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Films From Japan

With his fascination for transmogrified bodies, junkyard sci-fi hallucinations, explosive violence and dynamic editing. Shinya Tsukamoto has found a cult audience at festivals worldwide since his breakthrough feature debut, Tetsuo—The Iron Man. ... Fans of his hi-impact, confrontational style ... Read more
In an overpopulated world of the future, murder becomes a legally and morally accepted welfare activity. ... Read more
In [Cafe Lumiere] Hou Hsiao-hsien has fashioned a superb homage to Japan's master filmmaker Ozu Yasujiro, incorporating some reverent references to his 1953 [Tokyo Story]. ... [Cafe Lumiere] is a delicately paced film that focuses on Yoko, a young Japanese journalist researching the life of an ... Read more
"A road movie/coming-of-ager that's so wondrously quirky and simpatico with its subjects, it'll hold audiences' hearts captive long after its magical end." – Variety ... In the pretty town of Numazu, two young sisters discover their estranged father is dying and are sent by their ... Read more
Kazuaki Kiriya is known in Japan for his music videos and fashion photography. His debut feature is the stylistically eclectic [Casshern], an apocalyptic sci-fi war flick inspired by a 1970s' anime TV series. This retro-futuristic film is arguably something of an allegory of WWII, and perhaps a ... Read more
The Cat Returns (Neko no Ongaeshi) JapanThe latest film from Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli is The Cat Returns, an enchanting fantasy adventure tale following the fortunes of Haru, a young girl who is drawn into the secret world of cats.Walking home from school with her closest friend ... Read more
“This masterpiece has the blunt force of a tank rolling over naked flesh.” - Hollywood Reporter ... When Lieutenant Kyuzo Kurokawa returns home from WWII a hero - minus his four limbs - he is praised as a ‘god of war' in his village, a true patriot who made a worthy sacrifice for his country ... Read more
From the Stone Age and masterpieces of the early Sung Dynasty we follow the progress of the potter's art in Japan to the elaborate porcelain produced today. ... Read more
All the claymation zombie gore you could wish for, as the ever-faithful sexy maid swaps her broom for a chainsaw. ... --- D/P/S Takena Nagao WS Image Forum L Japanese, English TD HDCAM/2007 ... Read more
"Hiroshi Shizumi is a Takeshi Kitano protégé, having worked as assistant director on several of his films, including Kids Return (MIFF 1997), Hana-Bi (MIFF 1998) and Brother (MIFF 2001). Shizumi's style in Chicken Heart (selected for Critics' Week at Cannes this year) echoes that of his master ... Read more
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Based on a kabuki classic by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), Uchida's [Chikamatsu's 'Love in Osaka'] is adapted with a narrative inventiveness decades ahead of its time. ... A young man adopted into a family of wholesalers, Chubei is one evening tempted by a roguish business contact to spend a ... Read more
How children think, feel and develop is the general subject of this fascinating film of Japanese primary school children observed during an entire year. In particular, the film is a sustained study of the art activities of first grade children in a Tokyo school under the expert guidance of a ... Read more
The Himalayas have always attracted mountaineers of those nations interested in climbing, for the colossal peaks at the "Roof of the World", present the ultimate challenge. ... In 1958, the Academic Alpine Club of Kyoto University decided to attempt the scaling of Chogolisa - the Bride's Peak, in ... Read more
The fociissed importance animated process is used in this two minute repetition of half a dozen fearful pictures of man at the mercy of his spouse who had him chained, caged and pummelled into domesticity. ... Read more
Cult Japanese director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, MIFF 2009; Guilty of Romance, MIFF 2011) brings us a gore-drenched, pitch black comedy about a man drawn into the clutches of a deranged couple. ... Shamoto, a quiet, bullied owner of a small tropical fish shop, lives an existence of unhappy ... Read more
This study of a fascist ideologue, Ikki Kita, has become a major commercial success in Japan. It comes from an outstanding modern director, Yoshida, who earlier made Eros and Massacre. Coup d'Etat follows the career of a right-wing revolutionary whose theories led to an army uprising in 1936. Ikki ... Read more
Gagaku, one of the earliest forms of Japanese music, and Bugaku, its accompanying dance, are still preserved in close to their original state by musicians and dancers of the Imperial Household. This film gives excerpts from the repertoire of this ancient form of Japanese entertainment. ... Read more
The Kobayashi family has problems Mum is getting juiced up and stripping when the neighbours stop by for afternoon tea; son and daughter lock themselves in their bedrooms to engage in a multitude of eccentric pastimes including wrestling practice, pyramid power and marathon study, sessions ... Read more
Crazy Thunder Road draws its inspiration from the Speed Tribes, real life gangs of bikers and car nuts constantly at war in Japan's colourful subculturai milieu. ... In an unnamed near future Ken, the leader of the Mabiroshi Kamikazes biker gang, is retiring to live the good life with his long-time ... Read more
A 'didactic' document, tracing events concerned with the creation and dismantling of a video installation in Japan. ... Read more
"Dainipponjin has to be, hands down, the strangest picture in Cannes this year... [It is] tears-down-the-face funny and a genuine jaw-dropping oddity." - Variety ... Stand-up comedian and actor Hitoshi Matsumoto adds ‘director' to his list of cred-entials with this absurd mockumentary about a ... Read more
"From the director of the superb Ring and Ring 2. A young mother is plagued by visions of the ghostly presence of a drowned girl which seem to strip away the reassuring surfaces of modern-day Japan to reveal an alternative world of fear and superstition. But while Ring's horror involved a widening ... Read more
Dead End RunJapanAfter a blistering retrospective in 2001, Japanese iconoclast Ishii Sogo is back on the big screen delivering another hyperkinetic blast of sonic intensity and visual dynamism. For those Festival audience members whose hearing hasn't quite recovered from Electric Dragon 80,000 ... Read more
One of the most formidable jolts to the Yakuza genre in the past decade. Dead or Alive has already left audiences gulping and gasping at Tokyo, Vancouver and Seattle Film Festivals. Surreal visions of excess, an out of control guitar soundtrack and mean streets examinations of almost every ... Read more
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