Tag Archives: Japan

Mibu gishi den / When the Last Sword is Drawn (2002) Yôjirô Takita, Kiichi Nakai, Kôichi Satô, Yui Natsukawa, Drama

Mibu gishi den (2002)
Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his family to leave for the city in search of higher pay to support them. In his search he joins a notorious clan, known as the Shinsengumi where he does as much as possible to get money. Looked at as a money grubber,Yoshimura proves his strength physically and mentally by being loyal to his honor. During the dramatic period, with the rise of the Emperor and the fall of the Shogun. Yoshimura shows us the struggle of life in a personal way, by changing the lives of the people he meets and the way life is looked at.

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Kanikôsen (2009) SABU, Ryûhei Matsuda, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Kengo Kôra

Kanikosen (2009)
On board at the boat Kanikosen, where fish and crabs preserves, forced workers to work under miserable conditions, with minimum wages. Some can not cope with conditions and even death from malnutrition, and is also the supervisor of the more vicious variety. Shinjo, one of the employees, trying to convince the others that they will get good luck and fortune in his next life, and persuades them because they commit suicide to get there faster. It ends, however, in a single major failure. Rather than flee Shinjo being picked up by a Russian ship. Once there, he is overwhelmed by the social conditions that are completely different from those he has just left and decided therefore to return to Kanikosen to save their employees.

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Shinboru / Symbol (2009) Hitoshi Matsumoto, David Quintero, Luis Accinelli

Shinboru (2009)
A man wakes up alone in a brightly illuminated white room with no windows or doors. When he presses a mysteriously phallic protuberance that appears on one wall, a pink toothbrush materializes from nowhere, clattering to the floor and setting in motion a genuinely bizarre chain of events. Soon the imprisoned man is engaged in absurd and hilarious attempts to escape the gleaming room, releasing random objects from the walls, creating a life sized mouse trap game in which a rope, a toilet plunger and an earthenware jug full of sushi might just be the keys to his escape. Meanwhile, in a dusty town, a green masked Mexican wrestler known as Escargot Man prepares for an important match. His family gathers around him, worried about his seeming impassivity before battle.

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Koibumi / Love Letter (1953) Kinuyo Tanaka

Koibumi (1953)
This valiant melodrama is the brilliant debut as a moviemaker of the great Japanese actress Kinuyo Tanaka, who also has a small role in the story. Based on a screenplay by Keinosuke Kinoshita, “Koibumi” explore the wounds of war, the limits of love and the need to forgive. A sad and troubled man, Reikichi Mayumi (Masayuki Mori), finds a new job five years after the end of WWII. He will write love letters for other people, which was not uncommon in post-war times (remember the starving poet Lope Veiga -Fernando Rey- in Spanish masterpiece “Cielo negro”). His ideas about love and his personal principles will be tested when he reconnects with his former girlfriend, Michiko (Yoshigo Kuga), a woman with a dark past marked by war and the further occupation of her country by the US military forces.

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Maria no Oyuki / Oyuki, the Virgin (1935) Kenji Mizoguchi

Maria no Oyuki (1935)
Oyuki, the Virgin is based on Kawaguchi Matsutaro’s adaptation of Maupassant’s “Boule de Suif” (“Lump of Fat,” also the inspiration for Ford’s Stagecoach). To this story Mizoguchi added some of his own elements. Maupassant’s original work, set during the Franco-Prussian War, is the story of a group of people who try to flee the battleground in a horsedrawn carriage. The bourgeois use the expression “lump of fat” to refer sarcastically to the prostitute who is riding along with them. When they are caught by the enemy, they offer to send her to the commander as a human sacrifice. This done, when they leave the battlefield the next day, all they do is censure her and call her vulgar.

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Hachi no su no kodomotachi / Children of the Beehive (1948) Hiroshi Shimizu

Hachi no su no kodomotachi (1948)
The movie focuses on the plight of ten war orphans hailing from different cities across Japan. With nowhere to go, they scavenge around train stations, scratching out an existence by means of black market work for a one-legged tramp whilst avoiding being picked up by the police for vagrancy. Soon however, they find a more inspiring role model in the figure of a nameless soldier just repatriated after the war. An orphan himself, the soldier also has no home to return to, and so sets out across the country with the kids in tow in search of work before settling on the goal of leading them to the orphanage where he himself grew up.

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Kyojin to gangu / Giants and Toys (1958) Yasuzô Masumura

Kyojin to gangu (1958)
Nishi is an advertising executive for a caramel company that is planning to launch a new product, in fierce competition with two other companies. His boss builds up Kyoko, a vivacious girl with bad teeth, as their mascot. Kyoko is smitten with Nishi when he is assigned to look after her. Meanwhile Nishi is trying to extract information about his competitors advertising campaigns, from his girlfriend, who works for one rival, and his old college friend, who works for the other rival company.

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