Tag Archives: Japan

Underworld Beauty (1958) Seijun Suzuki, Michitarô Mizushima, Mari Shiraki, Shinsuke Ashida, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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The moment he’s released from prison, the honorable gangster Miyamoto recovers the stolen diamonds he had stashed before getting pinched. When he returns to his haunt to make good by friend who took a bullet for him, he is diverted by the greedy boss Oyane and his insatiable taste for Miyamoto’s precious stones. Replete with film noir style, “Underworld Beauty” is one of Suzuki’s best nods to the American gangster genre.

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Rabu sutori o kimini / Memories of You (1988) Shin’ichirô Sawai, Kumiko Goto, Tôru Nakamura, Tomomi Satô, Drama, Romance

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University student Akira meets the lovely 14-year-old Yumi, whom he had tutored years ago. Her mother is told by her doctor that the schoolgirl has leukaemia and has only 6 months to live. So the mother entreats Akira to be her special friend. Yumi’s condition remains stable for a while, but on the day that Akira leaves for Nagano for his teacher training, she suddently falls ill in school and then goes to a friend’s villa in the resort town of Karuzawa to recuperate. She is able to visit Akira from time to time, and this eases her fear and suffering. But when summer is over, Yumi’s condition deteriorates, and finally Akira takes her to Mount Hodaka where, as she falls into her final delirium, they express their deep love for each other.

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Kaze ni tatsu raion / The Lion Standing in the Wind (2015) Takashi Miike, Ayako Fujitani, Satomi Ishihara, Ryôhei Suzuki, Drama

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Jack-of-all-trades director Miike Takashi takes on more serious material in the human drama The Lion Standing in the Wind about the experiences of a Japanese doctor in Africa. Featuring location shooting in Kenya, the film is based on Sada Masashi’s novel and song Kaze ni Tatsu Lion, which were inspired by the true story of a Japanese doctor who operated a mobile clinic in the African nation.

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