Waves (2006)

After inadvertently killing his girlfriend, a man (Asano) flees Macau for Thailand in an attempt to cope with his guilt, and avoid possible arrest. But the relocation doesn’t prevent his problems from following him, as his new friends could be potential enemies. Read More »

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Seishun dendekedekedeke AKA The Rocking Horsemen (1992)

“Seishun-den Deke-Deke-Deke (The Rocking Horsemen)” (1992): Nobuhiko Obayashi’s comedy tells the story of a teenage boy living in Kagawa Prefecture in 1965 who hears The Ventures’ “Pipeline” and decides to form a band. It’s one of Japanese cinema’s best coming-of-age stories, and captures the cultural flux of the era with wit and insight rather than mere nostalgia. Look for current screen star Tadanobu Asano as the band’s lead guitarist. He was 19 at the time, appearing in his third film. Read More »

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)

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 »