Tag Archives: Japan

Yume / Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (1990) Akira Kurosawa, Ishirô Honda, Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baishô, Toshie Negishi, Drama, Fantasy

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Unfolding in a series of eight mythic vignettes, this late work by Akira Kurosawa was inspired by the beloved director’s own nighttime visions, along with stories from Japanese folklore. In a visually sumptuous journey through the master’s imagination, tales of childlike wonder give way to apocalyptic apparitions: a young boy stumbles on a fox wedding in a forest; a soldier confronts the ghosts of the war dead; a power plant meltdown smothers a seaside landscape in radioactive fumes. Interspersed with reflections on the redemptive power of creation, including a richly textured tribute to Vincent van Gogh (who is played by Martin Scorsese), Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is both a showcase for its maker’s artistry at its most unbridled and a deeply personal lament for a world at the mercy of human ignorance.

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Tokugawa onna keibatsu-shi / The Joy of Torture (1968) Teruo Ishii, Teruo Yoshida, Masumi Tachibana, Fumio Watanabe, Drama, Horror, Erotic

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The Joy of Torture is an anthology that is made up three separate stories that all intersect: The first segment is about Shinza who was hurt while working when a log hit him on the head and now sister Mitsu is forced give herself to her brothers boss Mr. Mino in order to help pay for Shinza’s doctors bills. The second segment is about the arrival of mother Reiho and her servant Rintoku at the Jukuin monastery. The monastery is located new to e temple inhabited by priest and one day when one of them named Shunkei runs by Reiho he arouses something inside of her. The final segment is about a tattoo artist named Horicho who has just given Kimicho his greatest tattoo to date. While showing his work off to a group of people, a man named Lord Nambera walks by mocking the tattoo and it lack of realism.

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Orgies of Edo / Zankoku ijô gyakutai monogatari: Genroku onna keizu (1969) Teruo Ishii, Teruo Yoshida, Toyozô Yamamoto, Masumi Tachibana, Drama, Erotic

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In the tradition of JOY OF TORTURE, this film presents three stores of sadism and perversion taking place in Edo during a time of civil war. The first story is about doomed lovers, the second is about a noblewoman who likes to do it with hairy midgets and imported black slaves because of a certain incident in her past and finally the third story is about the marvel of caesarean section.

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Bakushû / Early Summer (1951) Yasujirô Ozu, Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima, Drama

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In postwar Tokyo, this household is loving and serene: older parents, their 28-year-old daughter Noriko, their married son, his devoted wife, and two rascally sons. Their only discontent is Noriko’s lack of a husband. Society is changing: she works, she has women friends who tease and argue, her brother sees her independence as impudence, she sees it as normal. When her boss suggests that she marry a 40-year-old bachelor who is his friend, all the members of her family press her to accept. Without seeking their advice, and to their chagrin, Noriko determines her own course of action.

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