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Brain Monkey Sushi

With a pair of hair-horns decorating his otherwise bald pate, Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki darts about his studio like a perverted elf. He tilts his camera, swivels a light, moves a flower vase and then adjusts the privates of his model to get the correct composition! Araki makes no ... Read more
“Homoerotic prison life acts as an inscrutable metaphor for what's wrong with modern Japan.” - Variety ... Jun leads an isolated life working in a gay bar but after being brutalised by a customer who picks him up, Jun goes into a frenzy and kills him. This single violent act leads Jun to a ... Read more
At the core of this program of Japanese shorts are the highlights, of Samurai Shorts the latest HD-cam wonders produced by Wataru Furuta (Burst the Earth, MIFF 2001) which are having their international premieres at MIFF. ... Emu is a thoroughly modern and highly stylised re-visiting of an ancient ... Read more
"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me'" Christ's plea from the cross resonates through Aoyama Shinji's ([Eureka], MIFF 00) bleak vision of a post-apocalyptic world overwhelmed with despair. Featuring in this year's Un Certain Regard at Cannes, it showcases Aoyama's truly idiosyncratic vision ... Read more
Katsuhti Ishii teams up with two like-minded directors and creates a film, well, from another planet! Funky Forest invites you to get out of your mind and experience a world where the secrets of the universe can be unlocked by dancing, where freaky dreams, strange aliens, kinetic forehead laser ... Read more
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the series, [Godzilla: Final Wars] has been touted by Toho Pictures as not only the most spectacular Godzilla film ever, but the last in the hugely popular series. From the incendiary Kyle Cooper-designed opening title sequence to the outrageously frenzied ... Read more
Yokai / n. pl. Bizarre-looking monsters and supernatural beings from Japanese folklore who like to play tricks on unsuspecting humans. Eight-year-old Tadashi, a meek schoolboy from a broken family, finds himself leading an epic quest when he is chosen as the next Kirin Rider at an annual festival ... Read more
Heart, Beating in the Dark is a remake, a sequel, a making of and a continuation of Nagasaki's 1982 Super 8 classic of the same name. It is also, according to the Rotterdam Film Festival, “the finest achievement in recent Japanese cinema”. ... Not content with simply remaking his original ... Read more
About one million Japanese youths are afflicted with 'hikikmori'—a total withdrawal from society—shutting themselves up at home, out of frustration with school or work. Home is a fascinating documentary portraying one family's struggle with the effects of this condition. ... 25-year-old ... Read more
Parisian electro-duo Daft Punk combine with legendary Japanese animator Leiji Matsumoto (Albator) in this hour-long visual and aural extravaganza. Its simple plot—four musicians from another galaxy are kidnapped by an evil manager to ultimately become the biggest band on earth—is ... Read more
Since his [Audition] (MIFF 00), Miike Takashi has gained a cult following in the West, and [Izo] is sure to compound his reputation. [Izo] confounds easy description, and even Miike says of the film: "It doesn't fit any genre". But this splatter flick is underpinned by a particular philosophy ... Read more
A compilation of outrageous, inventive short films from seven of Japan's hottest filmmakers. Wildly diverse in subject, genre, systems of photography and filmmaking technique, Jam Films explodes onto the screen and doesn't let up for 109 minutes. ... Each director was allowed a level of creative ... Read more
During the Heian Period of Japan's history, dark spirits still dwelled in the forests, mountains and rivers. Disguised as a male warrior a young woman named Kaidohmaru, 'The Knight of Fire', wages constant war against these forces of evil to maintain the safety of the people of Kyoto. She is allied ... Read more
Life for Ryo is hectic. Aside from his university studies, his indulgences in drugs, girls and clubs keep him on his toes. On his birthday, he decides to throw a party with some close friends, that includes Naoshi, a childhood pal, and Makoto, who drops in on Ryo unaware that it is his birthday ... Read more
Trouble strikes a high-school, teen-girl band on the eve of their performance at the school's festival. The lead guitarist has broken her finger and the lead singer has split. The remaining band members, unwilling to call it quits, search for a new lead singer to complete their line-up with three ... Read more
A writer in a secluded country house is haunted by the past in the latest supernatural horror offering from Kurosawa Kiyoshi. Reiko (Nakatani Miki, Ring), an author struggling with a deadline on her romance novel, suddenly starts to exhibit strange symptoms. She coughs up what appears to be mud ... Read more
Japan in the 90s: the decade of the bubble that burst. A young couple, Daisuke and Akajiru, fail to launch their 'health drink' in the city, and so they retreat to the provincial town where Daisuke grew up and attempt a 'relaunch'. Again their efforts come up short, as the townsfolk simply find the ... Read more
[Pink Ribbon] chronicles the rise and precarious survival of the least prestigious genre in Japanese cinema: the soft-core sex movie, also known as the pink film. [Pink Ribbon] surveys all angles of the industry via some of its most famous and prolific directors, as well as its stars, distributors ... Read more
A quartet of moody J-horror-updating yarns, Rampo Noir is inspired by the stories of early 20th century mystery writer Taro Hirai, who published under the name Edogawa Ranpo, a play on Edgar Allen Poe. This highly stylised package is as visually stunning as its storylines are disturbing. Each ... Read more
Legendary Japanese director, actor and hardman, Kitano ‘Beat' Takeshi, puts the ‘gang' back into ‘doppelganger' with this hyper-real violation of the traditional rules of film form and biography. ... He plays Beat Takeshi, who lives a busy, and sometimes surreal, life of a show biz celebrity ... Read more
Aboard the overnight Twilight Express from Osaka to Sapporo is a team of swindlers. Their attempt to reconstitute the team - with a new leader - after three years had seemed almost impossible from the beginning, but the Sapporo operation turns out successful enough to fill a suitcase with cash ... Read more
An accomplished debut feature that boasts the kind of impossibly gorgeous imagery that punctuates the films of Tran Anh Hung (Cydo, Vertical Roy of the Sun). Woman of Water is a meditative, Zen-like film exploring the world of Ryo, the rain woman, who seems to have the power to bring about a ... Read more
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