Tag Archives: japanese

Kaseki / The Fossil (1975) Masaki Kobayashi, Shin Saburi, Mayumi Ogawa, Keiko Kishi, Drama

Kaseki (1975)
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.

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Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) Nagisa Ôshima, David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Drama, War

merry-christmas-mr-lawrence-1983
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.

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Chichi ariki / There was a father (1942) Yasujirô Ozu, Chishû Ryû, Shûji Sano, Shin Saburi, Drama

chichi-ariki-aka-there-was-a-father-1942
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.

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Kao / Face (2000) Junji Sakamoto, Naomi Fujiyama, Etsushi Toyokawa, Michiyo Ohkusu, Comedy, Drama, Crime

Kao AKA Face (2000)
The story of a socially awkward seamstress and her unexpected, darkly humorous journey, FACE brought international attention to its innovative director, Junji Sakamoto, and to Naomi Fujiyama, a Japanese stage actress making her searing film debut. Fujiyama plays Masako, whose unhappy life is turned upside down by a series of tragic occurrences in her family. She becomes a fugitive, but her odyssey through the Japanese countryside–marked by unexpected twists and fascinating characters–proves strangely liberating.

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