Yûko Nakamura

  • Naomi Kawase – Hotaru AKA Firefly (2000)

    1991-2000ArthouseDramaJapanNaomi Kawase

    Emotionally withdrawn strip club dancer Ayako has never recovered from her mother’s suicide when she was young. She begins a relationship with patient potter Daiji, but leaves him behind when she quits her job and returns to her home town after a 10 year absence.Read More »

  • Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)

    2001-2010HorrorJapanSci-FiShinya Tsukamoto

    Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy.Read More »

  • Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Kotoko (2011)

    2011-2020DramaHorrorJapanShinya Tsukamoto

    When a single mother suffers a nervous breakdown, she is suspected of child abuse and her child is taken away. Her mental suffering escalates as she succumbs to her darkest fantasies.Read More »

  • Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Kotoko (2011)

    2011-2020ArthouseDramaJapanShinya Tsukamoto

    Mother love gets the Shinya Tsukamoto treatment in the Japanese auteur’s latest mindfuck, a boldly abrasive, sometimes overwhelming tour of an unbalanced psyche. Said psyche belongs to a young, single mother (played by J-pop star Cocco) who imagines sinister doppelgangers lurking everywhere, stabs potential suitors with forks, lacerates her skinny arms with razors (“I cut my body to confirm it,” she muses in voiceover) and, above all, turns any activity involving her toddler son into grueling bouts of hysteria. Only singing seems to soothe her, and one of her songs catches the attention of a masochistic novelist (Tsukamoto) who’s willing to let her beat him into a bloody pulp in order to forge a relationship with her. Filmed with a reeling, zooming camera, scratchily edited, and set to a deafening cacophony of enfant shrieks and industrial noise, this virtuoso bit of grisliness may have something to say about violence-saturated societies nurturing Medea fantasies, but any thematic exploration plays second fiddle to Tsukamoto’s insistence on sheer sensory overload.Read More »

  • Alain Escalle – Le Conte Du Monde Flottant AKA The Tale of the Floating World (2001)

    2001-2010Alain EscalleAnimationFranceShort Film


    IMDB user Review:

    Artifacts Don’t Move

    The idea of this, and the ideas of how we might watch it, are more engaging than the thing itself.

    Japan is a collection of notions about what it was, perhaps more-so than any other culture with visibility. Both Japanese and the west look on that collection of cultural relics, sometimes to mine for expressive power.

    (Arabia and Persia have a similar dynamic which differs in being based on knowledge rather than refinements in society. It also differs in that it destroyed what they had themselves — and deliberately, so only the anger at loss remains and none of the reference to introspection.)Read More »

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