In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honor and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are cowards when they chose to surrender instead of committing suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the Japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor.
Tag Archives: Japan
Mogari no mori / The Mourning Forest (2007) Naomi Kawase, Yôichirô Saitô, Kanako Masuda, Machiko Ono, Drama
A care-giver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two wind up stranded in a forest where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journey.
A father and his son, a son and his father. Horikawa is a widower, a teacher, and a good father to Ryohei, who’s about 10. After a tragedy, Horikawa resigns from teaching and takes Ryohei from Tokyo to the town of Ueno, enrolling him in junior high; to the lad’s sorrow, he will be a boarder. Horikawa returns to work in Tokyo, their separation is complete. Jump ahead more than ten years: with dad’s help, Ryohei has finished college and has a teaching job in Akita. Horikawa considers living with his son, which Ryohei wants, but the elder’s notions of duty and hard work preclude it. Ryohei arranges a ten-day vacation with his father. Heartbreak comes quietly, nearly hidden by dignity.
Heitai Gokudo / Enlisted Yakuza (1968) Kiyoshi Saeki, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Reiko Ônobuta, Shingo Yamashiro, Crime, Drama
Diary of a Mad Old Man / Fûten Rôjin nikki (1962) Keigo Kimura, Sô Yamamura, Ayako Wakao, Keizô Kawasaki, Drama, Comedy
Diary of a Mad Old Man is the journal of Utsugi, a seventy-seven-year-old man of refined tastes who is recovering from a stroke. He discovers that, while his body is decaying, his libido still rages on – unwittingly sparked by the gentle, kindly attentions of his daughter-in-law Satsuko, a chic, flashy dancer with a shady past.
Moon Over Tao / Tao no tsuki (1997) Keita Amemiya, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Hiroshi Abe, Yûko Moriyama, Action, Fantasy
A retired warrior comes to see his former lord and learns that someone is making indestructible swords from some unknown metal. He is sent together with a swordsman to investigate the source. Along the way they meet a young girl working as a beekeeper. She is later witness to the appearance of three strange females from another dimension.
Kao / Face (2000) Junji Sakamoto, Naomi Fujiyama, Etsushi Toyokawa, Michiyo Ohkusu, Comedy, Drama, Crime
The story of a socially awkward seamstress and her unexpected, darkly humorous journey, FACE brought international attention to its innovative director, Junji Sakamoto, and to Naomi Fujiyama, a Japanese stage actress making her searing film debut. Fujiyama plays Masako, whose unhappy life is turned upside down by a series of tragic occurrences in her family. She becomes a fugitive, but her odyssey through the Japanese countryside–marked by unexpected twists and fascinating characters–proves strangely liberating.
The Yellow Handkerchief of Happines (1977) Yôji Yamada, Ken Takakura, Chieko Baishô, Kaori Momoi, Comedy, Drama
The Clone Returns Home / Kurôn wa kokyô wo mezasu (2008) Kanji Nakajima, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Eri Ishida, Hiromi Nagasaku, Drama, Sci-Fi
The Clone Returns Home is a compelling meditation on the paradox of life and death, and the meaning of love and family. Set in an imaginary – yet utterly imaginable – future, this quietly provocative film skillfully transposes complex emotional drama into the realm of science fiction by exploring the influence of technology on human memory and experience. Filled with stunning imagery and haunting stillness, The Clone Returns Home deftly combines subtly nuanced sci-fi with a uniquely Japanese perspective on the universal themes of family, life, love, and death.