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Japanese Cinema: Articles


Scariest Movies Ever Made

Scariest Movies: Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' with Janet Leigh, John Gavin and Vera Miles. Scariest movies ever made: The top 100 horror films according to the Chicago Film Critics I tend to ignore lists featuring the Top 100 Movies (or Top 10 Movies or Top 20 Movies, etc.), no matter the […]


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Scariest Movies Ever Made



Nagisa Oshima 'In the Realm of the Senses' Director Dies: 'Obscene Is What Is Hidden'

Nagisa Oshima: In the Realm of the Senses (Truly) Iconoclastic Filmmaker dead at 80 Nagisa Oshima, best known as the director of the sexually charged 1976 psychological drama Ai No Corrida / In the Realm of the Senses, died of pneumonia on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at a Fujisawa hospital, near […]


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Nagisa Oshima 'In the Realm of the Senses' Director Dies: 'Obscene Is What Is Hidden'



'Ran': Akira Kurosawa Classic

Akira Kurosawa's Ran “Critical cribbing” is a term I coined in regard to the tendency of critics, in all fields, to not engage a work of art directly, but rather to fall back on lazily repeating claims that have been made by others about the work they are reviewing. Sometimes, […]


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'Ran': Akira Kurosawa Classic



'Seven Samurai' Analysis: Akira Kurosawa Classic Keeps Improving

'Seven Samurai' analysis: Akira Kurosawa movie gets better after repeated viewings (image: Toshiro Mifune in 'Seven Samurai') Some films get better after repeated viewings. Akira Kurosawa's 1954 black-and-white drama Seven Samurai / Shichinin no samurai is one of them. It fully deserved winning that year's Silver Lion at the Venice […]


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'Seven Samurai' Analysis: Akira Kurosawa Classic Keeps Improving



'Drunken Angel': Akira Kurosawa in 'Unformed' Pre-Masterpiece Stage

Watching Akira Kurosawa's 1948 black-and-white effort Yoidore Tenshi / Drunken Angel is an interesting experience, for he clearly had not mastered the art form, yet. Even so, there is so much that is good in Drunken Angel – touches that would become great in just a few years. It's like […]


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'Drunken Angel': Akira Kurosawa in 'Unformed' Pre-Masterpiece Stage



'The End of Summer' Movie Review: Yasujiro Ozu Classic

Yasujiro Ozu classic When an artist has reached a level of such high art that he and his work can be spoken of as being in the top tier of his art form, something terrible happens: often brilliant – but not quite ineffably so – work is looked upon with […]


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'The End of Summer' Movie Review: Yasujiro Ozu Classic



'Black Rain' Movie: Hiroshima A-Bomb & Its Aftermath

'Black Rain.' Animego's DVD release of Shohei Imamura's Black Rain includes as a bonus feature a selection of World War II-era anti-Japanese propaganda films.  Sponsored by various U.S. government bureaucracies, most of these shorts traffic in the usual sort of wartime racism and paranoia which, depending on your sensibility, you […]


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'Black Rain' Movie: Hiroshima A-Bomb & Its Aftermath



Akira Kurosawa Movies: 'Ran' & 'Dersu Uzala'

Maksim Munzuk Dersu Uzala Three Academy Award-nominated/-winning films by Akira Kurosawa will be shown tonight on Turner Classic Movies: Dersu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980), and Ran (1985). Winner of the 1975 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the poetic Dersu Uzala chronicles the difficulties encountered by a Siberian hunter (Maksim Munzuk) […]


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Akira Kurosawa Movies: 'Ran' & 'Dersu Uzala'



Akira Kurosawa on TCM: 'Seven Samurai' & 'Rashomon'

Toshiro Mifune (second from right) in Seven Samurai Akira Kurosawa would have turned 100 today. In celebration of his centenary, Turner Classic Movies is showing 26 of the director's films throughout the month of March. Today's Kurosawa series began early – at 3 a.m. Pacific Time – with a presentation […]


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Akira Kurosawa on TCM: 'Seven Samurai' & 'Rashomon'



'The Unbroken' Tops Japanese Academy Awards

Ken Watanabe, Tomokazu Miura in The Unbroken Setsuro Wakamatsu's drama The Unbroken was voted the best Japanese film of 2009 at the Japanese Academy Awards ceremony, which was held in Tokyo on March 5. In the controversial drama, best actor winner Ken Watanabe plays an airline union leader fighting for […]


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'The Unbroken' Tops Japanese Academy Awards



Akira Kurosawa Tribute

The Academy had its John Hughes tribute on Sunday. Tonight, Turner Classic Movies is paying tribute to someone who may not be a household name in the United States, but who merits recognition as well. The guy, after all, made quite a few films that won awards here and there […]


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Akira Kurosawa Tribute



Zhang Yimou & John Woo Honorary Awards + Air Disaster Drama Tops Japanese Academy Award Nominations

Zhang Yimou on the set of A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop a.k.a. A Simple Noodle Story. Best known for his lush collaborations with Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern, Shanghai Triad, Curse of the Golden Flower), Zhang Yimou has been announced as the recipient of the Asian […]


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Zhang Yimou & John Woo Honorary Awards + Air Disaster Drama Tops Japanese Academy Award Nominations



'The Human Condition' Movie Trilogy Review: Japanese Cinema Classic

Michiyo Aratama, Tatsuya Nakadai in The Human Condition Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition, based on Jumpei Gomikawa's novel, is probably as well known for its scope and scale as for any other reason.  Originally released as three films – No Greater Love (1959), The Road to Eternity (1959), and A […]


