Tag Archives: Japan

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004) Asia Argento, Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse, Drama

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004)
The dysfunctional twenty-three years old Sarah takes her six year old natural son Jeremiah from the home of his beloved foster parents with the support of the social service to live with her. Along the years, the boy shares her insane and lowlife style and is introduced to booze and drugs and mentally, physically and sexually abused by Sarah, her lovers and her religiously fanatic family.

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Station / Eki (1981) Yasuo Furuhata, Ken Takakura, Chieko Baishô, Ayumi Ishida, Drama

Station (1981)
A very beautiful film. This is a Ken Takakura vehicle, and as such follows his formula. Takakura plays to type as the laconic brooder who suffers multiple tragedies with manly stoicism. While the variety of his film varied greatly, his films with director Yasuo Furuhata were always of the highest quality, and this is no exception. Takakura is a cop training to be a sharpshooter for the Olympic games, he divorces his wife and abandons his daughter when he discovers she’s had an affair. Later his coach is gunned down by a fleeing criminal. Years later Takakura returns to his snowy hometown and starts an affair with a middle-aged bar owner. The story is a bit thick, with a number of subplots, yet it is extrordinarily melancholic, as Takakura seems to regret everything he’s done in his life and is made over and over again to relive his mistakes. There is very little “action” as such, and no yakuzas of any kind; but beyond that this is one of the most lushly beautiful and emotional films you can see (if you can see it), with an excellent score by Ryudo Uzaki.

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The Conspirator / Hangyakuji (1961) Daisuke Itô, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Haruko Sugimura, Chiyonosuke Azuma, Action, Drama

The Conspirator (1961)
Two hostile clans had reached an artificial reconciliation which involves the marriage of a person from each family. The boy’s father is away to serve the emperor, and his highly despotic mother has the absolute power. Typical of the atmosphere are the boy’s words to her: “If mother was not my mother I would hate her.” “If father was not my father I would hate him.” The boy eventually finds a poor peasant girl and has a beautiful love affair. But soon his mother appoints this girl to be the son’s concubine. As the real wife had so far born no child, if the concubine should be the first to bear a child, the wife and the concubine would exchange their status. In this situation the boy refuses to sleep with his beloved. His mother tries to whip the girl into seducing the boy, and when she fails the mother murders the girl. In this hell the boy finally finds a solution. He is the obstacle which prevents his father from rebelling against the emperor.

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