Tag Archives: Japan

True Story of a Woman in Jail: Continues / Zoku jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho (1975) Kôyû Ohara, Hitomi Kozue, Mihoko Arikawa, Kumi Natsuki, Drama, Pinku, Erotic

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This shocking sequel to TRUE STORY OF A WOMAN IN JAIL: SEX HELL, Mayumi (the tough inmate from the first film) emerges from solitary confinement to find an all-new gang of bullies picking on a meek, young female prisoner. Mayumi is now a much harder soul who takes no attitude from anyone, and she turns savage when the poor girl is enslaved by Yakuza! No one is safe as Mayumi takes down the entire jail in a sudden act of violent carnage.

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True Story of a Woman in Jail: Sex Hell / Jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho: sei-jigoku (1975) Kôyû Ohara, Hitomi Kozue, Meika Seri, Maya Hiromi, Drama, Pinku, Erotic

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A group of young women is thrown into a horrible juvenile hall, due to their illegal acts. They soon wish they were back on the outside, as a gang of inmates subjects this “fresh meat” to the horrors of being locked up. Mayumi, a new inmate with a mysterious past, stands up for herself and fights back! NO ONE is going to push her around, and she hatches an escape plan to seek revenge on the person who had her incarcerated.

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Strawberry Shortcakes (2006) Hitoshi Yazaki, Chizuru Ikewaki, Noriko Nakagoshi, Yûko Nakamura, Drama

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Based on the eponymous manga for girls by cartoonist Kiriko Nananan, the pic follows the ups and downs of four female friends in Tokyo looking for love and trying to cope with the responsibilities in their lives. The main characters, impeccably played by four powerful actresses, are modern, self-sufficient women and their stories are told with mild irony and a dash of melancholy. The result is a movie that is lighthearted at times, a little sad at others, crazy and sometimes serious, but always special, that investigates the psychology of its characters and offers an accurate depiction of urban Japan, thanks to its director’s know-how. While many overly ambitious directors struggle to tell even one fairly comprehensible story, Yazaki skillfully weaves a powerful depiction of not one, but four women, creating an indissoluble and moving whole that doesn’t succumb to sentimentalism.

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A Brief History of Time (1991) Errol Morris, Stephen Hawking, Isobel Hawking, Janet Humphrey, Documentary, Biography

A Brief History of Time (Errol Morris, 1991)
A documentary film based on the life of scientist Steven Hawking. The film explores the intimate life of Steven Hawking through him, his friends and his family, as he goes through school, is diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and discovers revolutionary theories about time, black holes, and the origin of the universe. A visually interesting and at times funny film about a extraordinary life.

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Unagi / The Eel (1997) Shôhei Imamura, Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô, Drama

Unagi (Shohei Imamura, 1997)
White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he’s away, suddenly returns home and kills her. After eight years in prison, he returns to live in a small village, opens a barber shop (he was trained as a barber in prison) and talks almost to no-one except for the eel he “befriended” in prison. One day he finds the unconscious body of Keiko, who attempted suicide and reminds him of his wife. She starts to work at his shop, but he doesn’t let her become close to him.

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Sweet Little Lies / Suîto ritoru raizu (2010) Hitoshi Yazaki, Miki Nakatani, Nao Ômori, Jûichi Kobayashi, Drama

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Underneath the veneer of orderly lives, frozen smiles and awkward averted glances, SWEET LITTLE LIES is a cold-as-steel clinical study of a couple. Married for three years, the couple keeps up the apparently tender rituals of newlyweds, but all is not as bright and beautiful as it would seem. Miki Nakatani, “the best Japanese actress of her generation” (Mark Schilling, Japan Times) plays the emotionally and sexually starved wife in Hitoshi Yazaki’s anti-melodramatic chronicle of the disintegration of a marriage. Even the most seasoned viewers will be struck by the menacing calm of Yazaki’s compositions, and his unveiling of lives made from lies.

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