Tag Archives: Japan

The Twilight Story / Bokutô kitan (1960) Shirô Toyoda, Fujiko Yamamoto, Hiroshi Akutagawa, Michiyo Aratama, Drama

The Twilight Story (1960)
A village girl goes to Tokyo and becomes a hooker to support her ailing mother. While there she meets an unmarried teacher (at least he says he’s unmarried) and falls in love. When she learns that he lied and is married to a woman whose child was fathered by another man, she is crushed. He returns to his wife. The woman becomes more distraught when she learns her uncle has misused the money she has sent. As the final straw, her mother dies, and the girl becomes sick.

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Hitori Musuko / Le Fils Unique (1936) Yasujirô Ozu, Chôko Iida, Shin’ichi Himori, Masao Hayama, Comedy, Drama

Hitori Musuko aka Le Fils Unique 1936
The film starts in the rural town of Shinshu in 1923. A widow, Tsune (O-Tsune) Nonomiya (Choko Iida), works hard at a silk production factory to provide for her only son, Ryosuke. When Ryosuke’s teacher Okubo (Chishu Ryu) persuades her to let her son continue to study beyond elementary school, she decides to support her son’s education even until college. Her son promises to become a great man…

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Echizen take-ningyo / Bamboo Doll of Echizen (1963) Kôzaburô Yoshimura, Ayako Wakao, Junichiro Yamashita, Tamao Nakamura, Drama, Romance

Echizen take-ningyo AKA Bamboo Doll of Echizen (1963)
Based on a novel by Tsutomu Mizukami, a celebrated writer whose fictions also furnished plots for directors from Tadashi Imai to Masahiro Shinoda, this haunting melodrama focuses on a young bamboo worker who takes his father’s prostitute as his wife. Though uncharacteristically cold for Yoshimura, the film makes stunning use of its stark black and white cinematography, and boasts an extraordinary lead performance from Ayako Wakao.

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Sen-hime to Hideyori / Lady Sen and Hideyori (1962) Masahiro Makino, Hibari Misora, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Ken Takakura, Drama, History

Sen-hime to Hideyori AKA Lady Sen and Hideyori (1962)
An all-star cast led by Hibari Misora and Kinnosuke Nakamura bring this stunning historical drama to life. From the late 1500’s through the founding of the Tokugawa Shogunate many battles were fought as the great warlords vied for power over the nation. Princess Sen, a daughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu, is caught amidst the family feud between the Tokugawa and Toyotomi families. When her father Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu attacks her husband Toyotomi Hideyori’s castle, her life takes a sudden turn for the worse. Will she ever find peace in her life again? One of Hibari Misora’s most memorable performances, a movie you will never forget!

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Kyua / Cure (1997) Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masato Hagiwara, Kôji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Crime, Horror, Mystery

Kyua AKA Cure (1997)
A wave of gruesome murders is sweeping Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody X carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case, the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe and psychologist Sakuma are called in to figure out the connection, but their investigation goes nowhere. An odd young man is arrested near the scene of the latest murder, who has a strange effect on everyone who comes into contact with him. Detective Takabe starts a series of interrogations to determine the man’s connection with the killings.

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Kurotokage / Black Lizard (1962) Umetsugu Inoue, Machiko Kyô, Minoru Ôki, Junko Kanô, Crime, Drama, Musical

Black Lizard (1962)
Kurotokage (1962, aka Black Lizard) has its origins in a 1934 detective novel – originally published as a magazine serial – by Edogawa Rampo, the pen name of writer Taro Hirai. (“Edogawa Rampo” was meant to mimic the pronunciation of “Edgar Allan Poe,” a writer Hirai greatly admired.) The novel was one of a series that Rampo wrote about the exploits of detective Akechi Kogoro; in this one, he meets his match in a master jewel thief and femme fatale named Black Lizard, with whom he engages in a cat-and-mouse story as he falls under her charms.

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