Japanese film recommendations please

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Todber, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Todber

    Todber Active Member Thread Starter

    Hampshire UK
    I love:
    Throne Of Blood
    Seven Samurai

    What else in the same vein would you suggest I buy?
  2. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    A couple more Kurosawa films.

    The Hidden Fortress

    High and Low - I watched this with a friend of mine and he was very impressed (even more than I was). I loanded it to a forum member and he watched it three times in a row.

    I have always liked the comedy "The Funeral": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089746/
    polchik likes this.
  3. AndrewS

    AndrewS Senior Member

    S. Ontario, Canada
    Red Beard is very good, IMHO.
    polchik likes this.
  4. Jeff Wong

    Jeff Wong Gort

    You might enjoy Kobayashi's Harakiri (Seppuku) starring Tatsuya Nakadai. The screenplay is by Shinobu Hashimoto, who also wrote scripts for Seven Samurai, Hitokiri (Tenchu), Samurai Rebellion, The Sword of Doom (Daibosatsu Toge - also starring Nakadai). Harakiri is slow paced, but, the tension builds steadily and the ending does not disappoint. Okamoto's The Sword of Doom is another of my favourites, even though it is only part 1 on an intended trilogy.

    A very touching non-samurai movie by Kurosawa is Ikiru.
    polchik likes this.
  5. dirwuf

    dirwuf Misplaced Chicagoan

    Fairfield, CT
    "What's Up Tiger Lily"
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  6. DetroitDoomsayer

    DetroitDoomsayer Forum Middle Child

    Detroit, Michigan
    Although not exactly on par with Kobayashi or Kurosawa films, I love the Zatoichi film series, a great, sort of film serial starring Shintaro Katsu as the blind swordsman.
    nutsfortubes and samurai like this.
  7. Jeff Wong

    Jeff Wong Gort

    I absolutely love the Zatoichi films. While Kurosawa and Kobayashi treat film as high art, the Zatoichi films are highly entertaining.
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    Kurosawa'a Ikiru is one of my 2-3 favorite films of all time. It is quite different than his samurai movies, and much more involving and affecting than any decsription of its plot suggests.

    Mizoguchi's "Sansho the Bailiff" and Inagaki's "Chushingura" are well worth seeking out. For the latter, Mizoguchi's epic 2-part earlier version of the same story, usually anglicized as "The 47 Ronin" or "The 47 Loyal Ronin" is also very good, but I'm a sucker for Inagaki's color scope cinematography.

  9. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Tokyo, Japan
    There's a lot of great Japanese film out there, so I'm going to focus on your "in the same vein." You'd probably enjoy almost all of Kurosawa's work, but I'd start with Rashomon, Sanjuro (the sequel to Yojimbo), High and Low and Ikiru. The first two of those are feudal dramas; the latter two have are set in the modern era. The Hidden Fortress and Red Beard are good too, and very similar in atmosphere to the stuff you've already enjoyed, but I don't think they're quite first-tier stuff.

    Kobayashi Masaki and Ichikawa Kon are probably the major directors whose style comes closest to Kurosawa's. With Kobayashi, I'd start with Seppuku, a.k.a. Harakiri, which might be the best samurai film ever made. It's certainly one of the bleakest. His ghost-story anthology Kwaidan is also great. With Ichikawa, I'd take a look at samurai-era action film An Actor's Revenge and WWII drama Fires on the Plain.

    Mizoguchi Kenji also did some brilliant, brilliant period films. Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff are less action-oriented then most of the other stuff I'm listing, but you ought to give them a try.

    After that there are plenty of other great samurai films from Okamoto Kihachi, Gosha Hideo, Misumi Kenji, etc.
    polchik likes this.
  10. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Senior Member

    If you like Yakuza type films, check out the filmographies of Kinji Fukasaku or Seijin Suzuki. Both were pretty controversial directors in their depiction of violence and sexuality but they came up with some classic films, especially in the 60s and 70s.
  11. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Senior Member

    I still haven't seen any Zatoichi films yet. I've been meaning to for years.

    I'm a big fan of the "Baby Cart" series myself. It's pretty wild stuff and I'm sure Tarantino must have taken a cue or three from those films!
    nutsfortubes and Bruce Racket like this.
  12. Jeff Wong

    Jeff Wong Gort

    Wakayama of the Baby Cart series was the real life brother of the star of the Zatoichi series; the Zatoichi films are generally not as bloody as the Baby Cart films (from the early 70s) with the possible exception of the last Zatoichi film from 1989 (side note: the DVD from Tokyo Shock features a gallery comprised mostly from my Zatoichi poster collection). For some more extreme, bloody action featuring Katsu, you might want to take a peek at the three Hanzo the Razor movies or seek out Tenchu by Hideo Gosha.
  13. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Norfolk, UK
    Battle Royale isnt bad as a movie. Just dont bother with BR2 its just full of young Japanese males pulling that constipated face of deep frustrated teen anger and shouting.
  14. monewe

    monewe Forum Resident

    Kurosawa is my favourite film director and Hidden Fortress Darcy is a fantastic film.

    To be honest I quite like Azumi- it is good for a laugh.
  15. whaaat

    whaaat LT Fanatic

    Toronto, ON
    I'll second the recommendations for Sword Of Doom and Red Beard, the latter of which had both my wife and I in tears when we caught it at a Kurosawa retrospective a few years back.
    polchik likes this.
  16. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Space-Age luddite

    Central PA
    And, they do take their animation seriously...even if what shows up here on television doesn't show it. One word: Miyazaki.
    samsondale likes this.
  17. A few suggestions and not all serious Kurosawa type dramatic films.


