A metaphysical mystery involving a university student’s camera getting stolen, and the thief then committing suicide. Looking back upon the event, the situation comes to be questioned if it happened at all.
Tag Archives: Japan
Akitsu onsen / Akitsu Springs (1962) Yoshishige Yoshida, Mariko Okada, Hiroyuki Nagato, Sô Yamamura, Drama, Romance
The day before Japan announces its defeat in WW2, a very ill Shusaku arrives in Okayama. He meets Shinko, an innkeeper, who inadvertently gives him the will to live as he spies her crying one day. As romance blossoms, the secret death wish he’d brought with him contends with true love for precedence in their relationship. Based on the book by Shinya Fujiwara.
Bakeneko: A Vengeful Spirit / Kaibyô nori no numa (1968) Yoshihiro Ishikawa, Ryôhei Uchida, Kôtarô Satomi, Kyoko Mikage, Horror
Nabeshima Naoshige murders his lord, Takafusa Ryuzoji, seeking to gain power and steal his Lord’s wife. To avoid her fate, Lady Takafusa drowns herself along with her cat in a nearby marsh. A decade later, Naoshige’s efforts to steal another woman triggers a curse on him when she also commits suicide at the same marsh forcing him to suffer the consequences of his past actions. This a an awesome black and white samurai/ghost story with terrific fighting, and believable special effects. One of the better films in this genre, thoroughly entertaining!
Hasegawa is writing a sequel to his previous novel, based on a true character who murdered 9 people on the street, with the premise that the killer had a brother. The main character in his new novel, Harumi, drops out of high school and leads a quiet life, unable to understand his brother. He is scared that the same blood runs in his veins but is also enraged by the fact that his brother’s life is consumed as material for novels by many writers. A novelist, Hasegawa faces limitations in making being able to make fiction as real and cruel as it is in reality.
Akarui mirai / Bright Future (2003) Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Joe Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji, Drama
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage–something neither can articulate or control–and the strange jellyfish that they keep as a pet.
Middle-aged Hideo lives alone with an inflatable doll he calls Nozomi. The doll is his closest companion. He dresses it up, talks to it over dinner, and has sexual intercourse with it. However, unbeknown to Hideo, Nozomi was created with a heart…
Hebi no michi / Serpent’s Path (1998) Shô Aikawa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Shiro Shitamoto, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Crime
Serpent’s Path and its companion piece Eyes of the Spider (Kumo No Hitomi) both start from the same premise: a man taking revenge for the murder of a child. Kurosawa used this premise as the jumping-off point for the two films rather than their definition, resulting in a pair of works which are not so much occupied with revenge, but with the mental processes of human beings in situations that have placed them outside everyday life.
Sorekara / And Then… (1985) Yoshimitsu Morita, Yûsaku Matsuda, Miwako Fujitani, Kaoru Kobayashi, Drama
This is a probing tale set in turn of the century Japan, involving three people trapped in a complex relationship of love and friendship. Daisuke (Yusaku Matsuda) is supposed to be out looking for a respectable job and equally respectable wife. He is 30 years old and devotes his attention to music and literature; his family is wealthy and can support his interests.
Big Time Gambling Boss (1968) Kôsaku Yamashita, Sumiko Fuji, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin’ichirô Mikami, Action
The oyabun (yakuza capo) of the clan controlling gambling in the Tokyo district dies suddenly and his followers have to decide who will take his place. The mafiosos choose the honest and loyal Nakai, but he refuses the offer alleging that he’s not a direct disciple of the dead oyabun, and suggesting that they choose the next person in the line of succession, Matsuda, who’s currently doing time in prison.
Set in a rural village in the Shinshu region, this melodrama about lovers of different social classes spans two generations: that of a mother, and her son. It depicts the anguish of people entangled in an old and exclusionary value system, and their escape from it, with numerous long shots and an experimental approach that intertwines two timelines.