This groundbreaking drama, one of few to feature gay lifestyles in a Japanese context, is the work of writer, editor, cinematographer, director and co-star Hiroyuki Oki, an avant-garde filmmaker. In the liberal enclave of Kochi City, Japan, a gay college student, You (pronounced using two syllables as “Yo-ooh”), is living a contented life with his lover and classmate. Then he spies an attractive young man at a train station, and their meeting leads to a subsequent sexual encounter. Although You confesses his infidelity to his boyfriend and even seeks the advice of an ex-lover, he does not completely break off his new relationship, leading to a love triangle that forces each of the men to question his sexuality and identity. Running barely one hour long, I Like You, I Like You Very Much (1995) was short for a feature-length film but earned critical respect for tackling what remains an extremely sensitive cultural issue in its home country.
Tag Archives: Japan
Tômei ningen to hae otoko / The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly (1957) Mitsuo Murayama, Ryûji Shinagawa, Yoshirô Kitahara, Junko Kanô, Crime, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A series of ghastly murders is being committed. The one similarity in each of the murders is that a weird buzzing sound is always heard right before the murder occurs. Is the killer invisible or possibly some other incredible creature?
Ôdishon / Audition (1999) Takashi Miike, Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Drama, Horror, Mystery
In Tokyo, Shigeharu Aoyama is a widower that grieves the loss of his wife and raises his son Shigehiko Aoyama alone. Seven years later, the teenage Shigehiko asks why his middle-aged father does not remarry and Shigeharu meets his friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa, who is a film producer, and tells his intention. However, Shigeharu has difficulties to approach to available women to date and Yasuhisa decide to organize a sham audition for casting the lead actress for the fake movie. They receive several portfolios of candidates and Shigeharu becomes obsessed by the gorgeous Asami Yamazaki. Despite the advice of the experienced Yasuhisa, Shigeharu calls Asami to date and he falls for her. But who is the mysterious Asami?
Umi no koto / Lake of Tears (1966) Tomotaka Tasaka, Yoshiko Sakuma, Katsuo Nakamura, Ganjirô Nakamura, Drama
A touching story following young shamisen string maker, Saku. Beautiful Saku moves to Lake Yogo, known for its production of quality shamisen strings, only to find her peaceful life turned upside down when a master musician takes personal interest in her.
Ubume no natsu / Summer of Ubume (2005) Akio Jissôji, Hiroshi Abe, Nômaru Abe, Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Horror
During the 1950’s, a Tokyo woman from a wealthy family has been pregnant for 20 months while her husband has been missing for a year, apparently after vanishing from inside a locked room. She lives with her mother in a big house that seems to be part of the key for the long delayed delivery. Sekiguchi, a young novelist has a lukewarm interest in the case, sparked by hallucinations or, as they’re called in the film, revelations. The affair is far from private, terrified people ask for police intervention, riot and threaten to break into the house…
All Monsters Attack / Godzilla’s Revenge / Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Oru kaijû daishingeki (1969) Ishirô Honda, Kenji Sahara, Machiko Naka, Tomonori Yazaki, Action, Adventure, Family
Ichiro is a highly imaginative, but lonely, boy growing up in urban Tokyo. Every day he comes home to the empty apartment he shares with his railroad worker father and his restaurant hostess mother. His only friends are a toy maker name Shinpei Inami and a little girl named Sachicko. The only other kids that are around is a gang of kids led by a bully named Gabara. To escape his loneliness, Ichiro imagines that he is on Monster Island where he befriends Minya, the son of Godzilla. It is through his daydreams that he watches Godzilla and Minya fight other monsters, including one also named Gabara who is just as bad a bully as the one that is tormenting Ichiro. It is through these daydreams that he learns that it is okay to fight back and face his fears. These lessons also help him to outwit a couple of bumbling bank robbers as well as finally have the guts to stand up to Gabara and his gang.
Sanmon yakusha / By Player (2000) Kaneto Shindô, Naoto Takenaka, Keiko Oginome, Hideko Yoshida, Drama, Romance
Film inspired by the life of Japanese actor Taiji Tonoyama, with whom Kaneto Shindo had worked on many occasions, with the help of archive images and fragments of the most famous films of the director. The actress Nobuko Otowa adds dialogues facing the camera, as if she was talking to Tonoyama and remembering together old episodes of the interpreter, a past marked by alcoholism and a hectic sex life.
Kousatsu portrays and condemns the oppressive atmosphere of a highly competitive society governed by “hypocritical adults” that prevent young people being young, leading them to commit acts of rebellion and acts of uncontrolled violence or even self-destruct.
Kazoku / Where Spring Comes Late (1970) Yôji Yamada, Chieko Baishô, Hisashi Igawa, Chishû Ryû, Drama
The story is set in 1970 during the time of the first EXPO in Japan. The film’s main figure is a miner who suddenly becomes unemployed because the mine he worked in was shut down. He decides to resettle with his whole family to Hokkaido in northern Japan and start a new life as a farmer.