    Tampopo (タンポポ or 蒲公英, literally "dandelion") is a 1985 Japanese comedy film by director Juzo Itami, starring Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto and Ken Watanabe. The publicity for the film calls it the first noodle western, a play on the term Spaghetti Western, films about the American West made by Italian production studios.

    Tokyo Story

    Tokyo Story (東京物語, Tokyo monogatari?) is a 1953 Japanese film directed by Yasujiro Ozu. It tells the story of a mother and father who travel to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo to visit their grown children, but find their children are too absorbed in their own lives to spend much time with their parents.

    Heaven and Earth

    Heaven and Earth (天と地と, Ten to chi to pronounced Ten ta she toe) is a 1990 film directed by Haruki Kadokawa, starring Enoki Takaaki, Tsugawa Masahiko, Asano Atsuko, Zaizen Naomi and Nomura Hironobu.

    Plot summary

    Set in feudal Japan, the daimyo Kagetora (Enoki) must protect his lands and his people from the ambitions of the warlord Takeda (Tsugawa).

    Kagetora is also known as Uesugi Kenshin. In the film, Kagetora must defend his province of Echigo against Takeda Shingen. The famous battles include the Battle of Kawanakajima.

    The film is full of large scale dramatic battle scenes filmed in Canada. Many of the regular soldiers wear masks that were historically for mounted samurai or leaders. This is because many extras were Canadian.

    I worked on the film for 8 weeks in the summer/fall of 1989. All of the Canadian filming was done in and around Calgary, Alberta including the Morley Flats and Ghost Lake. At one time or another I was dressed in all 4 colours of the samurai foot soldiers; red, black, green and blue.

    Also, Ken Wantanbe was originally cast as the male lead, but had to leave durng production due to illness.


    Dog Days Dream / Hayabusa

    Dog Days Dream is a very funny black comedy from first time directory Ichii Massahide.

    A young, poverty-stricken couple attempt to survive a long hot summer in a small apartment. The lack of cooling equipment becomes an obsession in the stifling room. The young man collects paper for a recycling company and earns next to nothing. After losing their jobs, the couple withdraw even further into their overheated room, which starts to look increasingly like a residence for squatters. In a desperate attempt to improve things, the boyfriend takes action that only makes things worse and more hilarious.

    Screened in 2007 at Seattle, Rotterdam and Calgary International Film Festivals. Might be hard to find.

    Linda Linda Linda

    Linda Linda Linda (リンダ リンダ リンダ, Linda Linda Linda?) is a 2005 Japanese film. Its name comes from Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts' hit song "Linda Linda". The film was directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita and stars Aki Maeda, Yu Kashii, and Shiori Sekine as the band members, and Bae Doona as a South Korean foreign exchange student.

    The school Festival is about to begin and Kyoko (Aki Maeda), Kei (Yu Kashii), and Nozumi (Shiori Sekine) are looking for lead vocals after their band breaks up. Kei recruits Son (Du-na Bae), a Korean exchange student who is still learning Japanese. The girls choose perform three songs from The Blue Hearts, an 80s punk rock group. They choose, Linda, Linda, Linda, An Endless Song, and My Right Hand. They have several late night practice sessions while Son tries to perfect her Japanese and Kei struggles to play the guitar better. The girls each face different struggles while trying to master their songs for the school festival

    Screened at the Toronto and Calgary International Film Festivals in 2005 and 2006.

    Attached Files:

    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  18. exiled

    exiled Forum Resident

    I'll second Mizoguchi - Ugetsu is a beautiful and haunting film. Criterion Collection have now brought out a number of Mizoguchi's, Ozu, and a tonne of Kurosawa films, they are definitely worth checking out. Also if you're feeling adventurous and in the mood for something weird/more modern, perhaps check out films by Takeshi Miike e.g. Audition.
    samurai likes this.
  19. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Fonthill, Ontario
    Fuji..love the green boxes:cheers:
  20. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    East Tennessee
    Yeah, I loved it - unique and hilarious. I love the high-drama films, too, but this is a winner!
  21. dreamwhip

    dreamwhip New Member

    Delaware, USA
    I saw Women in the Dunes not long ago. Very surreal.
  22. jam64

    jam64 Forum Resident

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  23. CellPhoneFred

    CellPhoneFred New Member

    Columbus, Ohio
    +1 :righton:

    Great, great, great film!
  24. BFrank

    BFrank Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    Another vote for "High and Low". Great suspense film.
    ruben lopez likes this.
  25. yasujiro

    yasujiro Senior Member

    No love for Takeshi Kitano? His 'Dolls' makes my all time best 10.

    Of the directors who is producing new works, Koreeda, Yamashita (See post#17), Aoyama, and (Kiyoshi) Kurosawa come to my mind.

    Shot in almost B/W, Aoyama's 'Eureka' is an incredible film running almost 4 hours. It is very rewarding film to see.

    Kurosawa's masterpiece 'Pulse' was remade in the USA. but the original is much better. No contest. There's the US dvd.

    Koreeda also has a few US DVD releases like 'Maboroshi' and 'After Life'. His next film will be the live action adaptation of a manga comic, 'Air Doll' with korean actress Bae Doona, who stared brilliantly in 'Linda Linda LInda'.


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