Yasufumi Hayashi

  • Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Hyôryu kyôshitsu AKA The Drifting Classroom (1987)

    Nobuhiko Obayashi’s sci-fi fantasy (from a manga by Kazuo Umezu) about a middle school that gets transported by an earthquake to a strange and otherworldly landscape.Read More »

  • Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Pekin no suika AKA Beijing Watermelon (1989)

    Contemporary Japanese Film by Mark Schilling (1999):

    Topicality is tricky. Sylvester Stallone’s one-man war in Afghanistan in Rambo III might have suited the Evil Empire mentality of the early 1980s, but in 1988, with Russian troops rapidly withdrawing from the country, it was ludicrous. Rambo was battling a Cold War ghost.

    Beijing Watermelon, which tells the story of a Chiba vegetable seller’s encounter with Chinese students, was also overtaken by events. Filming scheduled for Beijing had to be canceled because of the tragedy at Tienanmen Square. But instead of plugging away as though nothing had happened, director Nobuhiko Obayashi seized the opportunity to comment on that tragedy and make one of the most original, moving films in recent memory.Read More »

  • Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Noyuki yamayuki umibe yuki AKA To the Fields, to the Hills, to the Beaches [B&W Version] (1986)

    During the fervently nationalist months leading up to World War II, a rebellious teenager is transferred to a new primary school in a small Inland Sea town. He vies with the school’s reigning bully, who takes a romantic interest in his older stepsister. When they learn she’s going to be sold to a brothel to pay off her father’s debts, they form an uneasy alliance to free her. With surprising moments of caricature and slapstick, Obayashi celebrates the anarchic world of adolescence while also satirizing adult hypocrisy and conformism.Read More »

  • Nobuhiko Obayashi – Noyuki Yamayuki Umibe Yuki AKA To the Fields, to the Hills, to the Beaches (1986)

    During the fervently nationalist months leading up to World War II, a rebellious teenager is transferred to a new primary school in a small Inland Sea town. He vies with the school’s reigning bully, who takes a romantic interest in his older stepsister. When they learn she’s going to be sold to a brothel to pay off her father’s debts, they form an uneasy alliance to free her. With surprising moments of caricature and slapstick, Obayashi celebrates the anarchic world of adolescence while also satirizing adult hypocrisy and conformism.Read More »

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