Tag Archives: Japanese Films

DVD of the Week – Three More Double Features

by NIR SHALEV

The Bad Sleep Well (1960) and Hamlet (1996)

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Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)

by RICHARD WINTERS

This is one of the most bizarre and fascinating films ever made. It reminded me a lot of David Lynch’s Eraserhead, but with a slightly more linear storyline and engaging tongue and cheek humor. It all depends on one’s tolerance as to how much they will enjoy it. Some will find it weird and alienating while others will insist it’s brilliant. Continue reading

Two Lists, Ten Favorites: Films of Akira Kurosawa

by HELEN GEIB and NIR SHALEV

An occasional feature where Helen and Nir compare their five favorite films by some of the greats of world cinema. Today’s inaugural “Two Lists, Ten Favorites” is dedicated to the films of Akira Kurosawa.

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998)

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Trailers for Movies I Like: Sanjuro (1962)

by HELEN GEIB

An occasional series. Title self-explanatory.

The trailer for May was Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961), starring Toshiro Mifune in one of his great and indelible performances. Whenever I watch Yojimbo, which is every year or so, I have to watch Sanjuro (1962) soon after.

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Movie Review – 13 Assassins (2010)

by NIR SHALEV

Filmmaker Takashi Miike is popular around the globe for being the most “out there” director. In Japan, he’s been crowned “the most adult filmmaker” because he’s directed crazy films like Audition (2000) and Ichi the Killer (2001). By now, those two films have garnered a classic status (because most film lovers are mostly desensitized to gore already). However, 13 Assassins is a welcome change in pace because it’s an old-school samurai revenge film that packs heat and is all kinds of awesome; yet it still manages to deliver a traditional samurai tale of true and tough warriors. Continue reading

Free-Talking on Cinema, Movies, and Film (May, 2011)

by HELEN GEIB

[Note: The monthly Free-Talking post is updated every five days, give or take a day every now and then.]

MAY 23, 2011- FORMAT CHANGE ANNOUNCEMENT

Starting next week the “free-talking” running post will be broken out into weekly posts, beginning with the monthly discussion question on the first Wednesday of June.

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MAY 17, 2011- (RANDOM) TRAILER OF THE MONTH

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Free-Talking on Cinema, Movies, and Film (January, 2011)

by HELEN GEIB

Free-Talking Series: Next Post

[Note: The monthly Free-Talking post is updated every five days, give or take a day every now and then.]

JANUARY 27, 2011- JANUARY, OR HOW I AVOIDED THE MULTIPLEX AND HAD A GREAT MONTH AT THE MOVIES

It’s hard to love Hollywood in January. There are lots of good movies still in theaters, but the operative word is “still.” Since I managed to see all the big December releases in December for a change, this year has made me acutely aware of what a lousy month January is for new Hollywood movies. Continue reading

Movie Review – Fireworks (1997)

by NIR SHALEV

Nishi (played by “Beat” Takeshi Kitano) is a no-nonsense but quiet man, and is the quintessential protagonist found in most of Kitano’s films. He’s a cop whose daughter had suddenly died, a fact mentioned only in gossip by co-workers and whose wife, Miyuki (Kayoko Kishimoto) had developed leukemia; possibly any disease would suffice the screenplay in order to signify that a mental illness can cause a physical one. Nishi wears dark sunglasses and sits around most of the time, smoking and contemplating the quiet brought forth by sudden death. However, he’s never suicidal because of his strong bond with his wife. Continue reading

Movie Review – Violent Cop (1989)

by NIR SHALEV

“Beat” Takeshi Kitano is a famous comedian in Japan, as well as an auteur who’s popular all around the world. Most of his movies are violent but are also studies of the violence inherited within the system. Whether a Yakuza film, a cop drama, a revenge flick, or a comedy about idiots, violence finds its way into Kitano’s stories and the violence is shown without censorship. And yet his films are more arthouse than Hollywood. Continue reading

Anime Feature Film Review – Porco Rosso (1992)

by HELEN GEIB

Porco Rosso is an anime feature film by writer-director Hayao Miyazaki with the unexpected setting of the Adriatic Sea c. 1930. The film’s hero Porco Rosso is a WWI Italian flying ace in self-imposed exile from his homeland. He lives in a tent on an idyllic secluded beach that he reaches in his seaplane; a generator-powered radio is his only contact with the outside world. He makes his living, such as it is, from apprehending seaplane-borne “air pirates” for the reward money. Most of the money goes toward supplies and repairs for the plane. Continue reading