Tag Archives: japanese
Gakko / A Class to Remember (1993) Yôji Yamada, Toshiyuki Nishida, Eiko Shinya, Keiko Takeshita, Drama
Kuroi, a night school teacher, asks his student to each write an essay recalling their experience in his class. During class, a piece of tragic news arrives: Inoda, one of Kuroi’s students, has passed away. The class then shares their memories of Inoda.
A Chorus of Angels / Kita no kanaria-tachi (2012) Junji Sakamoto, Ayako Fujitani, Renji Ishibashi, Yôzaburô Itô, Mystery
20 years ago, an elementary school student falls on an island in the northern tip of Hokkaido. A teacher and 6 students makes contact through songs. What happened to the student who fell? The teacher returns 20 years later to meet with her former students.
Violent Virgin / Gewalt! Gewalt: shojo geba-geba (1969) Kôji Wakamatsu, Eri Ashikawa, Toshiyuki Tanigawa, Miki Hayashi, Crime, Horror, Erotic
Filmed entirely in a desolate field, Violent Virgin opens with two cars travelling along a dusty road. Three men and three women, apparently members of a gang, have a couple bound and blindfolded. After they reach their demonstration, they drag the man and woman, whose names we soon learn are Hoshi and Hanako, out of the cars and dump them on the ground. It seems that Hanako was the boss’s girl, but she eloped with Hoshi. Captured, it seems that they are going to be murdered, but not before they are humiliated by the other gang members.
In the story, an industrialist learns of a medical condition which will greatly shorten his life. He is on a trip to Europe at the time, and a glimpse of a Japanese woman in that setting causes him to fantasize about her as the personification of his impending death. As his dialogue with his imagined mortality continues, he actually meets the living woman who is the template for his fantasy, and together they tour rural churches. Gradually he comes to some kind of peace about the diagnosis. When he returns to Japan, he is met with a series of challenges which profoundly test the lessons he has learned.
Told from the viewpoint of the father Morio (Yutaka Mizutani), “A Boy Called H” follows a young boy named Hajime Senoh, nicknamed “H”. His father, Morio runs a tailor shop. With the onset of World War II, their family must endure difficult times. Nevertheless, H is filled with curiosity and a sense of justice.
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) Nagisa Ôshima, David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Drama, War
In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honor and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are cowards when they chose to surrender instead of committing suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the Japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor.
Mogari no mori / The Mourning Forest (2007) Naomi Kawase, Yôichirô Saitô, Kanako Masuda, Machiko Ono, Drama
A care-giver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two wind up stranded in a forest where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journey.
A father and his son, a son and his father. Horikawa is a widower, a teacher, and a good father to Ryohei, who’s about 10. After a tragedy, Horikawa resigns from teaching and takes Ryohei from Tokyo to the town of Ueno, enrolling him in junior high; to the lad’s sorrow, he will be a boarder. Horikawa returns to work in Tokyo, their separation is complete. Jump ahead more than ten years: with dad’s help, Ryohei has finished college and has a teaching job in Akita. Horikawa considers living with his son, which Ryohei wants, but the elder’s notions of duty and hard work preclude it. Ryohei arranges a ten-day vacation with his father. Heartbreak comes quietly, nearly hidden by dignity.