Tag Archives: Japan

Ichiban utsukushiku / The Most Beautiful (1944) Akira Kurosawa, Takashi Shimura, Sôji Kiyokawa, Ichirô Sugai, Drama

Ichiban utsukushiku (1944)
During World War II, the management of a war industry of optical instruments for weapons requests an effort from the workers to increase the productivity during four months. The target for male workers is an increase of 100% of the production, but the female workers, led by the dedicated Tsuru Watanabe, ask the direction to surpass their goal from 50% to 70%. During the period, the women have to overcome illness and their personal problems to complete their quota.

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Hateshinaki yokubô / Endless Desire (1958) Shôhei Imamura, Reiji Akitsu, Shinsuke Ashida, Takeshi Katô, Comedy

Hateshinaki yokubo (1958)
On August 15, ten years after the Pacific War, five people meet at a station. Their purpose is to dig out a cache of morphine — now worth sixty million yen — that HASHIMOTO, an army medical officer, buried in an air-raid shelter in this city on the day the war ended. The five are: SHIMA, a beautiful woman who claims that she is HASHIMOTO’s younger sister and that her brother is dead; NAKADA, a pharmacist; ONUMA, who owns a Chinese restaurant; YAMAMOTO, a thug; and SAWAI, who says he is a junior high school teacher. But HASHIMOTO originally had only three accomplices — and hid the morphine late at night, so they did not know each other’s identities. There is one person too many in the group, but they do not know whom. A butcher shop now stands over the old air-raid shelter. The five decide to rent a vacant house across the street, and dig a tunnel to the butcher shop.

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Veronika wa shinu koto ni shita / Veronika Decides to Die (2005) Kei Horie, Yôko Maki, Wan Lee, Jun Fubuki, Drama

Veronika wa shinu koto ni shita (2005)
Towa lives in a peculiar sanatorium after committing suicide. Convalescing in sanatorium, she is informed that she has only 7 days to live. Isolated within their worlds, strange people live in this sanatorium and try to avoid making any contact with her. However, Claude a man who lost his power of speech feels sympathetic towards her and their every lovable things give true colors to the life and inspire Towa’s honest desire for the life.

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Kenka erejî / Fighting Elegy (1966) Seijun Suzuki, Hideki Takahashi, Yûsuke Kawazu, Junko Asano, Action, Comedy, Drama

Kenka erejii (1966)
In Okayama in the mid-1930s, Kiroku attends high school and boards with a Catholic family whose daughter, Michiko, captures his heart. He must, however, hide his ardor and other aspects of his emerging sexuality, focusing his energy on a gang he joins, breaking school rules, and getting into scuffles (he tells her, “Oh, Michiko, I don’t masturbate, I fight”). He comes under the influence of a young tough nicknamed Terrapin, and together they lead fights against rival gangs. Gradually, Kiroku and Terrapin align themselves with the right-wing Kita Ikki, and Kiroku becomes a stand-in for the attitudes of Japanese youth who embraced the imperialism leading to World War II.

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