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'The Human Condition' Movie Trilogy Review: Japanese Cinema Classic



Japanese Horror Classics: 'Goke' & 'Hausu' Screenings

House by Nobuhiko Obayashi (top); Goke, Bodysnatcher from Hell by Hajime Sato (bottom) Schedule and synopses from the American Cinematheque website. Wednesday, September 23 - 7:30 PM Japanese Cult Classics Double Feature: HOUSE (HAUSU), 1977, Janus Films, 87 min. This long-lost fantasy/horror masterpiece from director Nobuhiko Obayashi has finally surfaced […]


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Japanese Horror Classics: 'Goke' & 'Hausu' Screenings



ANIME! High Art - Pop Culture

Wedding Peach, Akira, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust “ANIME! High Art - Pop Culture,” a multimedia exhibition spotlighting the art of Japanese animation, will have its American premiere at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, May 15, in the Grand Lobby and Fourth Floor galleries in Beverly […]


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ANIME! High Art - Pop Culture



Nagisa Oshima at the American Cinematheque

“No other director of Oshima's generation has made more vital, inventive and challenging films, or taken more risks. He is a giant in contemporary cinema.” - Tony Rayns “Plainly the greatest living Japanese filmmaker.” - Jonathan Rosenbaum “Japan's greatest living filmmaker.” - J. Hoberman Those in the Los Angeles area […]


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Nagisa Oshima at the American Cinematheque



'Debauched Desires': Masaru Konuma Four 'Erotic Masterpieces'

PRESS RELEASE Kino International and KimStim are proud to release the four-DVD set Debauched Desires: Four Erotic Masterpieces by Masaru Konuma. Directed by the master of Japanese erotic cinema Masaru Konuma, CLOISTERED NUN: RUNA'S CONFESSION (1976), TATTOOED FLOWER VASE (1976), EROTIC DIARY OF AN OFFICE LADY (1977) and a re-mastered […]


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'Debauched Desires': Masaru Konuma Four 'Erotic Masterpieces'



'Tokyo Sonata': Family Life in Japanese Capital

Some reviews and commentaries describe Tokyo Sonata, winner of this year's Asian Film Awards for best film and best screenplay, as showing the disintegration of an “ordinary” Japanese family after the husband-father gets laid off from his administrative post at a big corporation. Although technically that is an accurate summary […]


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'Tokyo Sonata': Family Life in Japanese Capital



'Sisters of the Gion': Kenji Mizoguchi Classic

Sisters of the Gion. Business is contingent upon profitable commercial transactions. Exchanges that removed from human instigation are cold but necessary for survival. Success, no matter strategy or plan, is propelled or hindered by fate, though this variable holds no emotional consequence. Of course, companies are usually created to make […]


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'Sisters of the Gion': Kenji Mizoguchi Classic



'Sansho the Bailiff' Kenji Mizoguchi

Sanshô Dayû / Sansho the Bailiff (1954) Dir.: Kenji Mizoguchi. Scr.: Fuji Yahiro; from the old legend and Ogai Mori's 1915 short story “Sansho the Steward.” Cast: Shindô Eitarô, Kyoko Kagawa, Yoshiaki Hanayagi   One of the nostra about Japanese film director Kenji Mizoguchi is that he is 'the most […]


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'Sansho the Bailiff' Kenji Mizoguchi



'The Bad Sleep Well' Review: Akira Kurosawa Classic

Akira Kurosawa's 1960 black-and-white Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru / The Bad Sleep Well, is often compared to William Shakespeare's Hamlet, but that's an inapt comparison. While Shakespeare's play has a higher sense of poetry, Kurosawa's film – though a high-class melodrama – has far more relevance, realism, and complexity. […]


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'The Bad Sleep Well' Review: Akira Kurosawa Classic



'Gojira' vs. 'Godzilla': Which Is Better? Is Japanese Version Superior to the American One?

Gojira with Akihiko Hirata, Momoko Kôchi, and Akira Takarada. Tokyo-born actress Momoko Kôchi (1932–1998) was seen in more than 30 films over the course of four decades. In Ishirô Honda's Gojira, Akira Takarada is Kôchi's love interest, while Akihiko Hirata is the man her father has chosen to become her […]


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'Gojira' vs. 'Godzilla': Which Is Better? Is Japanese Version Superior to the American One?



'Godzilla, King of the Monsters!' & 1954 'Gojira': Two of the Greatest Monster Movies Ever

Godzilla. Whether in Ishirô Honda's 1954 Japanese original Gojira or in the 1956 U.S. version, Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, the destructive reptilian creature emblematic of the atomic age remains one of cinema's iconic creations. Like Harry Potter, James Bond, and Andy Hardy, Godzilla has been at the center of […]


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'Godzilla, King of the Monsters!' & 1954 'Gojira': Two of the Greatest Monster Movies Ever



Japanese Cinema Retrospective at MoMA & 'Saving Private Ryan' 'Doubled in Ferocity' Tops Asia-Pacific Festival

This fall, New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is presenting the film series "Early Autumn: Masterworks of Japanese Cinema from the National Film Center, Tokyo." The series consists of fifty-three classic Japanese films made between 1929 and 1970, which have been loaned out by the National Film Center of the […]


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Japanese Cinema Retrospective at MoMA & 'Saving Private Ryan' 'Doubled in Ferocity' Tops Asia-Pacific Festival