Tag Archives: Japan

Goyôkiba: Oni no Hanzô yawahada koban / Hanzo the Razor: Who’s Got the Gold? (1974) Yoshio Inoue, Shintarô Katsu, Kô Nishimura, Mako Midori, Mikio Narita, Action

Who's Got the Gold (1974)
Follow the money. In a time of economic disaster for wage earners, Hanzo discovers a conspiracy among high officials to “borrow” gold from the shogunate’s treasury and loan it out to the destitute, including impecunious samurai – exacting either interest payments or family heirlooms from the debtors. Along the way, Hanzo extracts a confession from a ghost using his assaulting methods, foils thieves, connects with Heisuke Takei a friend from his youth, offers protection to a forward-thinking physician Genan Sugino who has defamed his ruler, discovers a pleasure ring of young wives and a blind music teacher, and cuckolds a corrupt official under his very nose.
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Jo no mai / Appassionata (1984) Sadao Nakajima, Mariko Okada, Yûko Natori, Morio Kazama, Kei Satô, Biography, Drama

Appassionata (1984)
This story is based on the novel “Jo No Mai” by Tomiko Miyao which is based on the life of painter Sh?en Uemura (1875–1949), the first woman to be awarded the Order of Culture. The title refers to the masterpiece bijinga (“picture of a beautiful woman”) that Uemura painted at the age of 61. The main character, Tsuya Shimamura, is born in Kyoto as the second daughter of a tea trader who dies before her birth. Tsuya, who loves painting more than anything and is hopeless at housework, attends art school and at age 15 receives the name Sh?sui (from the characters for “pine” and “green”) from her teacher. The crown prince of England purchases one of her works, propelling her to fame overnight. The novel portrays the remainder of her stormy life, during which she is impregnated by her teacher and raises a fatherless child; through it all she devotes herself to her painting, undaunted.
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The Crying Game (1992) Neil Jordan, Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Forest Whitaker, Crime, Drama, Romance

The Crying Game (1992)
An unlikely kind of friendship develops between Fergus, an Irish Republican Army volunteer, and Jody, a kidnapped British soldier lured into an IRA trap by Jude, another IRA member. When the hostage-taking ends up going horribly wrong, Fergus escapes and heads to London, where he seeks out Jody’s lover, a hairdresser named Dil. Fergus adopts the name “Jimmy” and gets a job as a day laborer. He also starts seeing Dil, who knows nothing about Fergus’ IRA background. But there are some things about Dil that Fergus doesn’t know, either…
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Saikaku Ichidai Onna / The Life of Oharu (1952) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai, Drama

The Life of Oharu (1952)
A fifty-year-old prostitute, no longer able to attract men, looks back on her sad life. Once a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court at Kyoto, Oharu fell in love with, and became the lover of, a man below her station. They were discovered, and Oharu and her family were exiled. For Oharu there followed a life filled with one sorrow and humiliation after another.
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Red Angel / Akai tenshi (1966) Yasuzô Masumura, Ayako Wakao, Shinsuke Ashida, Yûsuke Kawazu, Drama, Romance, War

Red Angel (1966)
In 1939, Sakura Nishi is a young army nurse who is sent to the field hospitals in China during the Sino-Japanese war. She has to assist the surgeon Dr. Okabe with an incredible number of amputations. In the crowded wards, she gives sympathy to some of the soldiers, including sexually servicing one who has lost both arms and has no hope of returning home. She falls in love with Dr. Okabe, and follows him to the front, even though he is impotent from his morphine addiction.
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Judgment Night (1993) Stephen Hopkins, Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Denis Leary, Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Judgment Night (1993)
Four pals are on their way to a boxing match, but get stuck in heavy traffic. To get to the boxing match in time they take the first exit they find to find another way to the venue. As they are driving around lost in gang-land they get stuck and witness a brutal murder. The killer wants no witnesses and tries to kill them too. The four pals get away the first time, but the killer is soon back on their tail again while they are trying to find help in the middle of nowhere.
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Phantoms (1998) Joe Chappelle, Peter O’Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Phantoms (1998)
The resort town of Snowfield, Colo., is under attack by an evil spirit that almost wipes out the entire population, possessing a number of those it kills. As the locals continue to fall victim to the demonic presence, it’s up to Sheriff Bryce Hammond (Ben Affleck) to lead the response. He’s helped by FBI-employed academic Dr. Timothy Flyte (Peter O’Toole), Deputy Stu Wargle (Liev Schreiber), local doctor Jennifer Pailey (Joanna Going) and her visiting sister, Lisa (Rose McGowan).
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Hana ichimonme / Gray Sunset (1985) Shunya Itô, Yukiyo Toake, Minoru Chiaki, Teruhiko Saigô, Yumiko Nogawa, Drama

Gray Sunset (1985)
Gray Sunset is a 1985 Japanese film directed by Shunya Ito. It was Japan’s submission to the 58th Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not accepted as a nominee. It won the award for Best Film at the Japan Academy Prize ceremony. Grandfather Fuyukichi Takano, a former university professor, gets fired from his museum job when he is affected by Alzheimer’s disease, but his affliction serves to deepen family ties.
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Rokugatsu no hebi / A Snake of June (2002) Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Asuka Kurosawa, Yûji Kôtari, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Yukino Asai, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A Snake of June (2002)
Rinku is a suicide-prevention counselor, living with her husband Shigehiko. He’s older than she, scrubbing things constantly, sexually indifferent. They sleep apart. During Tokyo’s rainy season, Iguchi, a photographer Rinku has counseled by phone, sends her pictures he has taken through her skylight: she’s wearing a short skirt, masturbating. He offers her the negatives if she’ll follow his instructions. She’s humiliated and agrees. He tells her he’s only giving her license to express her inner desires. He sends her into the night to walk on the wild side. Then, she asks a favor of him, and soon her husband receives phone calls and photographs. Where will this triangle lead?
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