Tag Archives: Japan

Kinema no Tenchi / Final Take: The Golden Age of Movies (1986) Yôji Yamada, Kiyoshi Atsumi, Kiichi Nakai, Narimi Arimori

Kinema no Tenchi (1986)
The environment and the movie stars at a Japanese film studio in the early ’30s are recreated in this drama that looks back on a distinctive period in cinematic history. Using celebrated director Yasujiro Ozu as a model, fictional director Ogata (Ittoku Kishibe) discovers a new female star quite by accident. Koharu Tanaka (Narimi Arimori) works selling candy at a studio theater when she is given a part as a bit player. After the studio’s top leading lady is embroiled in a scandal, Koharu is suddenly thrust into the limelight when she replaces her in a film and gains instant fame and fortune. But the going is not always easy, and she soon seeks help from unexpected quarters.
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Anjô-ke no butôkai / The Ball at the Anjo House (1947) Kôzaburô Yoshimura, Setsuko Hara, Yumeko Aizome, Osamu Takizawa

Anjo-ke no butokai (1947)
After Japan’s loss in the war, the wealthy, cultured, liberal Anjo family have to give up their mansion and their way of life. They hold one last ball at the house before leaving. The seemingly cold, cynical son secretly grieves for his defeated father and the values that the war destroyed, while the daughter tries to prevent father from taking his life and to find her own place in the new Japan.
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Gion bayashi / A Geisha (1953) Kenji Mizoguchi, Michiyo Kogure, Ayako Wakao, Seizaburô Kawazu

Gion bayashi (1953)
In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a “maiko” (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her mother, who was a geisha and Miyoharu’s friend, has just passed away; her father Sawamoto has failed in business; and her uncle is harassing her. Miyoharu is a warm-hearted woman and accepts to train her. One year later, Eiko’s father refuses to be her guarantor and Miyoharu borrows a large amount from the tea-house owner Okimi to buy her kimono and debut in a party. Miyoharu changes Eiko’s name to Miyoe and introduces the teenager to clients as her sister. Soon Miyoharu is charged for the money but neither she nor Miyoe wants to have patrons.
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Tanin no kao / The Face of Another (1966) Hiroshi Teshigahara, Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida

Tanin no kao (1966)
A businessman facially scarred in a laboratory fire receives psychotherapy from a psychiatrist, and obtains an amazingly lifelike mask from the doctor. Soon after being fitted for the mask, he seduces his wife and succeeds. But his wife claims she was aware all along who he was and believed that both were just masquerading together as most couples usually do in different ways. Strangely enough, his personality seemingly begins to change after he puts on the mask as if the mask has influenced his personality. His new identity does not enable him to reintegrate into society after all. A subplot is inserted in fragments. A good-natured young woman, the right side of whose face is disfigured, has been hurt by others’ inquisitive eyes and insults, and has been shunned by men. She asks her older brother, the only man who understands her pain and solitude, to make love to her, hiding from him the intent of killing herself after then.
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Koruto wa ore no pasupoto / A Colt Is My Passport (1967) Takashi Nomura, Jô Shishido, Chitose Kobayashi, Jerry Fujio

Koruto wa ore no pasupoto (1967)
The melancholy, homely Kamimura is a hit man who takes a job to kill a mob boss who’s gotten greedy. The rival gang lord who hires Kamimura and his driver Shun pays them and sets them up in a hotel for a night while arranging safe passage on a ship. The son of the dead man comes to his rival and offers a partnership and cash in exchange for Kamimura’s death. The boss considers his choice: morals or money? A maid at the hotel tries to aid the escape of Kamimura and Shun. As the two gangs close in, Kamimura chooses honor. Will his stoicism be his shroud?
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